Léon Poliakov (Russian: Лев Поляков; November 25, 1910 in Saint Petersburg – December 8, 1997 in Orsay) was a French historian who wrote extensively on the Holocaust and antisemitism.
Born into a Russian Jewish family, Poliakov lived in Italy and Germany until he settled in France.
He co-founded the Centre de documentation juive contemporaine, established to collate documentation relating to the persecution of Jews during World War II. He also assisted Edgar Faure at the Nuremberg Trial. Poliakov went on to serve as director of research at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) from 1954 until 1971.
According to historian Jos Sanchez, Poliakov was the first scholar to critically assess the disposition of Pope Pius XII toward various issues connected to the Holocaust. In November 1950, Poliakov wrote "The Vatican and the 'Jewish Question' - The Record of the Hitler Period-And After," in the influential Jewish journal Commentary. While this article was the first to consider the attitude of the papacy during World War II and the Holocaust, it was not until 1963, when German playwright Rolf Hochhuth published his play Der Stellvertreter that discussion of Poliakov's initial investigations in this area took on worldwide significance.
- L'étoile jaune - La situation des Juifs en France sous l'Occupation - Les législations nazie et vichyssoise (Editions Grancher, October 1999 - three texts: a book of 1949, an article in Historia magazine in 1968 and a text of 1980) ISBN 2-7339-0642-9
- Harvest of Hate: The Nazi Program for the Destruction of Jews in Europe 1956
- The History of Anti-Semitism: From the Time of Christ to the Court Jews (orig. 1955; this tr. 1966; repr. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003) ISBN 0-8122-1863-9
- The History of Anti-Semitism: From Mohammed to the Marranos (orig. 1961; tr. 1973; repr. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003) ISBN 0-8122-1864-7, ISBN 0-8122-3767-6
- The History of Anti-Semitism: From Voltaire to Wagner (orig. 1968; tr. 1975; repr. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003) [preview at Google Books ISBN 0-8122-1865-5
- The History of Anti-Semitism: Suicidal Europe. 1870-1933 (orig. 1977; tr. 1984; repr. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003) [preview at Google Books ISBN 0-8122-3769-2
- The Aryan Myth: A History of Racist and Nationalistic Ideas In Europe (Barnes & Noble Books (1996)) ISBN 0-7607-0034-6
- Jews Under the Italian Occupation (coauthored with Jacques Sabille) (Howard Fertig; 1st American ed edition (December, 1983)) ISBN 0-86527-344-8
- «Moscou, troisième Rome» Moscow, The third Rome
- «L`Auberge des musiciens» (memoir)
- «L`envers du Destin» (autobiography)
- "De l'antisionisme à l'antisémitisme" (1969)
See also