International Conference

Jewish Dissidents in the Eastern Bloc

14-15 April 2021


Cathy Gelbin (University of Manchester); Sander Gilman (Emory University); Monika Schärtl (Selma Stern Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg)

Please register by 12 April 2021:

April 14

09.00-09.30 EDT / 14.00-14.30 BST / 15.00-15.30 MESZ / CEST


Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (Selma Stern Center)


Thomas Krüger (German Federal Agency for Civic Education)

09.30-10.30 EDT / 14.30-15.30 BST / 15.30-16.30 MESZ / CEST


Norman Salusa (Selma Stern Center)

Panel 1:

Sander Gilman (Emory): Opposition/Dissident/Collaborator/Victim/’Magic Jew’? Jurek Becker in the GDR

Anna Shternshis (Toronto): How (not) to Say Gulag in Yiddish: Soviet Yiddish Intellectuals and the early Days of Thaw

10.30-11.00 EDT / 15.30-16.00 BST / 16.30-17.00 MESZ / CEST


11.00-12.00 EDT / 16.00-17.00 BST / 17.00-18.00 MESZ / CEST


Stephen Parker (Cardiff / Manchester)

Panel 2:

Mario Keßler (Leibniz Center for Contemporary History): Alfred Kantorowicz between East and West

Janek Gryta (Bristol): Navigating the Communist Reality of Poland. Regional Jewish Leaders and the Memory of the Holocaust in the 1950s and 1960s

April 15

09.00-10.00 EDT / 14.00-15.00 BST / 15.00-16.00 MESZ / CEST


Katja Stürzenhofecker (Manchester)

Panel 3:          

Ion Popa (Manchester): Jewish Dissidence in Romania: Definition, Chronology and Particularities

Susan Suleiman (Harvard): Forms of Intellectual Dissidence in Communist Hungary

10.00-10.30 EDT / 15.00-15.30 BST / 16.00-16.30 MESZ / CEST


10.30-11.30 EDT / 15.30-16.30 BST /  16.30-17.30 MESZ / CEST


Vera Tolz-Zilitinkevic (Manchester)


Maxim D. Shrayer (Boston): The Refusenik Legacy: A Reading and A Discussion

11.30-12.30 EDT / 16.30-17.30 BST / 17.30-18.30 MESZ / CEST


Irmela von der Lühe (Selma Stern Center)

Concluding comments:

Cathy Gelbin (Manchester): What is Jewish Dissidence?

Followed by roundtable discussion with public Q&A

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