LECTURE SERIES on Nationalism in the Lands of the Habsburg Monarchy: The Challenge to Jewish Identity 3

Presented by Society for History of Czechoslovak Jews

Wednesday, APRIL 27, 2011 at 7.00 pm – Lecture 3

Anna Cichopek-Gajraj“Being Jewish in Slovakia and Poland after the Second World War”
Anna Cichopek-Gajraj, University of Western Ontario

After the Second World War, the Czechoslovak and Polish state redefined the boundaries around its national/ethnic community, defining anew who belonged and who did not. The process primarily involved the redefinition of criteria for citizenship. Of all the people negotiating recognition as citizens, few faced more challenges than the Jewish returnees and their communal leaders.

In her talk, Anna Cichopek-Gajdar will discuss how Jewish survivors in postwar Slovakia and Poland struggled to get citizenship through dialogue and conflict between their representatives, local administration and the central governments. By focusing on the daily efforts of Polish and Slovak Jews to rebuild their lives, she investigates the limits of belonging to national/ethnic communities in Central Eastern Europe after the Holocaust.

Anna Cichopek-Gajraj is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario (until spring 2011) and an Assistant Professor at the Arizona State University. She earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and has an M.A. in History from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. Her M.A. thesis on the anti-Jewish pogrom in Cracow in August 1945 was published as a book in 2000 in Poland. She also contributed to Contested Memories: Poles and Jews during the Holocaust and its Aftermath (Zimmerman, 2003).

The event takes place at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, New York, NY.