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Anna Cichopek-Gajraj

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Associate Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302

Anna Cichopek-Gajraj earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2008 and has an M.A. in History from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. Before joining ASU in August 2011, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. She has received numerous grants and fellowships from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, the YIVO Institute, and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture in New York, among others. She has served as Director for Poland for John J. Hartman's non-profit Foundation of Remembrance and Reconciliation for the restoration of Jewish heritage in Poland. She is also a recipient of the 2016 Shofar Zakhor Award by the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors' Association for exhibiting and carrying the work of Holocaust education, Holocaust remembrance, and community interaction.

Her fields of expertise include modern East European history (in particular Poland and Czechoslovakia/Slovakia), modern Jewish history, history of modern Poland and Polish/Jewish relations, Holocaust and post-Holocaust studies, history of antisemitism,  comparative and social history, and theories of ethnicity, violence, and nationalism. Her book, Beyond Violence: Jewish Survivors in Poland and Slovakia in 1944-1948 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), is a comparative study of the non-Jewish/Jewish relations in Poland and Slovakia after the Second World War. In her book, she tells a story of Holocaust survivors returning to “no-home” and their encounters with post-war social realities. By focusing on the daily efforts of Polish and Slovak Jews to rebuild their lives, she investigates the limits of belonging to national/ethnic communities in Eastern Europe after the Holocaust. The book is a Finalist of the 2016 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in the category of Modern Jewish History and Culture: Europe and Israel by Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) and a recepient of the 2015 Barbara Heldt Prize Honorable Mention for the best book by a woman in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Studies by Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS).

Her M.A. thesis on the pogrom in Cracow in August 1945 was awarded the Jan Jozef Lipski Prize for the Best M.A. Thesis in Poland as well as the Special Prize by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for the best M.A. Thesis in Jewish Studies in Poland. The thesis was published as a book in 2000 [in Polish]. She also contributed to Contested Memories: Poles and Jews during the Holocaust and its Aftermath (Zimmerman, 2003) – a collection of essays by leading scholars in the field of Polish-Jewish history. She has her articles and reviews published in Shofar, East European Jewish Affairs, and AJS Review, among others.

At ASU, she teaches courses on the Holocaust, Modern Jewish History, East European Jewish History, History of Antisemitism, Poland in WWII, Western Civilization, and many others. She currently works on social history of Polish-Jewish survivors/refugees in the post-1945 US.


PhD in History, University of Michigan (2008)

Doctoral Candidate in History, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland (1998-2001)

MA in History, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland (1998) 

Research Interests

Key research interest: belonging and identity in modern Polish-Jewish history, Jewish/non-Jewish relations in 20th century Poland, postwar ethnic violence (pogroms).

Recent research: postwar comparative and social history of Jewish survivors in Poland and Slovakia (including everyday life and return to “normality,” reconstruction and rebuilding, identity and citizenship, property restitution, and violence).

Current new research: Polish-Jewish immigration to post-1945 US, assimilation and identity, antisemitism in 20th century Poland




  1. Beyond Violence: Jewish Survivors in Poland and Slovakia, 1944-1948. Cambridge University Press,
  2. 2014.Pogrom Żydów w Krakowie 11 sierpnia 1945 r [Pogrom of Jews in Kraków, August 11, 1945]. Warsaw: Jewish Historical Institute, 2000.

Articles in Refereed Journals:

  1. “Limits to ‘Jewish Power’: How Slovak Jewish Leaders Negotiated Restitution of Property after the War.” East European Jewish Affairs 44 (2014): 51-69.
  2. Negotiating Jewish Belonging in Postwar Slovakia (1945-1948).” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 30 (2012): 41-60.

Invited Articles:

“Introduction: Revival of Jewish Studies in Eastern Europe.” Scripta Judaica Cracoviensia 11 (2013): 9-10.

Book Chapters:

“The Cracow Pogrom of August 1945: A Narrative Reconstruction.” In Contested Memories: Poles and Jews during the Holocaust and Its Aftermath, edited by Joshua D. Zimmerman, 221-238. Rutgers University Press, 2003.

Working Papers:

“After Liberation: The Journey Home of Jewish Survivors in Poland and Slovakia, 1944-1946.” In EUI Working Papers Max Weber Programme. European University Institute, 2009.

