Vilnius University to Host Discussion on Poland’s Memory Wars

MicrosoftTeams imageThe Vilnius University (VU) and the Lost Shtetl Museum are continuing the series of discussions titled ‘Open Narrative about History’ and are hosting a meeting with Prof. Dariusz Stola, a prominent Polish historian and former director of the Polish Museum of Jewish History (POLIN) to take place at 4 PM on October 15. The guest will be talking about the museum and Poland’s memory wars.
Inaugurated in 2014, the POLIN Museum has had millions of visitors and has been successfully telling the story of the difficult past of the Poles and the Jews. However, after it had held an expo on the 1968 anti-Zionist campaign in Poland and opposed the new law on the involvement in the Holocaust, the museum has received pushback from the right-wing nationalists and the ruling party.

Prof. Stola will talk about the museum’s achievements and how everything has changed in the wake of the cultural wars that have divided the nation. One of the topics the discussion is set to touch upon is how the national policy on memory denies critical assessment of the past as a ‘method of shaming’.

The discussion will be moderated by the poet, essayist, head of the Lost Shtetl Museum Sergejus Kanovičius and advisor to the VU Rector, reviewer, and philosopher Paulius Gritėnas. The discussion will be in English.

Prof. Stola is a historian and a professor with the Institute of Political Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences. His field of research includes Poland’s political and social history of the 20th century, particularly the relations between the Poles and the Jews, international migration, and the communist regime, as well as the remembrance of these events.

Prof. Stola has written more than a hundred articles and six books, including Kraj bez wyjścia? Migracje z Polski, 1949–1989 (Migration from Poland in 1949–1989), Kampania antysyjonistyczna w Polsce 1967–1968 (The Anti-Zionist Campaign in Poland in 1967–1968), Nadzieja i zagłada (Hope and the Holocaust). He was the director of the POLIN Museum in Warsaw in 2014–2019.

The discussion will take place at the Theatre Hall of the Vilnius University at 4 PM on October 15.
(Universiteto g. 3) Guests at this event will be asked to present a national COVID-19 certificate or an equivalent document.