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Negotiating, Contesting and Constructing Jewish Space in Postwar Muranów

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Negotiating, Contesting and Constructing Jewish Space in Postwar Muranów

Mallet, Audrey (2011) Negotiating, Contesting and Constructing Jewish Space in Postwar Muranów. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

One year after the Germans took control of Poland in September 1939 nearly 500,000 people of Jewish origin were forced to live in what was to become the largest Jewish ghetto in any German-occupied territory: the Warsaw ghetto. The Ghetto Uprising (April-May 1943), to which the Germans quickly put an end, led to the complete destruction of the former Jewish district. Beginning in the late 1940s and continuing throughout the 1950s, a massive new housing estate was built on the rubble of the ghetto, concealing almost every physical trace of the area’s Jewish past. My thesis examines how Jewish memory has been negotiated and spatialized in Muranów, the area of Warsaw’s former Jewish district, from 1945 until today. After underlining some of the key disputes related to the memory of the Jewish past in Poland, particularly in regards to wartime events, I explore how Jewishness has been re-negotiated and re-inscribed in Muranów through non traditional memorial initiatives in post-Communist Poland. By engaging people and involving them in the memorialization process, such initiatives might have the power to create a safe place of dialogue and civic engagement where the very principle of Polish ethno-national identity is called into question. Through the study of interviews I conducted in Muranów in the summer of 2010, I also investigate how current Polish residents relate to the Jewish past of their neighborhood.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Mallet, Audrey
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History
Date:27 June 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lehrer, Erica
ID Code:7685
Deposited By:AUDREY MALLET
Deposited On:21 Nov 2011 09:38
Last Modified:21 Nov 2011 09:38
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