Day-to-day life in the Warsaw Ghetto, Public Lecture by Pawel Spiewak

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Date(s) - 02/06/2013
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Caulfield Campus, H116, Monash University

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Between July 22 and September 12, 1942, the German authorities deported or murdered around 300,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.  In April–May 1943 the underground organisations organised an armed uprising, which was suppressed with unprecedented brutality. This talk will reflect on the life and memory of the Warsaw ghetto seventy years after its liquidation.

Paweł Śpiewak (born 1951 in Warsaw) is  one of the best known and most media-active public intellectuals in Poland. He is also a sociologist, historian, author and former politician, involved in the Free Education (TKN) and Solidarity movement under the communist rule and political activism after 1989, mainly as a commentator of the popular ‘Tygodnik Powszechny’ and ‘Wiez’ monthly, both closely related to liberal-conservative social circles and the Catholic Church. Pawel Śpiewak was elected to the Sejm (Lower House of the Polish Parliament) in 2005 as a Civic Platform (PO) candidate, but stayed in the Sejm for one term only. Since 2011, Śpiewak has been the Director of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. His sociological interests cover a broad range of liberal-conservative social and philosophical analyses. He is known in Poland and Europe as author of numerous books, including Ideologies and Citizens (1991), Anti-Totalitarianism – A Polish Debate (2003), The Promise of Democracy (2004), Memory After Communism (2005), Five Books of Tora – Commentaries (2012), and the widely acclaimed Zydokomuna (2012) that demolishes the anti-Semitic stereotype of pro-communist Jews in Poland. 

Pawel Spiewak is in Australia as a guest of the Australian Institute of Polish Affairs (AIPA).