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Dr. Joshua Zimmerman on the Antecedents of Conflict in Ukraine

Dr. Joshua Zimmerman

Dr. Joshua Zimmerman, Eli and Diana Zborowski Professorial Chair in Holocaust Studies and East European Jewish History and a professor of history, has published an article in Englesberg Ideas that very much resonates with today’s news about possible conflict in Ukraine between NATO and Russia.

Titled “The 1920 Battle for Ukraine — a warning from the past,” Dr. Zimmerman notes that “having practically saved Europe from a communist takeover, Poland's head of state Joseph Pilsudski’s insistence a century ago on a strong, independent Ukraine, protected by the Western democracies from Russian intimidation and threats, resonates powerfully today.”


zimmerman conflict ukraine Bolshevik propaganda poster of Polish-Soviet war, 1920. Text reads: 'This is how the Polish lords' plan finishes. Long live Soviet Poland'. Credit: Stepan Mukharsky/Wikipedia Commons


Dr. Zimmerman is the author or editor of a number of works on the Holocaust, including Contested Memories. Poles and Jews during the Holocaust and Its Aftermath (2003) and The Polish Underground and the Jews, 1939–1945 (2015). His forthcoming book, Jozef Pilsudski. Founding Father of Modern Poland, comes out in May 2022 from Harvard University Press.