Call for Proposals: “Biographies and Politics. The Involvement of Jews and People of Jewish Origin in the Leftist Movements in the 19th and 20th Century Poland” a special issue of Jewish History Quarterly

Guest editor: Michał Trębacz (POLIN: Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Center for Jewish Studies Univeristy of Łódź)

Editor in Chief: Jan Doktór (Jewish Historical Institute)

This special issue seeks to evaluate to outline the actual involvement of Jews and activists of Jewish origin in the leftist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries from the perspective of individual motivations, ideological choices and personal biographies.

To explore the different paths which led Jewish individuals to engage in leftist parties and organizations, we suggest approaching the topic from a biographical perspective. We thus invite scholars to present their findings on the formation of Jewish political identities based on biographical sources, especially ego-documents like diaries, personal letters, memoirs or oral testimonies.

Possible questions to be addressed might be:

  • Was being Jewish an important factor in choosing a specific political path?
  • Which other factors led Jews and people of Jewish origin to affiliate with a particular political group?
  • How did their leftist involvement influence their attitude towards imperial settings, occupying powers, internationalist movements, as well as Poland and Polish identity?
  • How did they assess their leftist engagement later in their lives?

Please send a 250-word abstract of your proposed paper to by October 18, 2020. Decisions will be made in October 2020. If accepted, papers will be due in for peer review.

All email correspondence should be sent to