European Jews Facing the Imminence of the Holocaust
3-25 April 2023, Warsaw, Poland
Application deadline: 27 November 2022
In the summer of 1941, Nazi Germany began systematically murdering Europe’s Jews. At first, there were mass executions of civilians in the East, followed by deportations to extermination camps established in occupied Poland. At times, rumors and reports about the mass murders made it clear to the Jews that they were facing a nearly inescapable death sentence. The aim of the conference is to identify and describe Jewish experience of life amidst the imminent threat of destruction. How did information about mass killings spread? How did Jews adapt to extreme conditions? What was their day-to-day life like under these conditions? What were their experiences and emotions and awareness of their further fate?
Although the period of Nazi persecution as a whole was an extreme situation for Jews, we have chosen the most extreme experiences of European Jews during the Shoah as the theme of this conference. We are interested in the experience of extreme situations, such as:
- daily life in the ghettos during German deportation operations,
- the experience of surviving mass execution,
- participation in death marches,
- living in bunkers, hiding places, in forests, and family camps,
- the experience of traveling on deportation transports and escaping from them,
- and finally, daily life in German transit camps, labor and concentration camps, and death camps, including work in the Sonderkommando.
The Conference will take place around the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It will be complimented by the exhibition “Around Us a Sea of Fire” at the POLIN Museum, which is dedicated to the civilian experience during the Uprising in April 1943.