Witness to the Age of Genocide. Rafał Lemkin and the Convention of 1948 - Instytut Pileckiego

International interdisciplinary conference in the memory of Raphael Lemkin, Polish-Jewish jurist.

A historical appraisal of Lemkin’s biography was accompanied by a legal analysis of the fundamental assumptions of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, its significance and political impact, and also of the practical application of its provisions.

Lemkin Conference 2018 - the official aftermovie 

► 3 DECEMBER 2018 (Monday)


9:30–10:00 a.m. – KEYNOTE LECTURE: Marek Kornat (Poland) – Rafał Lemkin on Totalitarian Regimes (before 1939)
10:00–10:15 a.m. – DISCUSSION

10:15–10:30 a.m. – break

10:45–12:15 a.m. – SESSION 1: The Age of Genocide
Jakub Muchowski (Poland) – Lemkin and the Universal History of Genocide
Frank Jacob (Norway) – Rafał Lemkin and Asian Genocides: Theoretical Opportunities and Limitations
Piotr Mikietyński (Poland) – “Aktion T4” as an Element of the German Policy of Extermination. Assumptions and

12:15–1:15 p.m. – break

1:30–2:00 p.m. – KEYNOTE LECTURE: William Schabas (Great Britain) – Lemkin’s Vision and the Convention
2:00–2:15 p.m. – DISCUSSION

2:15–3:45 p.m. – SESSION 2: Lemkin's Intellectual Formation
Piotr Madajczyk (Poland) – Rafał Lemkin’s Formative Years in the Grodno Guberniya of the Russian Empire and During the Period of the First World War
Adam Redzik (Poland) – When did Rafał Lemkin First Think about Genocide? An Attempt at Polemicizing with the Memory
of the Concept’s Creator
Przemysław Żukowski (Poland) – The Case of Rafał Lemkin’s Period of Study at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. An Isolated Incident or the Rule?

3:45–4:15 p.m. – break

4:15–5:45 p.m. – SESSION 3: Lemkin and the Global Genocide in the 20th Century
Edita Gzoyan (Armenia) – The Impact of Forcible Child Transfer during the Armenian Genocide on the Conceptualization of Article 2(e) of the Genocide Convention
Peter Balakian (USA) – Rafał Lemkin, Cultural Destruction, and the Armenian Genocide
Tushar Kanti Saha (Kenya) – The Impunity and Immunity of the Prime Actors of International Crimes: Paradise Lost and Para-dice Recast

4 DECEMBER 2018 (Tuesday)

9:00–10:30 a.m. – SESSION 4: New Crime under International Law
Maciej Mazurkiewicz (Poland) – Was Germany Bound by a Prohibition on Genocide During the Second World War? Considerations on the History and Theory of International Law
Oktawian Kuc (Poland) – Lemkin’s Normative Contribution to the Genocide Convention
Joanna Kurczab (Poland) – The Definition of Genocide in Russian Law. Implications for the Criminal Law Assessment of the Katyn Massacre and other Soviet Crimes
Devendra Samadhan Ingle (India) – A Perfect Case of the Perennial Genocide!

10:30–11:00 a.m. – break

11:00–12:30 p.m. – SESSION 5: Teaching about Genocide
Krzysztof Jurek (Poland)
– The (Non)Presence of the Issue of Genocide in the Teaching of History and Civics in Modern-day Polish Secondary Schools
Alicja Bartuś (Poland) – Auschwitz as the Point of Departure for Education and Comparative Research Concerning the Crimes of Genocide Committed in the 20th Century
Joanna Nowakowska-Małusecka (Poland) – Women and Children – Victims of Genocide. Case Studies from the 20th and 21st Centuries

12:30–1:30 p.m. – break

1:30–2:00 p.m. – KEYNOTE LECTURE: Donna-Lee Frieze (Australia) – Lemkin in Exile: “Night Walks Across Poland”
2:00–2:15 p.m. – DISCUSSION

2:15–3:45 p.m. – SESSION 6: Genocide in the Polish Lands
Tomasz Ceran (Poland) – “Man – for man”, “man – for Jew”, or “Germans – for men”? Who Concocted What for Whom, or the Universalist Perspective and the National Context in the Polish Discussion on Genocide
Beata Kozaczyńska (Poland) – German Crimes Committed against Polish Children Deported from the Zamość Region in the Years 1942–1943
Joanna Lubecka (Poland) – Polish Legal Struggles with the Crimes of the Second World War on the Basis of Trials Held Before the Supreme National Tribunal

3:45–4:15 p.m. – break

4:15–5:45 p.m. – SESSION 7: Genocide in the Polish Lands II
John Cornell (Poland) – Polish Charges in the UNWCC and Genocide as Defined by Lemkin
Marcin Panecki (Poland) – Documenting Genocide – Individual Testimonies from Auschwitz
Eryk Habowski (Poland) – Wola ’44 – a massacre or “the crime of crimes”? Lemkin's lobbying campaign and the specific political actions undertaken by the government-in-exile with respect to the genocide occurring in occupied Poland
6:30–7:45 p.m. – DEBATE

8:00–9:30 p.m. – break

5 DECEMBER 2018 (Wednesday)

9:30 – 11:00 a.m. – SESSION 8: Inspired by Lemkin – Concepts and Applications
Joaquín González Ibáñez (Spain) – Rafał Lemkin – the “Necessary Non-Existent Person”. The Concept of Inclusive Humanity and the New Paradigm of National Sovereignty in International Law
Michelle Anderson (RSA) – Violations of Indigenous Land Rights: an Interdisciplinary Approach through Lemkin’s Lens of Genocide
Patrycja Grzebyk (Poland) – The Contribution of Polish Jurisprudence to the Understanding of Crime of Genocide – a Faithfull Implementation of Lemkin’s Idea

11:00–11:30 a.m. – break

11:30–1:45 p.m. – SESSION 9: The Convention – Legacy and Future
Hanna Kuczyńska (Poland) – Prosecuting Genocide before the International Criminal Court
Karolina Wierczyńska (Poland) – Genocide in the Jurisdiction of International Criminal Tribunals. Prospects for the Future
Agnieszka Bieńczyk-Missala (Poland) – Preventing Genocide as the Development of Rafał Lemkin’s Concept


PARTNER: Faculty of Political Science and International Studies

The project is financed under the “Szlakami Polski Niepodległej” Program of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for the years 2018–2023, project no. 01SPN1705318, amount of funding: 985,110 PLN.

See also