The Jewish Experience

History and Culture

Poliakova in her wedding dress

The Riches-to-Near-Rags Story of a 'Russian Rothschild'

Professor ChaeRan Y. Freeze chronicles the fall of Zinaida Poliakova from fabulous wealth to a life of unhappiness as she endured a miserable marriage and lived through the Nazis.  

Read More

More Stories

ewish police in Germany detain an alleged Jewish concentration camp guard, circa 1945.

Professor Laura Jockusch studies the special honors courts that decided the fate of Jews who allegedly committed crimes against their fellow Jews during the Holocaust.

Rudolphina Menzel and dog

A new book recounts the extraordinary life of Rudolphina Menzel, who made major contributions to our understanding of dogs, worked for the Germans in the early 1930s, and helped Israel win the 1948 war.

An illustration of the Queen of Sheba from Konrad Kyeser's "Bellifortis" ("Strong in War"), a military treatise from Germany circa 1405.

Professor Jillian Stinchcomb traces the depiction of the Queen from the Bible through the Qur’an to the medieval origin story of the Ethiopian royal family.

Jacob (Jack) Brandon Maduro

Scholar Dalia Wassner charts the life and career of Jacob Brandon Maduro, who aided German Jewish refugees in Cuba during World War II.

An iconic image connected to Jungfernhof projected onto the wall of the Šķirotava train station.

Scholar Karen Frostig is battling to preserve the memory of the Jungfernhof concentration camp in Latvia, where her grandparents perished.