Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. History Dept.


Arnout van der Meer

Second Advisor

Raffael Scheck


This thesis explores the ways in which American Jews - and Americans more generally, by way of the Americanization of the Holocaust - have come to think about and understand Poland and how Poland has subsequently rejected their narratives. Historically, American Jewish cultural works have placed Poland as a geographic space, nation, and people at the center of stories of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust and World War II. In its quest to right and correct historical misunderstandings, this project looks at the ways Poland has worked to completely revise the historical narrative.

Through tracing historiographies of separateness between Jewish and Polish suffering, drawing on archival research of American Jewish institutions and cultural works, examining Polish national historical campaigns, and analyzing scholarship like Neighbors by Jan Gross, this project shows the stakes of what happens when histories aren't told in all of their complexities.


Holocaust, Poland, United States, Schindler's List, Nationalism, Jan Gross