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This talk will unravel the dynamics of European Holocaust memory and antisemitism in the aftermath of the Six-Day War in the Middle East in 1967. More specifically, it will explore the diplomatic tensions between Poland and the Netherlands that erupted in the late 1960s during the Polish anti-Zionist campaign of March 1968 which resulted, among other, in the emigration of Poland’s remaining Jews.

Event details of Dutch Reactions to the Polish Antisemitic Campaign of March 1968 - Lecture Dr Iwona Guść (Webster University Leiden)
Date 6 February 2020
Time 16:00
Location Bushuis/Oost-Indisch Huis
Room Bushuis, Room E1.02

On the one hand, the paper will analyse Dutch supportive attitude towards Israel at the time and, on the other, it will look at the largely pragmatic refugee policy towards Polish Jews who wished to find safe haven in the Netherlands. By analysing Dutch public discussions, media responses and diplomatic interventions, which followed the March events in Poland, this talk will give insight into the diplomatic entanglements between Poland, Israel and the Netherlands, explore Dutch reactions to Polish Jewish refugees, as well as providing a wider reflection on antisemitism (and the various understandings thereof) in post-war Europe.

Iwona Guść is Adjunct Lecturer in International Relations at Webster University Leiden. She holds a PhD in Culture, Arts & Media Studies from University of Groningen and a master’s degree in Dutch studies from the University of Wroclaw. Between 2010 and 2014 she was a post-doc at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam on a project about the contemporary anti-Semitism in a global context. She has worked as a research fellow at the Center for Holocaust Studies at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich (2018), the Imre Kertész Kolleg in Jena (2017) and to the Lichtenberg-Kolleg in Goettingen (2014-2016), where she worked on the project The Diaries of Anne Frank. Research-Translations-The Critical Edition. Her research and teaching encompasses, among other, the history of antisemitism, human rights, politics and culture of Eastern Europe. She is currently working on a book about Polish Jewish refugees of 1968 in the Netherlands.  

For more information on EAST seminars please contact Ewa Stańczyk (

Bushuis/Oost-Indisch Huis

Room Bushuis, Room E1.02

Kloveniersburgwal 48
1012 CX Amsterdam