“The Balkan Jews & the Minority Issue in South-Eastern Europe”



2nd Warsaw AIESEE International Workshop

The Balkan Jews & the
Minority Issue in South- Eastern Europe

7th – 9th November 2016

Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, Dobra 72, Warsaw


The Polish Commission of Balkan Culture and History as a full member of Association
Internationale d’Etudes du Sud-Est Européen (AIESEE) has existed since the 10th Congress of
AIESEE in Paris held in 2009. In 2011, the Commission organized the first AIESEE Conference
“The Image of Russia in the Balkans”.
The second AIESEE Warsaw Conference designed as an educational workshop is dedicated
to the topic of Balkan Jews. The minority issue should not only be considered as a significant
context for the main topic but also as an exemplification of Balkan specific and unique
character which is a result of linguistic and cultural convergence.
In the Balkans a multilevel network of mutual cultural relations has been created including
language, tradition, religion, literature as well as identity. It seems that in the region which
has functioned as a multiethnic and multireligious whole for the centuries, a specific model
of multiethnic relations appeared, based on balancing between preserving own ethnic
distinctness and integrating with the dominant culture.
The aim of this workshop is to discuss the character of relations in the Balkans and to
understand tolerance in mutual interethnic relations. During the discussion we would like
to focus on the following topics:
• Jews’ status in the Ottoman Empire and interethnic relations in the Balkans
• Sephardic culture and its intercultural relations in the Balkans: literature, language,
• Legacy of multiethnic empire and the minority issue in the Balkan countries as a
context for Shoah
• Jews’ identity in the Balkans after Shoah, Yugoslav context
• Jewish minorities in the contemporary Balkan countries (EU policy toward minorities
and current authorities’ attitude toward Jewish communities contexts)

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