Aktuelle Fellows

Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe is a researcher and lecturer at the Freie Universität Berlin. He studied at the Viadrina European University and holds a PhD in history from the University of Hamburg. He published the first scholarly biography of the Ukrainian fascist politician Stepan Bandera (2014). He also published two books, several articles, and edited three volumes. He was a fellow of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the Gerda Henkel Stiftung, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, and the Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research. Currently he researches the history of the Polish city mayors in the General Government.



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.

Jan Grabowski is a Professor of History at the University of Ottawa and an invited professor at universities in France, Israel, Poland and in the United States. For his current project titled “Open Ghettos in Occupied Poland: A Study of Institutional and Social Control” he is inquring into methods of institutional and social control which established, reinforced and maintained the borders of open ghettos:

“Our knowledge of the ghettos has been heavily influenced by historians’ focus on the largest Polish cities. We automatically associate ghettos with the closed and walled-in areas of Warsaw, Cracow or Łódź (Litzmannstadt) which are richly documented in historical literature, in popular witnesses’ accounts and which have become – mostly through films – a part of popular culture. The vast majority of Polish Jews lived and died, however, in relatively small ghettos, without any walls separating them from the so-called “Aryan” side of the city. The everyday life in the ghetto cannot, therefore, be seen only through the prism of the experience of Jews of the few largest Polish cities. In smaller ghettos the only barrier separating the Jews and non-Jews was a mental one.  People simply knew where the ghetto started and where it ended. These were the so-called “open” ghettos. In other areas there were the Germans established the  “semi-open” ghettos whose boundaries were indicated by flimsy wooden fences or strings of barbed wire. In both cases, leaving the ghetto was not the real problem. Surviving on the other side, however, was.  Despite the relative “openess” of these smaller ghettos, they have also become – just as the large walled-in ghettos of Warsaw or Łódź – places of starvation, misery and death of thousands of Jews. The goal of this research project is to inquire into methods of institutional and social control which established, reinforced and maintained the borders of these open ghettos, making them deadly traps for more than 1.4 million Polish Jews. For this research project, I have selected ten open, or semi-open ghettos which were similar in size (4 to 12.000 inhabitants) located in four districts of occupied Poland. I decided to leave out the fifth district (Galizien) where majority of the population was Ukrainian and where social and ethnic dynamics were very different than in central Poland.”

In 2011 Dr. Grabowski has been appointed the Baron Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim Chair for the Study of Racism, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel. He has authored and edited 15 books and published more than 60 articles in English, French, Polish, German and Hebrew. Professor Grabowski’s book: Hunt for the Jews. Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland has been awarded the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for 2014.  In 2016-17 Grabowski was the Ina Levine Senior Invitational Scholar in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. His most recent work: Night Without End. Fate of Jews in selected counties of occupied Poland, 2 vols.  (Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking, editors), has been published in April 2018, in Warsaw, in Polish. His forthcoming book “On Duty. The Role of the Polish “Blue” Police in the Holocaust” is scheduled for publication in March 2020.


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