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The Dancer and the Holocaust: A Biography of Pola Nireńska

Hosted By: YIVO

In her book Tancerka i Zagłada (The Dancer and the Holocaust), Weronika Kostyrko uncovers the story of dancer Pola Nireńska (1910-1992) whose career was repeatedly interrupted by antisemitism and fascism. Born Pola Nirensztajn in Warsaw, Nireńska lived and worked in Poland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Great Britain before leaving for America. Kostyrko’s biography intertwines the story of an outstanding Jewish dancer, the history of the avant-garde in Europe and the United States, and the story of the Holocaust in Poland. Kostyrko’s book also sheds light on an unknown chapter in the biography of Jan Karski, a member of the Polish prewar establishment and wartime underground, with new revelations on Karski’s attitude towards Jews.

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