Refugees and citizens in East-Central Europe in the 20th century

Lidia Zessin-Jurek Interviewed for Memoires en Jeu

The French magazine “Memoires en Jeu” in its special Spring 2024 issue devoted entirely to “Memories of Refugees,” features an interview with our team member, Lidia Zessin-Jurek, on the role of social memory in the current Polish response to the refugee situation on the Belarusian-Polish border.

“History and memory are tools readily used by various actors involved in the situation on Poland’s eastern border. As with engaging the past in any politics, memory is used to shape public opinion and legitimise respective positions. The past is not only used by politicians, but also by activists on the border, public intellectuals and refugees themselves.”

While this interview focuses on the Belarusian section of Poland’s eastern border, last year Lidia developed an analogous analysis in relation to the role of public memory in Poles’ attitudes towards events across their border with Ukraine and refugees fleeing the Russian-led war.