Jan Grabowski

Full Professor, Department of History
Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

and thereby authorized to supervise theses.


University Degrees
1994 ― PhD, Université de Montréal
1986 ― MA, History, Warsaw University, Poland

Fields of interest include; Holocaust, Amerindians in Canada, and New France.


Galen Perras

Associate Professor, Department of History
Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
and thereby authorized to supervise theses.


University Degrees
1995 ― PhD American and Canadian History University of Waterloo
1986 ― MA War Studies Royal Military College of Canada
1984 ― BA (Honours) History University of Regina

Fields of interest include; 20th century American military and diplomatic history, Canadian-American relations, International relations in the pacific world in the 20th century, and Commonwealth military relations.

Hernan Tesler-Mabé

Hernan Tesler-Mabé is a Part-time Professor in the Department of History at the University of Ottawa. He completed his Ph.D. in History at the University of Ottawa in 2010. His dissertation, A Jewish Conductor, A Devoted Mahlerite, and a Delicate String: The Musical Life of Heinz Unger, 1895-1965, explored the manner in which the strands of German Jewish identity converged and were negotiated by a musician who lived a sizeable portion of his life in a Double Diaspora (in the Jewish Diaspora as well as exiled from his European home) yet never cut the ties to a German Jewish tradition. Alongside his ongoing work on Jewish history, his research interests include Modern Europe, European integration, and Ethnicity and Nationalism. In 2011, Dr. Tesler-Mabé was appointed to the Board of the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies and continues to serve in this role.


ASSELIN, Marie-Dominique

PHD, History. University of Ottawa, (2014-2019)
MA, History. University of Ottawa, (2012-2014)
Certificate, History. UQAM (Montreal), (2011-2012)
BA, French literature. UQAM (Montreal), (2008-2012)

Research interests

Key words: Polish/Jewish Relations – Polish Judicial system – Antisemitism – Polish Administration (1919-1939) —   Administration of the Generalgouvernment – Jewish everyday life.  

In Poland, during the war, the Jews were separated from the Catholic population through the creation of ghettos. Despite the physical separation of the two communities, both Jews and Poles were still subject to the provisions of the pre-war Polish penal code.  Shortly after the conquest of Poland, the Germans created a two-tier system of justice: while the violations of German war-time regulations were automatically referred to the German courts (Sondergerichte and Deutsche Gerichte), the entire “common” criminality was still tried in the Polish courts.  The analysis of Polish  court records gives us an opportunity not only to look at the relations between Jews and Poles from a new perspective but also to understand how the Jews lived in the years before the extermination began.

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PhD, History. University of Ottawa, (2015-2019)
MA, European Russian and Eurasian Studies with a Collaborative in Jewish Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto (2013-2015)
Honours BA, History and Philosophy [Double Major], University of Toronto (2010-2013)

Research Interests

Key Words: The History of the Holocaust in Italy – The Second World War – Comparative Fascism – Ethnicity and Racism – History of Human Rights – Border Studies – History, Memory and the Process of European Integration.

Upon the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Italy was awarded two regions along their northeastern border  – Venezia Tridentina (Alto-Adige) and Venezia Giulia (Friuli-Venezia Giulia). These regions were home to diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic groups, including Germans, Italians, Slovenes, and Croats, and were also inhabited by a number of long-standing Jewish communities, in cities and towns such as Bolzano in the north and Trieste in the east. My thesis examines the converging and diverging experiences of these Jewish and ethnic minority communities in the northeastern Italian borderlands during the Fascist era, the Holocaust and immediate post-war period. Initially, Italian Fascists attempted to incorporate, assimilate or suppress this diversity of the borderlands through an intense Italianization campaign. However, in the 1930s, the Party moved from a program intent on ‘making Italians’ to a program based on ‘racial essentialism’ and exclusion. My thesis will analyze this progression, and discuss how these assimilationist and racialized campaigns shaped social and institutional networks, and created a sense of cohesion or division between these communities. It will then examine to what extent these Fascist policies and group structures influenced trends of persecution, internment, collaboration, and rescue after the introduction of the Racial Laws in 1938 and throughout the Nazi occupation from 1943 to 1945.



MA, History. University of Ottawa, (2017-2019)
BA, History. University of Ottawa, (2013-2017)
Research interests

Key Words:
Holocaust memory and commemoration – The History of the Holocaust in Poland – The History of the Holocaust in the Netherlands – Jewish experiences in hiding – Jewish-Gentile relations.

Recent studies of Jewish-Gentile relations during the Holocaust in Poland and the Netherlands have highlighted that the Gentile population often took an active, independent role in the murder of Jews, and that offers of selfless aid were less common than previously believed. Moving forward from these recent disciplinary developments, this projects aims to identify and analyze the narratives of the Holocaust, particularly those pertaining to Jewish experiences in hiding and Jewish-Gentile relations, conveyed in public spaces of memory in Poland and the Netherlands. These narratives of the past will be placed within the adequate documentary context, relying on mainly diaries and survivor testimonies as primary source material. The role of such narratives in the respective societies, including the politicization or nationalization of memory, will be discussed. A comparative approach will allow for the pervasiveness of historical fallacies on a public and private level to be evaluated, and for the role of such myths to be questioned in a supranational framework.

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Associate Members

FRYDEL, Tomasz

PhD, History, University of Toronto (2012-2018)
MA, History, Brandeis University (2010-2011)
BA,  Philosophy and Literature, Rutgers University (2000-2005)


Key Words:  Eastern-Europe, genocide studies, collaboration, micro-history, resistance movement

My dissertation aims at a social history of the destruction of Poland’s Jewish minority during the Second World War following Operation Reinhard. It pays particular attention to a whole complex of village structures that were co-opted by the occupation authorities into the so-called “hunt for Jews” (Judenjagd) from 1942-45, which included fire brigades, night guards, partisan units, village heads, peasant search parties, and the local Polish “blue” Police. This close study contextualizes the shelter and the hunt for fugitive Jews with parallel processes aimed at other fugitives groups, such as Soviet prisoners of war (POWs), partisans, deserters from the German army, Roma, and others. The primary archival sources used here are the postwar investigation and trial records conducted on the basis of the so-called Decree of August 31, 1944 issued by the pro-Soviet Polish government, much of which have not seen the light of day. The dissertation is built around a microhistory that explores several counties in the southeastern region of District Krakow of the General Government: Tarnów, Dębica, Rzeszów (Reichshof), Jarosław, Jasło, Krosno, Przemyśl, and Sanok. It also uses the German-administered county of Dębica as a statistical case study.

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