9 March 2021: The Jews in the Band. Anders Army’s Special Troups

A message of welcome from
Sir Ben Helfgott, 
Life Patron of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies, and former Chairman


“The Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies has again organised an inspiring range of events to remind us of the rich legacy of Jewish life in Poland, and in Eastern Europe more generally. Lectures, book launches, workshops and the annual conference to launch the new volume of Polin. Studies in Polish Jewry bring the state of the art in this field to a London audience. I very much look forward to join these events, many of which will also be accessible from further afield by computer.”



9 March 2021, 6pm, on zoom, with UCL IJS:

The Jews in the Band: Anders Army’s Special Troups. Speaker: Prof Beth Holmgren (Duke University), with Prof Antony Polonsky (Brandeis), Respondent, and with Prof François Guesnet (UCL), Chair. 

Beth Holmgren shares fascinating insights about Jews in the entertainment troupes of the Anders Army. She will focus on the history of the most enduring product of a cooperation between Alfred Schütz, a Jewish composer, and Feliks Konarski, a writer, who together created the iconic ‘Czerwone maki na Monte Cassino’ (The Red Poppies on Monte Cassino), memorializing Polish losses in the taking of the monastery of this fortress held by German troups.

Respondent: Professor Antony Polonsky (Brandeis University)

Professor Beth Holmgren, Professor of Polish Studies and Russian Studies, Duke University, has published widely on Polish literature, theatre, popular culture, and film; Russian literature, film, and women’s studies; and Russian and Polish artists and performers in the North American diaspora.  Her recent scholarship focuses on Polish Jewish cultural history of the interwar period.

Antony Polonsky is Emeritus Professor of Holocaust Studies, Brandeis University and Chief Historian of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. He was a founder and is now vice-president of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies and the co-chair of the editorial board of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry.

François Guesnet is Professor in Modern Jewish History in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London. He is also the Chair of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies, and the co-chair of the editorial board of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry.


Registration: Registration is free via Eventbrite, here:


Once you have registered, you will receive your Zoom link with your Eventbrite confirmation. This zoom link will be sent to you once again just before the lecture takes place.