Expanded Geography: An Epilogue to the History of Polish Jews at POLIN Museum, Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

An estimated 70 percent of the world’s Jewish population can trace its history to the historical territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, today Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, and neighboring regions. This territory was once home to the largest Jewish community in the world. Today, as a result of mass emigration, from the second half of the nineteenth century, and the Holocaust, it is home to the smallest. Facing the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes on the site of the Warsaw ghetto and prewar Jewish neighborhood, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews presents the thousand-year history of Jews living in this territory. That history is not complete without the story of those who left. The epilogue, which is now being developed, explores the following questions: Where did Jews from this territory go? What did they take with them? How does the legacy of the civilzation created by Polish Jews shape their lives today?