Annual Copernicus Lecture. “‘Making History’: An Intellectual Journey into the Hidden Polish Past.”
In the 2013-14 Annual Copernicus Lecture, Dr. Jan Gross will reflect on the intellectual trajectory that led him to write his books on twentieth-century Polish history. He will discuss his role as historian and "history-maker," exploring how his scholarship has shaped not only historical knowledge and historiographic production in Poland, but also public discourse on history, memory and identity.
Jan Tomasz Gross is Norman B. Tomlinson ‘16 and ‘48 Professor of War and Society at Princeton University. He specializes in modern Europe with a focus on totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, Soviet and East European politics, and the Holocaust. Raised in Poland, he attended Warsaw University and immigrated to the United States in 1969, where he earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Yale University. He is the author of several important books and his Neighbors, published in 2001, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Using eyewitness testimony and other archival records, Neighbors reconstructs the events of July 10, 1941 in the small town of Jedwabne, where 1,600 Jewish residents were killed in a single day by their Polish neighbors. The shocking story launched an unprecedented historiographical reevaluation of Jewish-Polish relations during World War II and passionate public debate.
Sponsors: Copernicus Endowment, CES, CREES, Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, WCED