Current Fellows

Kamil Kijek is a Assistant Professor at the Jewish Studies Department, University of Wrocław, Poland.  He has been a Prins Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Jewish History in New York and Sosland Family Fellow at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. During his doctoral studies he held various fellowships in Israel, Germany and United Kingdom. His research interest include Central-East European Jewish History in the end of XIX and in XX century, social and cultural theory.  

"The Last Polish Shtetl? Jewish Community of Dzierżoniów, Jewish World, the Cold War and Communism (1945-1950)"

The goal of the research project is to analyze, describe and explain the main phenomena that characterized the first 5 years of the post-Holocaust Jewish community in Poland through a microanalysis of the Jewish community of one particular Lower Silesian town, thereby shedding new light on three major fields of history: Polish, Jewish and the Cold War. This study is devoted to the town of Dzierżoniów (formerly German Reichenbach) in Lower Silesia, a region that was annexed by the Polish state following the Second World War and the Potsdam Peace conference in July-August 1945. In July 1946, Dzierżoniów held approximately 11,000 Jewish inhabitants, who comprised almost 50% of the town's population. Until 1950 this proportion had never dropped below 20% making Dzierżoniów a unique place on the map of post-Holocaust Europe, branded by some observers at the time as “the last Polish shtetl”.

Through perspective of microhistorical study on one particular community, this project aims to throw a new light and provide new explanations of large historical processes: The character of the the Polish Jewish community after the Holocaust, construction and demise of so called Jewish autonomy in post-Holocaust Poland in the years 1945-1950, dynamics of the relations between new centers of the Jewish world (USA, Palestine/Israel) and the former Polish center, Cold War evolution of transnational Jewish politics, changes in Jewish social structure, expulsion of the German population and the polonization of Lower Silesia, and finally, the dynamics and character of Jewish attitudes towards the new political system being installed in Poland.


Marta Havryshko is a historian of women’s and gender history of the Second World War and the Holocaust. She is a Research Associate at the I. Krypiakevych Institute of Ukrainian Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Member of the international research group “Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict.”

As a Senior Fellow at the Center for Holocaust Studies, she conducts research for her project “War, Gender, and Power: Sexual Violence during the Holocaust in Ukraine”, which examine the typology, dynamics, and nature of sexual violence perpetrated against Jewish women and men by different actors – Germans and their helpers. The project dedicates special attention to the sexually aggressive behavior of the local perpetrators, including members of civic administration, Ukrainian auxiliary police, different partisan groups, and “ordinary people.” It explores how cultural ideas about the body, sexuality, reproduction, ethnic, racial, national, religious, political identity, combatant status, and power position contributed to sexual violence perpetration. The project also considers how ideas and discourses of femininity/masculinity and gender roles contributed to perpetrators’ motivations and strategies for sexual violence and victims’/survivors’ experiences of these processes.


Marilyn Campeau is a historian of the Second World War and the Holocaust in the Soviet Union. Her doctoral research studies the daily life of Red Army artist-combatants through an examination of the drawings they created on the frontlines between 1941 and 1945. As a Senior Fellow at the Center for Holocaust Studies, she conducts research for her project “Facing Europe: Soviet Soldiers in Germany, 1945–1994,” which follows Soviet troops as they traveled and occupied Central Europe during the postwar period. This book project investigates the interactions and power dynamics Red Army soldiers developed with Holocaust survivors and refugees, German citizens, as well as with representatives of the various Allied armed forces that occupied Germany from May 1945 onward.

 


Judith Vöcker is a PhD student at the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies of the University of Leicester. Her dissertation aims to provide a first comprehensive overview of the German jurisdiction in the General Government and how the Nazi regime instrumentalised it as a political tool in their occupied space. In doing so, she will deliver answers about how Nazi ideologies and racial premises manifested themselves in their legal sphere, how German law was applied and amended over the time of occupation, and how German judges applied the plethora of new regulations in court proceedings and verdicts in the General Government.

At the Institute for Contemporary History, Judith will extensively work with the extensive collection of post-war proceedings initiated against crimes committed by German juridical entities from 1939 until 1945. These sources shed light on the continuities of German lawyers in the General Government and allow to investigate, which legal traditions they followed or if any room for manoeuvre existed within their criminal investigations and verdicts.

Prior to commencing her doctorate, Judith received a Bachelor of Arts in Slavic Studies and German literature and linguistics from the University of Cologne, the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, and the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow; and a Master of Arts in Eastern European History from the European University Viadrina and University College London. Her doctorate has been funded, amongst others, by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the United Kingdom, the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, and the German History Society. Prior to her Fellowship at the IfZ, Judith was a Junior Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies.


