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< All Fellows and Scholars

Dr. Alicja Bartnicka

Alicja Bartnicka
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellow

“Jewish Forced Labourers in the Ammunition Factory of HASAH in Skarzysko-Kamienna during the Second World War”

Professional Background

Alicja Bartnicka (she/her) currently works as Assistant Professor in the department of History at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (Poland). Dr. Bartnicka holds a Doctoral degree in Humanities, also in the field of History, as well as a double Master’s degree: in Polish Philology and History, with a specialization in Polish-German studies. Besides her degrees, Alicja’s academic interests include German history (especially the history of the Third Reich), the history of World War II and the German occupation in Poland, Polish-German and Polish-Jewish relations in the 20th century, and totalitarian systems, particularlynational socialism and Italian fascism in particular. Alicja is also interested in the history of cinema and ways of presenting historical trends in films.

Dr. Bartnicka’s writings have been published in numerous academic journals such as „Dzieje Najnowsze”, „Przegląd Zachodni”, „Prace Historyczne”, “Przegląd Historyczny” and “Przegląd Nauk Historycznych”. In 2021, Dr. Bartnicka received an honorable mention in the Inka Brodzka-Wald Competition for the best doctoral dissertation in 2020 in the field of humanities. Corrected and supplemented version of her dissertation will be published under the title "Światopogląd w działaniu. Heinrich Himmler i jego wizja rasowego imperium Trzeciej Rzeszy" ("Worldview in action. Heinrich Himmler and his vision of the racial empire in the Third Reich") by the publishing house of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk.  

In addition, Alicja was awarded several prestigious scholarships in recent years, including from the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, 2017/2018 and 2020), Marion Dönhoff Stiftung, Brzezie Lanckoroński Foundation, and the Polish Historical Mission in Würzburg. She received a three-year scholarship from the Minister of Science and Higher Education in Poland for young eminent scholars. Furthermore, she has received grants from the National Science Centre in Poland and the research fund of Prof. Theodor Koerner. Importantly, in Summer 2022, Dr. Bartnicka will participate in a postdoctoral fellowship in Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem.

Fellowship Research

During her fellowship at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Alicja will be researching the topic of Jewish forced laborers in the ammunition factory HASAG in Skarżysko-Kamienna (Poland) during the Second World War. HASAG (Hugo Schneider Aktiengesellschaft Metallwarenfabrik) was a German metal goods manufacturer based in Leipzig, Germany. In 1930, it started producing ammunition for the German army and, during the war, transferred activities to the area of the General Government in Poland, where HASAG took over the State Munitions Factory in Skarżysko-Kamienna – a leading manufacturer of munitions in Poland in the interwar period. Initially, the occupation authorities employed workers of Polish nationality at the factory but management later decided to transfer Polish workers to factories located within the Third Reich while replacing them with a Jewish workforce. As the war continued, Jewish forced laborers were transferred from Radom, Cracow, Warsaw, Lublin, as well as from ghettos in Łódź and Radomsko, and camps in Płaszów and Majdanek.

Dr. Bartnicka aims to publish the findings of this project in a series of articles and a monograph devoted to the subject. She seeks answers to questions regarding the degree of dependency of the factory in Skarżysko-Kamienna from the parent company in Leipzig, and the ammunition production that advanced the German military industry during World War II. Moreover, she intends to investigate the numbers of Jews in the labor camp, the character of their work and living conditions, and the system of punishment that caused numerous deaths. Alicja will research questions concerning transfers of Jews to the factory in Skarżysko-Kamienna – where they came from, how many of them were transferred, what sabotage activities were carried out, the manner of conducting resistance acts, their effectiveness and consequences, etc. The research will also include statistics concerning the number of Jews present in the HASAG munitions factory of Skarżysko-Kamienna and the fate of Jews who survived and continued living burdened with the experience of murderous work in ammunition production.

Residency Period: March 1 through May 31, 2022