Bruno Schulz & the Hijacking of History
Hosted By: Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
Bruno Schulz was both “one of the most remarkable writers who ever lived” (Isaac Bashevis Singer) and an astonishingly talented artist. During World War II, his erotically charged scenes caught the eye of a sadistic Nazi officer, who coerced Schulz, a Jew, into painting murals in his villa in exchange for survival. Shortly after, a Gestapo officer shot Schulz dead on the street. Nearly sixty years later, the murals were discovered behind the pantry walls of an elderly couple’s apartment in the converted villa, only to be secretly smuggled by Israeli agents to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. This episode set off a furious debate over who owns Schulz’s work and legacy.
Please join us for a conversation with author, Benjamin Balint and Andrew Silow-Carroll, Managing Editor for Ideas at JTA.
In this conversation, cultural historian Benjamin Balint will sketch a fresh portrait of Schulz’s dramatic life and afterlife, and offer a searing examination of the profound questions the international controversy raised. Drawing on extensive new reporting and archival research in Poland, Ukraine (the present location of Schulz’s hometown of Drohobych), and Israel, Balint will conjure Schulz’s milieu at the crossroads of art, sex, violence, and politics.