Episode 26. Antony Polonsky: From Apartheid South Africa to Jewish History in Poland

In this episode, Antony Polonsky, Emeritus Professor of Holocaust History at Brandeis University talks to Jan Rybak, Early Career Fellow at the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism. For several decades, Professor Polonsky has been at the forefront of Polish Jewish historiography. Having grown up in Apartheid South Africa, he came to Poland to study authoritarianism and dictatorship, realising that Polish history cannot be fully understood without being able to fully comprehend the legacy of Poland’s Jewish heritage or its historic culture of antisemitism and chauvinistic nationalism. Drawing upon his experiences as both an anti-Apartheid activist and campaigner against the regime in Poland, Polonsky considers how a deeper understanding of domestic factors within such widely differing national contexts can help with reassessing Polish-Jewish history.

“Eastern Europe’s Minorities in a Century of Change”, a podcast series on the history of minorities and minority experiences in twentieth-century Central and Eastern Europe prepared by the BASEES Study Group for Minority History to mark the Institute for Historical Research’s centenary. The co-conveners of the Study Group are Olena Palko (Birkbeck) and Samuel Foster (University of East Anglia)

Published by sgmhbasees

The BASEES Study Group for Minority History (SGMH) is a forum devoted to the study of minority groups in the national and regional histories of Central, Eastern and Southeastern European from the Napoleonic Wars to the contemporary past.

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