Wednesday 29 April
In this Lunchtime Lecture, Andrew Jakubowicz will explore what postcards sent between Poland and the Soviet Socialist Republic may reveal about Jewish families in the months before the Final Solution was implemented.
In early spring of 1940/1941, the final hundreds of over two thousand Japanese visas were used by Polish refugees in Lithuania to travel east. Most of the refugees were Jewish escapees from the dismembered Poland, at the time still shared between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. They are known as Sugihara survivors. They were still connected to families caught elsewhere in the web of totalitarian regimes that were spread across Europe and Asia.
One group, a melded family of parents and children, was communicating back to Lodz in Poland across to Yoshkar-Ola in the Mari Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, and further to Vienna in the Nazi Reich. Postcards from these places, carrying carefully coded news to avoid obliteration by the censors, reached the travellers as they awaited their departure from Vilnius, and arrived ultimately in Kobe. The postcards travelled efficiently within and between the USSR, Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan.
The lecture will be illustrated with images of the postcards, maps of the topography, photographs of a number of the places, and images of the survivors.
Andrew Jakubowicz is Emeritus Professor of sociology at the University of Technology Sydney and Co-director of the UTS Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Key Research Strength (Research Centre). He has published widely in the fields of cultural diversity, social policy, refugees, Jewish cultural studies, media sociology, and new media. He has worked on many TV documentaries, and produces the website Making Multicultural Australia. The research website he produces The Menorah of Fang Bang Lu is an online documentary about the Jewish communities of Shanghai. He also heads the online communities and human rights project at the not-for-profit Institute for Cultural Diversity.
Unfortunately, due to measures put in place to stem the spread of COVID-19, we have had to cancel this event.