Barbara Engelking

Most Influential Person

Polish psychologist and sociologist

Why Is Barbara Engelking Influential?

Barbara Engelking is the founder and director of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research, a practicing sociologist, author and editor. She earned an M.A. in psychology from the University of Warsaw and a Ph.D. in sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Engelking is a scholar of the Holocaust, driving important conversations about the role non-Germans played in the persecution of Jews. Her research has resulted in books such as Such a Beautiful Sunny Day: Jews Seeking Refuge in the Polish Countryside, 1942-1945 and The Warsaw Ghetto: A Guide to the Perished City. The latter book, written in collaboration with Jacek Leociak, features detailed historical maps of long-forgotten streets and buildings.

As with most scholars of the Holocaust, Engelking has had her share of controversy. Some critics have pointed out inconsistencies in her characterization of the actions and intentions of certain individuals. Even so, her nuanced and heavily researched work has brought to life hidden aspects of the Polish/Jewish experience during the Holocaust – a history misunderstood by many today who have been misinformed of the real role of Polish citizens during the Nazi Holocaust.

She has been the chair of Poland’s International Auschwitz Council since 2014 and served as the Ina Levine Invitational Scholar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Mandel Center.

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According to Wikipedia, Barbara Engelking is a Polish sociologist specializing in Holocaust studies. The founder and director of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw, she is the author or editor of several works on the Holocaust in Poland.

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