"European Jews Facing the Imminence of the Holocaust"

Call for Papers for International Conference



Source: Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich POLIN

The conference’s aim is to identify and describe the Jewish experience of life amidst the imminent threat of destruction during the Holocaust. The conference marks the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

  • Conference date: 23-25 April, 2023 (Sunday-Tuesday), POLIN Museum, Warsaw
  • Applications in English until 27 November, 2022
  • Application form >>


  • POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews,
  • Polish Center for Holocaust Research, Polish Academy of Sciences,
  • Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow,
  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Conference theme >>

In the summer of 1941, Nazi Germany began systematically murdering Europe’s Jews. At first, there were mass executions of civilians in the East, followed by deportations to extermination camps established in occupied Poland. At times, rumors and reports about the mass murders made it clear to the Jews that they were facing a nearly inescapable death sentence. The aim of the conference is to identify and describe Jewish experience of life amidst the imminent threat of destruction. How did information about mass killings spread? How did Jews adapt to extreme conditions? What was their day-to-day life like under these conditions? What were their experiences and emotions and awareness of their further fate?

Although the period of Nazi persecution as a whole was an extreme situation for Jews, we have chosen the most extreme experiences of European Jews during the Shoah as the theme of this conference. We are interested in the experience of extreme situations, such as:

  • daily life in the ghettos during German deportation operations,
  • the experience of surviving mass execution,
  • participation in death marches,
  • living in bunkers, hiding places, in forests, and family camps,
  • the experience of traveling on deportation transports and escaping from them
  • and finally, daily life in German transit camps, labor and concentration camps, and death camps, including work in the Sonderkommando.

The Conference will take place around the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It will be complimented by the exhibition "Around Us a Sea of Fire" at the POLIN Museum, which is dedicated to the civilian experience during the Uprising in April 1943.

Applications >>

We invite applications from scholars ranging from advanced doctoral candidates to full professors. Please send a 300–500 word abstract of your paper in English (indicating the preferred language of your presentation: English or Polish) as well as a biographical note providing your institutional affiliation, an outline of your research experience, and contact details via the online application form >>

The application materials must be received by 27 November 2022. Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered. The selected participants will be notified by 20 December 2022.


The organizers will reimburse invited speakers’ travel costs to and from the conference (economy class tickets) and will provide lodgings during the event.

The conference will be conducted in English and Polish with simultaneous translation. The organizers reserve the right to publish the conference materials.

For additional information please contact us at: geopconference2023@polin.pl

Steering Committee

  • Suzanne Brown-Fleming (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum),
  • Barbara Engelking (Polish Center for Holocaust Research),
  • Agnieszka Haska (Polish Center for Holocaust Research),
  • Tom Navon (Simon Dubnow Institut, Leipzig),
  • Daniel Newman (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum),
  • Krzysztof Persak (POLIN Museum),
  • Michał Trębacz (POLIN Museum).