New post doc. Sylwia Szymańska-Smolkin


Postdoctoral Project on the Role of Couriers in Spreading Awareness of Mass Murder during World War II. 

The Hugo Valentin Centre warmly welcomes new postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Sylwia Szymańska-Smolkin. Dr. Szymańska-Smolkin has research and teaching expertise in the history of the Holocaust and Eastern European Jewry. Her dissertation, "Fateful Decisions: The Polish Policemen and the Jewish Population of Occupied Poland, 1939-1945", examines the complicity of Polish policemen in the Holocaust in occupied Poland.

Dr. Szymańska-Smolkin’s project here at the Hugo Valentin Centre will examine the work of couriers and their role in establishing contact between communities to determine how information about mass killings in the East was disseminated and received. It will discuss how the work of couriers contributed to raising awareness of German plans to murder Jews and aim to help understand the impact information about mass killings from Vilna had on political organizations in the Białystok and Warsaw ghettos. The project will broaden the discussion on the Jewish resistance movement and show how both female and male couriers contributed to the efforts of creating resistance organizations in ghettos.