European Yiddish Academic Workshop: Yiddish Culture in its European Context

International Conference
Yiddish Culture in the 20th Century

European Yiddish Academic Workshop: Yiddish Culture in Its European Context Lund University, October 28-31, 2012

The head of Yiddish studies at Lund University, Sweden, in collaboration with the chairs of Yiddish at the Heinrich Heine University of Dusseldorf and the
University of Amsterdam have convened the first European Yiddish Academic Workshop at Lund University, October 28-31, 2012. This meeting will bring
together 20 senior and junior researchers in the field of Yiddish. The workshop will be followed by a second and third workshop in respectively Amsterdam,
spring 2014, and Dusseldorf in Spring, 2016.

The 20 researchers will give academic papers about topics related to the conference’s two main topics:
1. Yiddish Culture after 1945
2. Centers of Yiddish Culture in the 20th Century.

The post-1945 period is only beginning to receive the scholarly attention it deserves in the field of Yiddish. The dominant scholarly paradigm has been that
Yiddish culture and language was obliterated in the Holocaust and went into steep decline post-1945. In contrast, the papers at this conference will demonstrate that particularly the twenty-five years following the destruction of European Jewry’s centers of Yiddish culture demonstrated a tireless effort on behalf of hundreds of Yiddish cultural agents and writers who continued to create secular Yiddish culture in Europe and overseas.

The papers selected for the conference will address literary, linguistic, cultural, historical, folkloristic and other relevant topics in the study of Yiddish language and culture in the 20th century. They will examine Yiddish culture in Germany, Poland, Scandinavia, Switzerland, France, North and South America and Israel. Moreover, a session will be devoted to the contemporary increase of the use of Yiddish as a spoken and written language in the ultra-orthodox communities in Israel and the USA. Several sessions will be devoted to the examination of Yiddish testimony and commemoration in response to the Holocaust.

The conference is open and free to the public. For further information and to sign up for the Sunday evening program and the sessions, please contact

Conference Program

Sunday, October 28, 2012

16:00 Conference registration
18:00 Dinner by Invitation

20:00 Evening Program

Jan Schwarz (Lund University)
Susanne Sznajderman-Rytz (President, Jiddischforbundet, Sweden)

Keynote Lecture
David Shneer (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Eastern European Jewish Culture between Communism and Fascism: Yiddish Music in East Germany and Beyond

Monday, October 29, 2012

9:30-10:30 Yiddish Centers: Poland I

Aleksandra Geller (Warsaw University)
Literarishe bleter as a Center of Yiddish Culture

Paul Glasser (YIVO Institute, New York)
Stylistics Aspects of Works by Lodz-Area Writers

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-12:00 Yiddish Centers: Poland II

Ellen Kellman (Brandeis University, Waltham)
Beyond Goles: the Warsaw Kultur-lige’s Efforts to Cultivate a Transnational Yiddishist Organization (1921-1924)

Magdalena Ruta (Jagellonian University, Cracow)
Not by the Rivers of Babylon: Yiddish Literature in Postwar Poland, 1945-1968: An Overview

12:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:30 Yiddish Centers on the Margins: Scandinavia and Switzerland

Tamar Lewinsky (Basel University)
Switzerland on the Map of Yiddish until the First World War

Simo Muir (University of Helsinki)
Yiddish in Helsinki

Morten Thing (Roskilde University)
Copenhagen as a Center of Yiddish Culture before World War II: Yiddish Theater as an Example

15:30-16:00 Coffee Break

16:00-17:00 After the Holocaust: Testimony and Commemoration I

Jennifer Cazenave (Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Paris)
Dos poylishe yidntum: Testimony and Commemoration in the Aftermath of the Khurbn (A)

Judith Lindeberg (Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Paris)
Dos poylishe yidntum: Testimony and Commemoration in the Aftermath of the Khurbn (B)

18:00-20:00 Dinner

20:00-21:30 Yiddish Film – Undzere Kinder (1948)
Introduction: Yuri Vedenyapin (Columbia University, New York)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

9:00-11:00 Yiddish Culture and Education after the Holocaust

Constance Pâris de Bollardière (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris)
The Jewish Labor Committee’s actions for the continuation of Yiddish culture in Europe, 1945–1954

Evita Wiecki (Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich)
European Textbooks for Yiddish, 1945–1965

Hannah Kliger (Pennsylvania State University, University Park)
Becoming Yiddish Speakers: Lessons from and for Bilingual Communities

Seth Wolitz (University of Texas, Austin)
Staging a Jewish Post-Shoah European Theater: Sloves, Grumberg and Tabori

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30-12:30 After the Holocaust: Testimony and Commemoration II

Simon Perego (École des Sciences Politiques, Paris)
Remembering in Yiddish: World War Two Jewish Commemorations in Paris between 1945 and 1967

Rakhmiel Peltz (Drexel University, Philadelphia)
Where Has All the Yiddish Gone: Educational Restitution after Genocide

12:30-14:30 Lunch


Susanne Sznajderman-Rytz (Jiddischforbundet, Sweden)
Yiddish in Sweden

15:30-16:00 Coffee Break


Eva-Maria Jansson (The Royal Library, Copenhagen)
Yiddish Materials in the Collections of The Royal Library, Copenhagen

18:00-20:00 Dinner

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

9:30-11:00 Contemporary Yiddish: The Hasidic World

Yuri Vedenyapin (Columbia University, New York)
Growing Payos: The Future of Yiddish Studies in Light of Haredi Demographics

Steffen Krogh (University of Aarhus)
Yiddish and English in Contact: The Case of Haredi Satmar Yiddish

Netta Abugov (Tel Aviv University)
Hasidic Yiddish-Speaking Families in Israel: a Linguistic Profile

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30-12:30 Closing Session

12:30-14:00 Lunch

Dr. Jan Schwarz, Lund University
Prof. Shlomo Berger, University of Amsterdam
Prof. Marion Aptroot, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Further Information and Contact
Dr. Jan Schwarz
Språk- och Litteraturcentrum
Absalon 309B
Helgonabacken 12
223 62 Lund
Facebook page: yiddishlund
Ph. + 46 222 73 93
The conference is open and free to the public.

28 October 2012 - 29 October 2012