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Family Affairs: East West Street and The Ratline

Hosted By: The Center for Jewish History

In the fifth and final program in the series, Philippe Sands, distinguished international lawyer and professor of law and author of East West Street and The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive, will discuss with Natalia Aleksiun the family links that launched his quests in both books, and how personal, professional, and family interests intersected in his research and writing. Weaving together family, legal, social, and political history, Sands offers two complementary yet diverging perspectives, of Jewish intellectual crossroads in Lwow and the Nazi officeholders who came to destroy Jewish Lwow. The underlying motive of the legal conceptualization of genocide and crimes against humanity follow the discussion of the legal traditions forged in Lwow. The more surprising search for the fate of the Nazi governor of Lwow, his family, and the changing realities of the postwar years offers an unusual angle for a familial quest.

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Natalia Aleksiun

Natalia Aleksiun is Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Touro College, New York. She published Where to? The Zionist Movement in Poland, 1944–1950 and co-edited two volumes of Polin examining Holocaust memory and Jewish historiography. Her book Conscious History: Polish Jewish Historians before the Holocaust has just been published. Professor Aleksiun is a Gerda Henkel Fellow at Imre Kertész Kolleg in Jena 2020–2022, and is completing a new book on the so-called “cadaver affair,” which involved Jewish medical students in the interwar period.

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The Center for Jewish History

The Center for Jewish History is home to the largest collection for Jewish History and culture held outside of Israel, and offers a wide range of learning opportunities to the public.
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