The Order of Violence: The Ghetto Benches in Poland

Join us at an online event The Order of Violence: The Ghetto Benches in Poland with the representatives of the academic communities of Krakow, Warsaw and Poznań.

🚫 The Ghetto Benches (segregated seating in Universities between Jews and Non-Jews) was an institutionalized form of discrimination against the Jewish community inspired by the activities during the interwar period of the right-wing nationalist organizations: All-Poland Youth, Camp of Greater Poland, and the National Radical Camp. In the 1930s, ethno-religious segregation of students of Jewish origin was intensified, for example, by forcing them to take certain seats in lecture halls.
❓ It was the university authorities of the time who were responsible for introducing these sanctions, and few know that these orders have, to this day, still not been repealed. Are they still a legal problem? Should they be officially repealed, and if so, should there be compensation or consequence again the universities? What actions have been taken so far, and what should be done to ensure that their significance is not purely symbolic?
🎓 This discussion will be attended by representatives of the academic community from Kraków, Warsaw and Poznań, who are involved in the process of restoring the memory of the Ghetto Benches, which has just begun. The meeting will be an opportunity to reflect on this specific example of difficult heritage – its complex history and far-reaching implications – in a multi-voiced, substantive discussion about this dark period in the history of Polish universities.
Participating in the discussion will be: Prof. Roma Sendyka, Dr. hab. Joanna Wawrzyniak, Dr. Natalia Judzińska, Marcin Parzyński, Agnieszka Zawisza, and Sebastian Słowiński.

The event is co-organized with the Research Center for Memory Cultures and the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow.

Financed by

This event is part of the project "NeDiPa: Negotiating Difficult Pasts", which FestivALT is implementing together with Fundacja Zapomniane and the Urban Memory Foundation thanks to the support of the European Union in the framework of the program Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV).