Why We Stayed: The Experiences of Poland's Remaining Jews, 1945-2008

Filip Mazurczak

Presenting the experiences of five Polish Jews born between 1932 and 1940 who still live in Poland, this exhibit challenges the false narrative that Jewish life in Poland ended in 1945 or in 1968.


This installation was a part of HEAR & NOW: An Interactive Oral History Exhibitshowcasing multimedia projects and stories recorded by the 2017 cohort of Columbia University’s Oral History MA program. 


View the Why We Stayed website here


Following the dramatic events of 1968, when Poland’s communist regime forced thousands of Polish Jews to emigrate, it seemed that the fading away of Poland’s Jewish community was only a matter of time. Today, however, Poland is experiencing a strong revival of Jewish life. While most literature on postwar Polish Jewry has focused on those who emigrated, Filip Mazurczak has traveled to Poland to interview five Polish Holocaust survivors and ask why they stayed during turbulent times.

Filip Mazurczak is a journalist, translator, and historian. He is the author of more than 100 published articles and interviews.