Samuel Kassow

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Dr. Samuel D. Kassow (born 1946) is an American historian of the history of Ashkenazi Jewry.

Early life[edit]

Kassow was born in a displaced persons' camp in Stuttgart, Germany. His mother survived because a classmate hid her and her sister in a dug-out underneath the barn on his family's farm; his father was arrested by the Russians and spent the duration of the war in a Soviet prison camp.[1][2] Kassow grew up in New Haven, Connecticut.[3]


In 1966, Kassow earned his B.A. from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. In 1968, Kassow earned a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics. In 1976, Kassow earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University.


Kassow was the Charles Northam Professor at Trinity College for many years.

Kassow was a consultant to the Museum of History of the Polish Jews, which opened on the site of the Warsaw Ghetto, and was responsible for two of the eight core exhibitions.[4]

In his book, Who Will Write Our History? Rediscovering a Hidden Archive From the Warsaw Ghetto , Kassow speaks about the importance of preserving historical documents and the past. He describes the historical events going on during World War II in the 1940s that affected and eventually eliminated the Warsaw Ghetto. His main focus is the Ringelblum Archive created in absolute secrecy by a small group of people that lived in the Warsaw Ghetto which were uncovered and studied about ten years later.[5]

In 2014, Indiana University Press and the United States Holocaust Museum published The Clandestine History of the Kovno Jewish Ghetto Police, with an introduction by Kassow.

His 2007 book Who Will Write Our History is currently being adapted to a documentary film of the same title, directed by Roberta Grossman and produced by Nancy Spielberg. It is set to be released in 2017.


  • Students, Professors, and the State inTsarist Russia: 1884-1917, University of California Press, 1989. ISBN 0-520-05760-0.
  • Between Tsar and People: the Search for a Public Identity in Tsarist Russia. Edith Clowes, Samuel Kassow, James L. West eds. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ 1991. ISBN 0-691-03153-3.
  • The Distinctive Life of East European Jewry, YIVO, New York 2004
  • Who will Write our History: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Oyneg Shabes Archive, Indiana University Press, 2007

Personal life[edit]

Kassow is married to Lisa Phelan Kassow. She is a director of Zach's Hillel at Trinity College. [6]


  1. ^ No Happy Ending; Centerpiece of Jewish Film Fest Is an Unsentimental Look at the Holocaust in Hungary, Hartford Courant, SUSAN DUNNE, March 16, 2006
  2. ^ Remembering the Holocaust Delegates Journey Overseas For Memorial Ceremony, Hartford Courant, KATHLEEN GORMAN, May 12, 1995
  3. ^ Survivors' son will discuss 'cultural resistance' at Yom HaShoah event, Zak Mazur, Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, March 29th, 2002 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  4. ^ CT News (June 8, 2010), Samuel Kassow elected to American Academy for Jewish Research Jewish Ledger, Connecticut Edition. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  5. ^ Kassow, Samuel. "Interview With Samuel Kassow." Archived 2016-09-18 at the Wayback Machine. Interview with Marshall Poe. Audio blog post. New Books in History. 30 Jan. 2009. 07 May 2009.
  6. ^ "Faculty and Staff". Retrieved September 6, 2018.

External links[edit]