The quest for Holocaust memory in Polish films, 2012–2016

Phyllis B Lassner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fantasies of Jews returning to Poland after the Holocaust have become a staple of post-Communist Polish cultural expression. Recent Polish films, Aftermath (2012), Ida (2013), and Demon (2015) represent Polish Holocaust memory through Expressionist cinematic techniques, including spectral figures and non-realistic lighting and camera angles. This essay examines how Jewish ghosts excavate suppressed Holocaust knowledge and the resurgence of anti-Semitism, forming a post-Holocaust Polish critical exegesis. These films defy redemptive resolutions to questions about Polish-Jewish historical and ethical relationships during the Holocaust, Polish Holocaust memory, second and third generation Polish survivors, and the absent presence of Poland’s slaughtered Jews.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHolocaust Studies
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Catholicism
  • German expressionism
  • Holocaust
  • Jews
  • Poland
  • victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Communication

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The quest for Holocaust memory in Polish films, 2012–2016'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this