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    Jan Tomasz Gross : Itinerary of a Holocaust historian in Poland

    Available on line - Conference given on Thursday 21 February 2019 at the Collège de France, Paris

    As part of the international conference "The New Polish School of Holocaust History" held from 21 to 22 February 2019 at EHESS in Paris, the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah and the Collège de France organized a public lecture by historian Jan Tomasz Gross, professor emeritus at Princeton University. 

    Jan T. Gross's research focuses on modern Europe, focusing on a comparative approach to totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, Soviet and Eastern European policies, and the Shoah.


    Having grown up in Poland and started his studies at the University of Warsaw, he emigrated to the United States in 1969 and obtained his doctorate in sociology from Yale University (1975). His first book, Polish Society under German Occupation, was published in 1979. Revolution from Abroad (1988) analyses how the Soviet regime was imposed in Poland and the Baltic States between 1939 and 1941. Neighbors (2001; French translation: Les voisins, 2002) recounts the events that took place in July 1941 in the small Polish town of Jedwabne, during which almost all the Jewish inhabitants of the city were killed in a single day.

    By using direct testimony, Gross shows that the Jews of Jedwabne were killed by their Polish neighbours, not by the German occupiers, as had been claimed before. This shocking story led to an unprecedented reassessment of Jewish-Polish relations during the Second World War and led to heated debates. In 2004, many of the Polish speeches during this debate were published in a collection, The Neighbors Respond.

    After dealing with anti-Semitism in Poland after 1945 (Fear, 2006; French translation: La peur, 2010), he published in 2011 a book on looting against Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe (French translation: Moisson d'or: le pillage des biens juifs, 2014). His latest book, in Polish, retraces his intellectual journey, in the form of an interview.

    Gross joined the Princeton School of History in 2003, after teaching at New York University, Emory (Atlanta) and Yale (New Haven), in addition to teaching positions in Paris, Vienna, and Krakow. He is now Professor Emeritus.



    Thursday, February 21, 2019, 5pm - 7pm

    ♦ Reception
    Patrick Boucheron, Professor at the Collège de France
    Philippe Allouche, Director General of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah

    ♦ Introduction and moderation 
    Jean-Charles Szurek, Director of Research Emeritus at the CNRS

    ♦ Conference
    Jan T. Gross, Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University (United States)

    ♦ Discussion with the audience


    Collège de France
    Amphithéâtre Marguerite de Navarre
    11, place Marcelin-Berthelot
    75005 Paris

    Programme (pdf)



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