Donnerstag, 04. April 2019, 12:00 - 14:00 iCal

INTERAKTIONEN – Justyna Majewska

„I don’t know when exactly…“ The idea of time: understanding present and future in the Warsaw ghetto

Seminarraum 1, Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Universitätscampus
Spitalgasse 2-4/Hof 1, Tür 1.13, 1090 Wien


„VWI goes to the Institute of Contemporary History of the University of Vienna“


Justyna Majewska’s dissertation, “Visions of Social Change in the Warsaw Ghetto, 1940-1942”, analyzes social pressures on the Warsaw Ghetto’s Jewish community from the perspective of Jews, Nazi Germans and Poles. Her presentation will focus on one particular question from her dissertation: How did Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto understand the present and envision the future? Although the Nazis saw the Jewish community in the ghetto as homogeneous, it was a complex group with a variety of political circles who were able to remain active. Zionists, Socialists and Bundists, acculturated and religious Jews, had different visions for not only how to survive the present but also how to build a Jewish future. Intense debates focused on the anticipated social structure of Jewry, the language Jews would speak, Jewish education, and the professions that the post-war generation would pursue.

Using the sociological concepts of quantitative and qualitative time, the presentation will cover how Jews understood social time, “colonised” the future, and perceived the past, present and future in the Warsaw Ghetto. Answers to question of time will be drawn from documents gathered already during the war by the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto (Ringelblum Archive).


Justyna Majewska is a Junior Fellow at the VWI and a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Philoso-phy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences. She also works in the Research Depart-ment at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. She has published in "Zagłada Żydów. Studia i materiały" (Holocaust Studies and Materials) and East European Jewish Affairs.


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INTERAKTIONEN / Institut für Zeitgeschichte


Marianne Ertl
Institut für Zeitgeschichte