Anna Kawałko

I am a graduate student at the department of German Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I received my Bachelor of Arts from the College of Inter-Faculty Individual Studies at the Humanities at the University of Warsaw (2012). My research interests include Jewish cultural property after 1945, heritage and migration studies, Polish-Jewish-German relations in the aftermath of the Holocaust, ethnic cleansing in the XX century, and historical study of material culture.

I am currently preparing my master’s thesis devoted to the German heritage in Lower Silesia after WWII. My research, conducted under the guidance of prof. Yfaat Weiss, examines the fate of German material culture in the so-called ‘Recovered Territories’ in the years 1945-1947. It seeks to understand the complex and dynamic relationship between the German material heritage of Lower Silesia and its new Polish inhabitants, who were transferred there due to decisions endorsed at the Yalta Conference. What was their attitude to this difficult legacy? What was the influence of the German material culture on the acclimatization and integration of the Polish re-emigrants in their new homeland? My thesis seeks to address these questions in the broader context of the policies of ‘nation-building’ and ‘repolonization’ that were implemented in this area by the postwar Polish communist government.

In the framework of Da’at Hamakom, I conducted a research devoted to the post-war restitution of the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau (2013/2014). Currently (2014/2015), I am participating in the project ‘Placing the Irreplaceable – Cultural Property and Restitution Documentation after 1945’. I am responsible of cataloguing collections related to the cultural restitution that are stored at the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP).