Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


International Relations

First Advisor's Name

Tatiana Kostadinova

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

John Clark

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Markus Thiel

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Tudor Parfitt

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Germany, Poland, Anti-Semitism, Judaism, Public Policy, Religion, Public Diplomacy

Date of Defense



Broadly speaking, this research is intended to shed light on how post-genocide societies attempt to address a traumatic history and reconcile the problems of ethnic and religious hatred. Germany and Poland are especially ripe cases for such research given their historical memories of the Holocaust and unique legal and diplomatic efforts to counter anti-Semitism. However, since many of the policies on this issue have only been implemented in the past ten to fifteen years, there has not yet been a comprehensive study that has evaluated their effectiveness. This dissertation will attempt to fill this gap in the literature and provide new insight as to how states can best grapple with this problem. The central question for this research is: Have state policies been effective in reducing levels of anti-Semitic attitudes and incidents in Germany and Poland since 1990?

This question will be investigated by first examining the historical development of anti-Semitism in each country, then discussing the policies implemented to address the problem, and finally evaluating the results of such measures. From a public policy perspective, this research will contribute to our understanding of the approaches taken by these two countries and discover which measures have been most effective in reducing anti-Semitic behavior and ideology. The findings show that while the policies implemented have tended to be effective in reducing general anti-Semitic attitudes and helping revive domestic Jewish communities, they have been less successful in reducing levels of anti-Semitic crime. The policy analysis portions of the dissertation provide a number of explanations for these outcomes and acknowledge areas for potential policy improvement. This research has implications not only for the region of Central Europe, but also other societies that continue to grapple with problems of ethnic and religious hatred.





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