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Scholar to Speak about Fate of Jews in Hiding in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)September 19, 2018

MAHWAH, N.J. – Natalia Aleksiun, Ph.D., associate professor of modern Jewish history at the Graduate School of Touro College, will speak about “Gender and the Daily Lives of Jews Hiding in Nazi Occupied Eastern Europe during the Holocaust,” on Tuesday, October 30 at 7 p.m. at Ramapo College of New Jersey in the Robert A. Scott Student Center Alumni Lounges, SC-158. The lecture will be presented under the auspices of the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and is free and open to the public.

Aleksiun examines how the hidden Jews of Eastern Galicia passed the time together, cared for one another, worked out survival strategies, and divided resources and labor during their concealment. This research contributes to the understanding of the social and emotional dynamics of the Holocaust experience through its framing as a local case study that analyzes the impact of fear and oppressive conditions on life in the bunkers—in particular, on familial and other relationships, including those that formed within the hideouts, among Jews who spanned the full spectrum of ages and social background.

Her work draws heavily on survivor testimonies collected by the Central Jewish Historical Commission and the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw and by Yad Vashem, as well as from the Museum’s oral history and eyewitness testimony collections. Diaries, chronicles and memoirs written by Jews who hid in East Galicia, as well as the Museum’s International Tracing Service collection, also contributed greatly to her project.

Aleksiun studied Polish and Jewish history at the Warsaw University, the Graduate School of Social Studies in Warsaw and Hebrew University in Jerusalem and New York University. She received her doctorate from Warsaw University in 2001. Her dissertation won the Polish Prime Minister’s Award for doctoral students and appeared in print as Where to? The Zionist Movement in Poland, 1944-1950 (in Polish) in 2002. In 2010, she received her second Ph.D. from New York University based on her dissertation entitled: “Ammunition in the Struggle for National Rights: Jewish Historians in Poland between the Two World Wars.” She was a co-editor of the twentieth volume of Polin, devoted to the memory of the Holocaust.

She has published in Yad Vashem StudiesPolish Review, DapimEast European Jewish AffairsStudies in Contemporary JewryPolinGal EdEast European Societies and Politics and German History. Together with Brian Horowitz she is editing a volume 29 of Polin titled Writing Jewish History. She is currently working on a book about the so-called cadaver affair at European Universities in the 1920s and 1930s and on a project dealing with the daily lives of Jews in hiding in Galicia during the Holocaust.

For information or to request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact holgen@ramapo.edu or call 201-684-7409.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Niche.com.

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

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