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Piotr Górecki, associate professor of history at University of California, Riverside, will speak on “Neighbors Remembered: The Jedwabne Massacre and the Polish Response Sixty Years Later” 7:30 p.m. today in the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights auditorium.

Sponsored by the religious studies department, the talk is free and open to the public.

Górecki will talk about the reaction in Poland to the recent revelation that in 1941 the Jewish residents of the Polish town of Jedwabne were murdered not by Nazis, but by their Polish neighbors.

He also will visit the Poles Apart: The Jewish Experience in Poland class taught by Robert Cohn, Philip and Muriel Berman Professor of Jewish Studies. He will discuss his family’s experience in Poland in 1968, a year of student protest and government crackdown.

“The Communist authorities blamed the unrest on ‘Zionist’ activists, and Jews and people of Jewish origin, especially party functionaries, were denounced, fired from their jobs, and 20,000 emigrated,” says Cohn, who coordinated the Górecki events.

Górecki is the author of Economy, Society, and Lordship in Medieval Poland, 1100–1250, a monograph in the Europe Past and Present series with Holmes & Meier; Parishes, Tithes and Society in Earlier Medieval Poland, c. 1100–1250, published by the American Philosophical Society; and A Local Society in Transition: The Henryków Book and Related Documents. He also co-edited Conflict in Medieval Europe, a volume of revised proceedings from a national conference on the Huntington Library in April 2001, and has written articles published in Slavic Review, Oxford Slavonic Papers, Law and History Review, Cîteaux, Journal of Medieval History, and several chapters in specialized books.

Górecki has been working on a book about law, power, and memory in the Henryków region of 13th-century Poland. His fields of interest include medieval European history, with an emphasis on the early and central Middle Ages, Poland and East-Central Europe, law and society, and the relationship between communities and judicial institutions.

He received his B.A. in economics in 1977 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, M.A. in history in 1979 and J.D. in law in 1983 from Stanford University, and Ph.D. in history in 1988 from the University of Chicago.

Górecki was born in Kraków, Poland. He moved with his parents to the United States (Palo Alto, Calif., then Urbana, Ill.) when a teenager. He was a visiting assistant professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago before accepting his current position at University of California, Riverside.

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