02.10 at 12:00

Forced Labour in the Reich and Criminal Abuse as reflected in the Polish UNWCC Charge Files

The issue of forced labour in Germany during the Second World War recently received renewed attention with the gaff made by the heiress of the Choco Leibniz fortune. This is of course a rather extreme example of naivety concerning the treatment and conditions of forced labourers, and there has been much serious and penetrating work done on the subject, principally by German scholars and in many cases connected with reparations. The issue of forced labour also appears quite frequently in the charge files of the Polish office of the UNWCC (United Nations War Crimes Commission), and was clearly important within the general understanding among Polish authorities of German wartime crimes and abuses. Dr John Cornell would like to consider what particular insight these charge files might offer.


Scientific seminars of the Pilecki Institute are devoted to presenting and discussing research projects and scientific texts on 20th-century topics, particularly (but not exclusively) the German and Soviet occupation, memory and historiography of the Second World War. The seminars are interdisciplinary in nature – their participants represent various traditions and areas of research. We aim to provide a space for discussion on methodology and results of new research concerning 20th-century topics before the publication of findings in scholarly journals and books.

We invite you to send your seminar proposal to: seminaria@instytutpileckiego.pl