Cadaver Affair in Lviv. New Research on Anti-Semitism in the Second Polish Republic

Cadaver Affair in Lviv. New Research on Anti-Semitism in the Second Polish Republic

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Natalia Aleksiun

Touro College, Graduate School of Jewish Studies, New York

September, 24, 2013

Center for Urban History, Lviv

The lecture presented a little-known episode in the history of Polish-Jewish relations in the interwar period. It focused on the anti-Semitic discourse surrounding the cadaver affair at the medical department of Jan Kazimierz University in Lviv. On the pages of the student press and at student rallies, activists argued that Jewish medical students should be barred from dissecting Christian corpses. They demanded from Jewish communities regular provisions of corpses as a condition for continued training of Jewish doctors. The discourse surrounding the cadaver affair combined nationalist language with religious vocabulary.

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Natalia Aleksiun

studied Polish and Jewish history at the Warsaw University, the Graduate School of Social Studies in Warsaw and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her dissertation appeared in print as Where to? The Zionist Movement in Poland , 1944-1950 (in Polish) in 2002. In 2010, she received her second PhD from New York University based on her dissertation entitled: "Ammunition in the Struggle for National Rights: Jewish Historians in Poland between the Two World Wars". She is Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History at Touro College, Graduate School of Jewish Studies, New York. She is also Assistant Professor at the Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences. Currently, she is working on two book projects: on Jewish Historians in the Second Polish Republic and the so called cadaver affair at Medical Departments of Polish Universities in the 1920s and 1930s.

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Сover Image: Residents of the ghetto in Drohobych await deportation, July 21, 1941 / memory.gov.ua