Karen Auerbach


Karen Auerbach is the Kronhill Lecturer in East European Jewish History in the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation in the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies. She completed her Ph.D. at Brandeis University in 2009. She was a fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan in 2010-2011 and at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem in 2011.

She has also held teaching positions at the University of Southampton in England and at Brown and Virginia Tech universities in the United States as well as research positions at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.


Current Research

Karen’s research expertise is in Polish Jewish history and the history of the Holocaust. Her first book, The House at Ujazdowskie 16: Jewish Families in Warsaw after the Holocaust (Indiana University Press, 2013), is a microhistory of Jewish integration in postwar Poland focusing on ten families who were neighbors in an apartment building in Warsaw.

She is currently working on a second book about Jewish booksellers and publishers of Polish literature in nineteenth-century Warsaw.

She is also completing a secondary project examining the spread of information among Jews within Nazi-occupied Europe during the earliest stages of the Holocaust in 1941 and 1942. Previous to her doctoral studies, Karen published numerous articles in the New York-based Forward newspaper about Jewish life in contemporary Poland.

Areas of Research and Supervision

Social and urban history of Jews in modern Europe, East European and Soviet Jewish history, history of the Holocaust, Jewish life and identity in Europe after the Holocaust, Polish history.


Book and Book Chapters

  • The House at Ujazdowskie 16: Jewish Families in Warsaw after the Holocaust. Indiana University Press, 2013. http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?products_id=806810
  • “The Reconstructed Jewish Spaces of Warsaw after the Holocaust: A Case Study of a Building and Its Residents.” Accepted for publication in Warsaw: The Life and Fate of a Jewish Metropolis, ed. by Glenn Dynner and Francois Guesnet. Forthcoming from Brill.
  • “Insiders-Outsiders: Poles and Jews in Recent Polish-Jewish Fiction and Autobiography.” Co-author with Antony Polonsky. In Insiders and Outsiders: Dilemmas of East European Jewry, edited by Richard Cohen, Jonathan Frankel and Stefani Hoffman, 2010.
  • “The Jewish Families of 16 Ujazdowskie Avenue in Postwar Warsaw: Ethical Dilemmas in Research on Assimilation in People’s Poland.” In The Jewish Community in Poland Before and After the 1967-1968 Anti-Semitic Campaign. In Polish. Warsaw, 2009.

Journal Articles

  • “Integration and Its Obstacles in Postwar Poland: The Case of the Jewish Parents of 16 Ujazdowskie Avenue.” In Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry 24, 2012.
  • “Memory of the Holocaust in Recent Polish Historiography.” In Association for Jewish Studies Review 35.1. April 2011.
  • “The Fate of a Yiddish Writer in Communist Eastern Europe: The Case of Naftali Herts Kon in Poland, 1959-1965.” In Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry 21, 2009. Earlier versions of this article were published in Żydzi a Lewica [Jews and the Left], edited by August Grabski, Warsaw, 2007; in Yiddish translation in the New York-based journal Tsukunft, 2007; and in shortened Polish translation in the Warsaw-based journal Midrasz, 2007.
  • ” ‘I am an example that it is possible to be both a Pole and a Jew': Polish Jewish Identity and the 1968 Events in Henryk Grynberg’s Memorbuch.” In Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry 19, 2006.

Reference Articles

  • “The Biblical City in Literature.” Entry in The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, vol. 4, eds. Hans-Josef Klauck, et al. W. de Gruyter, 2012.
  • “Linguistic Integration.” In Critical Terms in Jewish Language Studies. Frankel Institute Annual, 2011.
  • “Warsaw” and “Poland.” Entries in The Cambridge Dictionary of Jewish History, Religion and Culture, ed. by Judith R. Baskin. Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • “Bibliography of Jewish Women in Eastern Europe.” Annotated bibliography of Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, and English memoirs and diaries, and bibliography of secondary sources. Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry 18 (2005): 273-303.