Special Presentation

Jewish Women in Post-World War II Eastern and Central Europe

Friday, March 8 2pm to 3pm (New York time, on Zoom)

For the workshop link and articles: Register Here

Please join us for a special workshop session with Prof. Lappin-Engel and Prof. Pető to discuss the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of Nashim. This special issue of Nashim analyzes Jewish women’s history in post-World War II Eastern and Central Europe, a topic long overlooked by scholarly investigation, owing to overlapping circles of forgetting.  Addressing this gap in the scholarly literature is all the more timely in the context of the political turmoil occurring in many countries. History can be inspirational: It can show how destroyed and disappearing communities, nationalized educational and cultural infrastructure, collaboration with secret services, betrayal, and loss can be told in different ways. All these horrors, loss, destruction, misery and trauma contributed to the formation in East Central and Central Europe of a reactive and negative Jewish identity. However, the 1980’s brought an important change in Jewish life not only in the former Communist states but also in Western oriented countries. A new generation of women worked towards Jewish renewal and a new appraisal of the Jewish women of the generations preceding them. By offering a pivotal gesture of creative elaboration of new histories of Jewish women in this vast region, we hope to participate in reclaiming the future and creating models of a proactive, positive Jewish identity. All four papers by Andrea Peto, Eleonore Lappin-Eppel, Elisa Klapchek, and Galina Zelenina deal with different forms of Jewish women’s agency within the Jewish and non-Jewish environment.

For the issue see:

Workshop format: At the workshop, Prof. Lappin-Engel and Prof. Pető will have a short presentation, after which participants are invited to ask questions based on the presentation and the articles.

Andrea Pető is a historian and a Professor at the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University, Vienna, Austria, a Research Affiliate of the CEU Democracy Institute, Budapest, and a Doctor of Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Her works on gender, politics, Holocaust, and war have been translated into 23 languages. In 2018 she was awarded the 2018 All European Academies (ALLEA) Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values and the 2022 University of Oslo Human Rights Award. She is Doctor Honoris Causa of Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden. Recent publications include The Women of the Arrow Cross Party. Invisible Hungarian Perpetrators in the Second World War. Palgrave, Macmillan, 2020. And Forgotten Massacre: Budapest 1944. DeGruyter, 2021. Pető tweets about academic freedom and state of gender and Holocaust studies as @petoandrea

Eleonore Lappin-Eppel is an Austrian historian living in Vienna. After studying Comparative Literature and History of Ideas in the US and in Israel she worked at the Institute for Jewish History in Austria. In 2009 she became senior researcher at the Institute for Cultural Sciences and Theatre History of the Austrian Academy of Science and in 2010 staff member of the Centre for Jewish Studies at Karl-Franzens-University, Graz, where she habilitated in 2011. Areas of research are the Nazi persecution of Austrian and Hungarian Jews in Austria, transitional justice in Austria and memorial politics in Austria. Her major publications in these fields are: Ungarisch-jüdische Zwangsarbeiterinnenund Zwangsarbeiter in Österreich 1944/45. Arbeitseinsatz – Todesmärsche – Folgen, Vienna 2010; and Topographie der Shoah: Gedächtnisorte an das zerstörte jüdische Wien, zusammen mit Dieter Hecht und Michaela Raggam Blesch, Vienna 2015, 20172. She has also published on autobiographical writing of Jewish Austrians as well as edited a series of autobiographies of Jewish Austrians.