Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute

Nicolas Garraud

Nicolas Garraud is a Ph.D. Student in History at Exeter College and a Doctoral Fellow of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, with a specific interest in the history of every-day life under Nazi occupation in Poland. He is interested in how Jews, as a fragmented and plural community, experienced and made sense of the events happening before them during years of persecutions and extermination.

His research explores the meaning and significance of humor and laughter in the everyday life of Jews living under Nazi occupation in the Warsaw ghetto. His doctoral project relies on the extensive use of first-hand accounts of victims of Nazi policies of discrimination and extermination. Especially, he is working with documents written in Polish and Yiddish found in the Ringelblum Archive, often not published and/or translated into the English language, and uses diaries, notes, and letters as central prisms of historical analysis. Borrowing from methodological tools found in the practice of social and cultural history, the history of emotions and micro-history, he wishes to look beyond the idealized conception of humor as a weapon of cultural and spiritual resistance. Instead, he offers to consider humor as a prism of analysis through which one can understand the fragmentation, hopes, fears and concerns of a plural Jewish community.