My presentation will provide an overview of the history of Polish Jews between 1944 and 1968, focusing on a few selected topics and their representation in the scholarship and in public debates. The key process during that period was the dramatic numerical decline of the Jewish population and the evolution of its cultural profile as a consequence of four waves of emigration. Some topics of this history, such as postwar violence, emigration, or the international dimension of Polish-Jewish relations, have attracted the attention of scholars, while some others, such as religious practices, demography, or the life of the lower social strata, have been relatively neglected. I will also explore what topics of this history have attracted wider attention and have been discussed in public debates on the Polish-Jewish past. The latest such debate took place this year, when the 50th anniversary of the anti-Zionist campaign of 1968 brought some surprising political statements.
Dariusz Stola is a historian and professor at the Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences. Since March 2014 he has been the director of the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews, a leading European narrative museum and major cultural institution in Warsaw. He has authored six and co-edited four books, and published more than a hundred scholarly articles on the political and social history of Poland in the 20th century, the Holocaust, international migration, and the communist regime. He has served on the advisory boards of several Polish and international institutions and journals.