Jonathan Huener is Professor of History at the University of Vermont. His current research focuses on the Reichsgau Wartheland or "Warthegau," and he plans to write the first English-language study of this annexed western region of Nazi-occupied Poland. More specifically, Huener's research will consider the occupation regime's broad and at times murderous Germanization agenda in relation to the Warthegau's unique status as an experimental field for National Socialist policy, for it was in this alleged Mustergau that renaming villages, deporting Poles, planting trees, building roads, incarcerating priests, and killing Jews were all part of a larger Volkstumskampf to assert German racial superiority and German dominance in the future.

The project is based on three main propositions. First, it proposes that among the various Reichsgaue established in territories annexed to Nazi Germany, the Wartheland was unique with respect to its size, demographic composition, and especially the role it was to play in the Third Reich both during and after the war. Second, this study will argue that the structure and governance of the Warthegau facilitated the rapid, radical, and even murderous application of Nazi ideological goals. Third, it emphasizes that the Germanization program in the Warthegau was founded on Nazi racial ideology, but implemented broadly, encompassing not only "racial" population policies (immigration, deportation, mass killing), but also policies to transform the region's culture, economy, and infrastructure.

Huener has published articles on memory and commemoration at Auschwitz, Polish-Jewish relations, and the churches under National Socialism. Co-editor of three volumes on the history of National Socialist Germany, he is also the author of Auschwitz, Poland, and the Politics of Commemoration, 1945-1979, which was awarded the 2004 Orbis Books Prize in Polish Studies from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, and The Polish Catholic Church under German Occupation: The Reichsgau Wartheland, 1939-1945, which appeared with Indiana University Press in 2021.


Daan de Leeuw is a PhD Candidate in History at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. He holds a BA (cum laude) and MA (cum laude) in History from the University of Amsterdam. His MA thesis about German physicians as perpetrators of human subject research in German concentration camps has been awarded the Volkskrant-IISG Thesis Award 2014.

In his dissertation “The Geography of Slave Labor: Dutch Jews and the Third Reich, 1942-1945,” de Leeuw analyzes the trajectories of Dutch Jewish slave laborers through German concentration and annihilation camps. Drawing on a broad scope of sources, including survivor testimonies and Nazi administrative records, de Leeuw examines the movement of prisoners from camp to camp and how these transfers affected the social structures inmates created among themselves. He applies Geographic Information System (GIS) technology and cartographic tools to visualize the paths of individuals and groups of deportees to study the plight of Jewish slave laborers, to understand their agency and powerlessness, and to scrutinize the German effort to win the war through the ruthless exploitation of prisoners. De Leeuw’s doctoral project seeks to contribute to the knowledge on Jewish slave labor during WWII and to foster research on Holocaust geographies. At the Institute for Contemporary History, de Leeuw will study its archival collections to integrate the Nazi perspective about Jewish slave labor into his dissertation.

De Leeuw’s doctoral research has been supported by several fellowships and research grants, including a Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) Graduate Studies Fellowship, a Yad Vashem Summer Research Fellowship for PhD Students, a Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund Grant, and an EHRI Conny Kristel Fellowship. He will also hold a 2021-2022 Ben and Zelda Cohen Fellowship at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


Winson Chu is Associate Professor of Modern Central European History at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. As a Humboldt Research Fellow from March 2020 to August 2021 at the Center for Holocaust Studies, Dr. Chu is working on how locals serving in the Kriminalpolizei (German Criminal Police, Kripo) in the Central Polish city of Łódź/Litzmannstadt facilitated the Holocaust.

This work engages three interrelated aspects: the Kriminalpolizei as an organization of persecution, the continuing networks between the Łódź Ghetto and the rest of the city, and Germanization in occupied Poland. This integrated perspective reframes occupied Łódź as one city and follows interethnic ties across the interwar, war, and postwar periods. Dr. Chu completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley and was awarded the annual Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize given by the Friends of the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC. His monograph, The German Minority in Interwar Poland, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012 and received a Fraenkel Prize commendation by the Wiener Library in London.

Dr. Chu is also the co-author of “A Sonderweg through Eastern Europe? The Varieties of German Rule in Poland during the Two World Wars,” which appeared in the September 2013 volume of German History and which was awarded the Article Prize of the German History Society. In 2017, he published “From Łódź to Litzmannstadt: German Pasts and Holocaust Sites in Post-Communist Poland” in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.



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