Askenazy, Simon

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ASKENAZY, SIMON (1867–1937), Polish historian. Askenazy studied at the universities of Warsaw and Goettingen and taught modern history at the University of Lemberg from 1897 to 1914, the last seven years as professor. During World War i he was a member of the Polish National Council in Switzerland. After the establishment of an independent Poland he served as its first representative at the League of Nations until 1923, when the National Democratic government dismissed him from his post because he was a Jew. From 1927 to 1937 he was a guest professor at the University of Warsaw. Askenazy's main historical studies dealt with the period from the partition of Poland in 1772 to the rebellion against Russia in 1863. His chief works were a monograph on Prince Joseph Poniatowski (1905) which was translated into English, French, and German; Lukasinski (1908); Napoleon a Polska (3 vols., 1918–19); Uwagi ("Notes on the Polish Problem," 1924); and Gdansk a Polska (1919; Danzig and Poland, 1921). He also wrote the chapters on Russia and Poland in the Cambridge Modern History. In 1929 he discovered manuscripts relating to Napoleon, which he published under the title Rękopisy Napoleona, 1793–1795. Askenazy raised a generation of students of Polish history who came to hold prominent positions in their country's cultural and political life. In 1912 a quarterly journal for the study of Jewish history in Poland, Kwartalnik poświęcony badaniu przeszłości Żydów w Polsce, was founded on his initiative. As a Jew, he was regarded as a spokesman for the assimilationists.


M. Kukiel, Szymon Askenazi (Pol., 1935); J. Dutkiewicz, Szymon Askenazy i jego szkoła (1958); E. Kipa, in: Studja i szkice historyczne (1959), 183–97.

[Nathan Michael Gelber]