Exhibition and Curators’ Talk by Christine Meibeck, Potsdam.
A joint event by the University of Sussex (DAAD Chair of European and Jewish History and Culture and the Weidenfeld Institute of Jewish Studies at Sussex) and BNJC
Welcome to the poignant exhibition, Expelled! ‘Polenaktion’ (so-called “Polish Action”) 1938. Delve into the harrowing events surrounding the infamous ‘Polish Action’ of 1938, which marked the first mass deportation of Jews from Germany. This exhibition sheds light on the plight of 17,000 Jews with Polish passports who found themselves abruptly uprooted, arrested, and violently transported across the Polish border.
Amidst the backdrop of escalating Nazi persecution against Eastern European Jews, this expulsion unfolded as a shock to those who had called Germany home for generations. Stripped of their belongings and thrust into uncertainty, they faced unimaginable challenges as they crossed into an unprepared town at the border.
Through compelling narratives and historical artifacts, witness the humanitarian crisis that unfolded, with hundreds injured and dozens perishing in their quest for refuge. Despite the overwhelming adversity, solidarity emerged within the Polish-Jewish community and aid from organizations like the American Joint Distribution Committee provided a glimmer of hope amidst despair.
This exhibition marks the 85th anniversary of the expulsion.