Dr Izabela Kazejak awarded Auschwitz fellowship
EUI Alumni, Dr Izabela Kazejak has been awarded the fellowship of the Auschwitz Foundation.
Dr Kazejak, once a researcher at the Department of History and Civilisation, is currently seeking a grant to study the post-war revisionism of European communities after the Holocaust, with a particular focus on Poland.
Speaking to EUI Life, Dr Kazejak told of her ambition to “investigate the social construction of memory and discourses on Jews but also partially the silence with regard to the Jewish past and existence in the selected European cities.”
One example is the Polish city Wrocław. During the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of Germans relocated to Poland. This was part of the fascist concept known as Lebensraum. (This translates as habitat or living space) In 1945 Germans living in Wrocław outnumber their Polish neighbours by 10 to 1. But after the war ended almost all of the Germans either fled or were forcibly relocated by the soviets. This was part of a massive nationwide expulsion of over 2 million Germans from post-war Poland at a time when anti-German rhetoric was being used by the country’s socialist propagandists. Dr Kazejak is interested in how powerful that propaganda became.
Dr Kazejak also spoke of her relationship with the EUI, which has helped her to research the subject across the continent. “The origin of this project is in my B.A. and M.A. theses which I wrote under the supervision of Professor Philipp Ther (former EUI Professor) while I was a student at the Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt.”