Congratulations Dr Magdalena Mizgalska-Osowiecka!

July 26, 2020
Source: Andrew Rajcher

It is with immense pleasure we announce that, last week, Magdalena successfully defended her doctoral thesis and is now Dr Mizgalska-Osowiecka! Our pride in Magda’s achievement comes second only to the pride that her parents, Jerzy and Krystyna Mizgalski, must be feeling. The Mizgalski family are long-time friends of our World Society and, in gaining her doctorate, Magda is now following in the footsteps of her historian father, Professor Dr hab Jerzy Mizgalski, whose area of specialisation is the history of Częstochowa Jewry. Jerzy is also the creator and curator of our exhibition in the Częstochowa Jewish Museum.

Those of you who have attended all of our World Society Reunions will have got to know Magda and seen her develop, over the years, from a high school teenager into a respected history academic. Today, Magda heads the Historical Information Unit of the Digital Collections and Resource Centre at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. She has already authored and co-authored numerous articles and has regularly delivered papers at academic conferences.

Her first major academic achievement came when she was still in high school. In 2006, Magda won a Poland-wide competition on the “History and Culture of Polish Jews”. Her entry, about the history of the Jewish community in Częstochowa, won her a guaranteed place at the Warsaw University. That contest was sponsored by the Polish Ministry of National Education and Sport, Warsaw University’s Institute of History, the Institute of National Remembrance and the Israeli Ministry of Education.  

Magda’s academic achievements then continued. At Warsaw University’s Institute of History, Magda gained her Bachelor of Arts degree (in 2010) with a thesis on “The Participation of Jews in Local Government in Częstochowa (1927 – 1939)” and her Master of Arts degree (in 2012) with a thesis on “The Issue of Former Austrian Officials and Officers in Eastern Galicia During 1918-1923”. After gaining her Masters degree, she completed a year of post-graduate study, at the University of Southampton, specialising in Jewish history and culture.

In 2017, her Bachelor’s degree thesis was published in book form.

In 2013, Magda began studying for her doctorate at the Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History at the Polish Academy of Science in the Department of History of Totalitarian Systems and World War II. The topic of her doctoral thesis was “British Policy on Jewish Emigration During the Evian Conference in 1938”:

The dissertation presents the position of Great Britain during the international conference in Evian in July 1938. Former British dominions, including Australia and Canada, as well as other British dependent areas, including Palestine are also included. United Kingdom legislation, regulating the entry of foreigners, and international legislation, regulating the refugee problem before July 1938, are both discussed. The international situation before the conference and the course of the conference itself, as well as its participants, the work schedule and the final resolution, are characterised. The positions of selected charity organizations, participating in the meeting and their impact on the conference, are also presented. The work includes a critical evaluation of the state of research on the discussed topic. When assessing the Evian conference in retrospect, attention is drawn to its importance in the international discussion on refugees and the British contribution to this discussion.

Last week, Magda successfully defended her thesis, thereby earning her PhD.

Magda, from everyone at the World Society, we say “Congratulations! Gratulacje! Mazel Tov!”.