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The International Institute for Holocaust Research

Research Projects

Center for Research on the Holocaust in Poland

Poland, The Schwartz and Sylberberd families during a Purim meal, 1939 Poland, The Schwartz and Sylberberd families during a Purim meal, 1939

The value and importance of studying the history of Polish Jews during the Holocaust stems not only from the central part it played in the history of Jewry at the time and the fact that the Jews of Poland were the largest concentration of Jews under Nazi rule, nor only from the concentration of death camps in occupied Poland. The significance of this research is the result of the fact that every one of main phenomena of the Holocaust of European Jewry occurred in this geographical area, for example: the central part played by ideology during the occupation of Poland in 1939 as well as during the occupation of the east in 1941; the beginning of the mass extermination of the Jews precisely in eastern Poland (the killing sites); the different types of bystanders (the attitudes of the Poles, and of other minorities such as the Lithuanians, Byelorussians and Ukrainians); the local underground movements and their position towards the Jews; Jewish resistance in its many forms; and the surviving remnants at the end of WWII.

The Chair is currently compiling a bibliographical listening of all works written on Poland during the Holocaust, including its aftermath relating to the Holocaust. 

Dr. Havi Dreifuss is the director of the Chair.