Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Jakub Szumski M.A.

Leutragraben 1 | 07743 Jena
Fon + 49 (0) 3641 9 440 70
Mail:
jakub.szumski(at)uni-jena(dot)de

Jakub Szumski’s main area of research is the history of politics in state socialist Eastern Europe, with a particular focus on Poland. Szumski has been a researcher at the Imre Kertész Kolleg since 2021, prior to which he served as a research assistant for The GDR and European Dictatorships after 1945 Graduate School at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena from 2017 to 2020. He has received research fellowships from the Open Society Archive in Budapest (2019), the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe in Marburg (2017) and GFPS in Berlin (2017).

Szumski studied history and philosophy at the University of Warsaw, the University of Konstanz and Humboldt University in Berlin, and graduated with an M.A. in history from the University of Warsaw in 2014. His M.A. thesis received the Wladyslaw Pobóg Malinowski award for the best historical debut of the year 2014 in Poland and won an honourable mention of the Mieczysław Rakowski award, granted by the weekly “Polityka”; it was later published in book form in 2018. His current dissertation project deals with the role of corruption and the ways in which it was combatted during late state socialism.

Research project at the Kolleg

Corruption in One’s Own Country: Facing the Abuse of Office in Late Socialist East Germany and Poland

This project explores the role of corruption and the abuse of office, as well as the ways in which such corruption and abuse were combatted in the German Democratic Republic and Poland. It examines the intellectual history of corruption during the socialist period, and compares the causes, course and consequences of such scandals during the revolutionary periods in Poland (1980/1981) and the German Democratic Republic (1989/1990). Corruption was not only a problem within state socialism but was rather an area of conflict between Blocs during the Cold War, as well as within socialist societies. Combating corruption meant engaging grassroots actors and official institutions and ultimately produced unintended consequences. In my project, I look at the transformative periods in East Germany and Poland from the perspective of popular claims for social equality and redistributive justice which could not have been achieved with the establishment of capitalism and liberal democracy.


Main areas of research

History of state socialism in Poland

German-Polish relations

Legal history

 

Positions and memberships

Member – Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)

Member – Polish Studies Association

Member - Gemeinschaft für studentischen Austausch in Mittel- und Osteuropa (GFPS)

Monograph

Rozliczenia z ekipą Gierka 1980-1984 (Warszawa: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2018).

 

Edited volume

Łukasz Kamiński and Jakub Szumski, eds. Letnia Szkoła Historii Najnowszej 2015: Referaty (Warszawa: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2016).

Łukasz Kamiński and Jakub Szumski, eds. Letnia Szkoła Historii Najnowszej 2014: Referaty. (Warszawa: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2015).

 

Article (journal)

‘The State Tribunal and the Paradoxes of Socialist Legality in 1980s Poland’, Journal of Modern European History 18, no 3 (2020): 297–311.

‘Leonid Brezhnev and Edward Gierek: The Making and Breaking of an Uneven Friendship’, The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review 45, no. 3 (2018): 253–286.

‘Allein Gegen Die Partei. Zbigniew Iwanów – Der Rebell in Der Polnischen Vereinigten Arbeiterpartei 1980/81‘, Jahrbuch Für Historische Kommunismusforschung (2018), 127–141.

‘Międzynarodowy Terroryzm w Polskiej Literaturze i Prasie Lat Siedemdziesiątych XX Wieku (Wybrane Przykłady)’ Polska 1944/45-1989. Studia i Materiały, no. 14 (2016): 161–187.

‘Na marginesie Człowieka z węgla’, Polska 1944-45/1989. Studia i Materiały no. 13 (2015): 247-259.

‘Między Stabilizacją a Radykalizmem - Polska Emigracja Górnicza w Belgii’, Neerlandica Wratislaviensia, no. 25 (2015): 19–37.

 

Article (book)

‘What Happened in 1980? Memory Forging and the Official Story of Martial Law in the Polish United Workers’ Party’ in Historical Memory of Central and East European Communism, edited by Agnieszka Mrozik and Stanislav Holubec, (New York: Routledge, 2018): 165–192.

‘Pożar Mostu Łazienkowskiego w 1975 r. - fakty i konteksty’ in Letnia Szkoła Historii Najnowszej 2015. Referaty, edited by Łukasz Kamiński and Jakub Szumski, (Warszawa: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2016): 34-47.

‘Zanim wyrosły „poziomki”. Zbigniew Iwanów do września 1980 r.’ In Letnia Szkoła Historii Najnowszej 2014. Referaty, edited by Łukasz Kamiński and Jakub Szumski, (Warszawa: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2015): 178-187.

‘Rozliczenia z ekipą Edwarda Gierka. Przyczynek do zrozumienia zjawiska’ in Zimowa Szkoła Historii Najnowszej 2014. Referaty, edited by Marek Hańderek, Łukasz Kamiński, (Warszawa: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej 2015): 51-60.

‘”Puls” wobec Warszawy. Z geografii opozycji politycznej w PRL 1977-1981’ in Przeciw, obok, pomimo: kultura niezależna w Łodzi w latach 70. i 80. XX wieku w PRL, edited by Konrad. W. Tatarowski, Agnieszka Barczyk, Renata Nolbrzak,( Łódź: Dom Literatury, 2013): 74-87.

 

Reviews

review of Mirosław Sikora: Wyniki pracy wywiadu naukowo-technicznego MSW PRL 1971–1989 [The Results of the Operations of the Scientific-Technical Intelligence of the Polish People’s Republic 1971–1989] (Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2019) In Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung, 69, no. 3 (2020): 443-444.

review of Agata Zysiak, Punkty za pochodzenie. Powojenna modernizacja i uniwersytet w robotniczym mieście [Points for Class Origin: Post-War Modernization and the University in a Working-Class City] (Universitas, 2016) In Kultura i Społeczeństwo 63, no 1 (2018): 251-263.

review of Filip Gańczak, Polski nie oddamy. Władze NRD wobec wydarzeń w PRL 1980–1981 [We are not giving up on Poland. GDR Authorities towards People’s Poland 1980-1981] (Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2016) In Dzieje Najnowsze, no 2 (2018): 371-377.

review of Tomasz Kizwalter, W stronę równości [Towards Equality] (Universitas, 2014) In Civitas. Studia z filozofii polityki no. 16 (2015): 199-204.