Book Reviews:

  1. Review of Czechs, Slovaks and the Jews, 1938-1948: Beyond Idealisation and Condemnation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), by Jan Láníček. Slavic Review 74 (2015): 617-618.
  2. Review of The Ethics of Witnessing: The Holocaust in Polish Writers' Diaries from Warsaw, 1939-1945 (Northwestern University Press, 2014), by Rachel Brenner. The Polish Review 60 (2015): 120-122.
  3. Review of Vanished History: The Holocaust in Czech and Slovak Historical Culture (Berghahn Books, 2014), by Tomas Sniegon. Canadian Slavonic Papers/Revue canadienne des slavistes 57 (2015): 165-166.
  4. Review of The House at Ujazdowskie 16: Jewish Families in Warsaw after the Holocaust (Indiana University Press, 2013), by Karen Auerbach. H-Net Reviews, January 2015.
  5. Review of Priest, Politician, Collaborator: Jozef Tiso and the Making of Fascist Slovakia (Cornell University Press, 2013), by James Ward. History: Reviews of New Books 42 (2014): 135-136.
  6. Review of The Tragedy of a Generation: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism in Eastern Europe (Harvard University Press, 2013), by Joshua M Karlip. AJS Review 38 (2014): 184-186.
  7. Review of Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag: Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity (Berghahn Books, 2008), by Jackie Feldman. H-Net Reviews, January 2010.
  8. Review of From Assimilation to Antisemitism: The “Jewish Question” in Poland, 1850-1914 (Northern Illinois University Press, 2005), by Theodore R. Weeks. Gal-Ed: On the History and Culture of Polish Jewry 22 (2010): 180-184.
  9. Review of Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine (Princeton University Press, 2007), by Omer Bartov. European History Quarterly 39 (2009): 514-515.
  10. Review of Poland’s Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present (University of Nebraska Press, 2006), by Joanna Beata Michlic. Journal of Interdisciplinary History 38 (2008): 464-465.
  11. Review of Od sfałszowanego zwycięstwa do prawdziwej klęski: szkice do portretu PRL [The Spring Will Be Ours: Poland and the Poles from Occupation to Freedom] (Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1999), by Andrzej Paczkowski. Dekada Literacka 3 (1999): 14.
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 369History & Memory of Holocaust
HST 495Methods of Historical Inquiry
HST 593Applied Project
HST 599Thesis
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
JST 394Special Topics
HST 394Special Topics
JST 491History of Anti-Semitism
HST 590Reading and Conference
HST 593Applied Project
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
JST 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 359Jewish Hist from 1492 to 1948
HST 590Reading and Conference
HST 598Special Topics
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 104West Civ: French Rev to EU
REL 312History & Memory of Holocaust
HST 369History & Memory of Holocaust
HST 591Seminar
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 104West Civ: French Rev to EU
HST 495Methods of Historical Inquiry
HST 590Reading and Conference
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 104West Civ: French Rev to EU
HST 304Studies in European History
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 304Studies in European History
HST 498Pro-Seminar
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 104Western Civilization
HST 304Studies in European History
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 104Western Civilization
  • Lecture: "Antisemitism: Historical Roots and Resurgence," Temple Solel, Scottsdale, Lecturer (2015 - Present)
  • "Rising Global Anti-Semitism: Responses and Reflection" at Temple Kol Ami, Scottsdale, Panel chair (2015 - Present)
  • Visit of legendary dissident, former Solidarity member, and editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland, Adam Michnik, Maricopa Community College, Phoenix, Co-organizer (2014 - Present)
  • Graduate Committee, Member (2014 - Present)
  • Lecture: "Poland After Genocide," Genocide Awareness Week: Not On Our Watch,, Lecturer (2014 - Present)
  • Lecture: "Poles and Jews after the Second World War in Poland,", Speaker (2014 - Present)
  • Panel presentation: "Deceptive Images: Nazi Propaganda, World War II, and the Holocaust,", Panelist/speaker (2014 - Present)
  • Lecture: "Geography and Demographics of Jewish Life in Eastern Europe,", Speaker (2014 - Present)
  • Search Committee (Director of the Melikian Center position), Member (2015 - 2016)
  • Search Committee (Lecturer in Jewish Studies position), Member (2015 - 2016)
  • Jewish Studies Scholarship Committee, Member (2015 - 2015)
  • Baron Dissertation Awards Committee, Member (2015 - 2015)
  • Graduate Committee, Member (2014 - 2015)
  • FAR Review Committee, Member (2015 - 2015)
  • Committee: Planning of Holocaust and Tolerance Museum in Chandler, Arizona, Member (2013 - 2014)
  • Jewish Studies Scholarship Committee, Member (2013 - 2014)
  • Speakers’ Committee, Member (2013 - 2014)
  • The Joan Frazer Memorial Award in Judaism and the Arts Committee, Member (2013 - 2013)
  • Organization committee of the Fall 2013 ASU conference "The Musical worlds of Polish Jews, 1920-1960, Member (2012 - 2013)
  • Sonia Minuskin Award for the best undergraduate paper committee, Member/Coordinator (2012 - 2013)
  • Jewish Studies scholarship committee, Member (2012 - 2012)
  • Baron Dissertation Awards committee, Member (2012 - 2012)
  • Curriculum Committee for Jewish Studies, Member (2011 - 2012)
  • History Awards Committee, member (2011 - 2012)