The Tri-University Graduate History Program is a partnership among three programs at three universities in south-western Ontario: the University of Guelph, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.
The Tri-University History conference organizers are pleased to announce that Dr. Lukasz Krzyzanowski will provide the keynote address during the March 12 virtual conference.
Dr. Krzyzanowski’s presentation is entitled, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Power Relations in Polish Villages during the German Occupation and the Holocaust.” The lecture focuses on the liminal position of village heads in German-occupied Poland as people belonging to village communities, but also acting as proxies of the German administration. While acting as intermediaries between villagers and the occupying power, village heads were responsible for executing German orders, collecting food quotas, and providing labor force. Examining the position and activities of village heads offers insight into the way occupation transformed village life and local communities.
Dr. Krzyzanowski is Assistant Professor of History and Claims Conference University Partnership Holocaust Studies Lecturer, University of Warsaw. He is also Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Ottawa and a researcher in the German Historical Institute, Warsaw. His book Ghost Citizens: Jewish Return to a Postwar City, first published in Poland was published by Harvard University Press in 2020.
Dr. Blaine Chiasson, chair of the conference planning committee explains that, “In Dr. Krzyzanowski’s work on rural Polish post-war face to face encounters between victimizers and their surviving victims, former neighbours and victimizers turn from their complicity in their persecution of their Jewish neighbours. As we emerge from the two-year interruption to our lives caused by the pandemic, we look forward to a return to a history that revels in examining the historical changes that occur when individuals, peoples, states, and cultures come face to face.”
Carolyne Ticky, one of the conference organizers and PhD history candidate at Wilfrid Laurier University points out that, “Tyranny demands compulsory participation. Part of the effectiveness of Nazi totalitarianism must be attributed to the horrifying ways it co-opted existing structures of authority and communal trust. As we consider this year’s conference theme --Face-to-Face with History – we have an excellent opportunity in Dr. Lukasz Krzyzanowski’s work to place ourselves in the position of Polish village heads who would have been forced to meet in person with both their German coercers and the local people to whom they were responsible.”
The conference will be held by Zoom, and will require registration. Registration will open by Monday, February 21. (Check the conference website for updates). Links for the conference and keynote will be sent to your registration email within 48 hours before the conference begins.