Basic Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Nottingham
Germany, Poland, United Kingdom

Scholar's Bio

Assistant Professor in History
Short Bio
I am historian of central and east-central Europe, international humanitarianism, and forced displacement. My work has largely focused on British-occupied Germany, Polish displaced persons (DPs) the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). My current research project, funded by the Pilecki Institute (Warsaw) focuses on the role of nation building in ad-hoc repatriation policies from British-occupied Germany to Poland in the immediate post-war period. I am also working on notions of hard and soft citizenship for Polish DP orphans who sought refuge in the UK but found themselves in India between 1942 and 1948. My newest research project will focus on Queer experiences in post-war displaced persons camps. As this is very much a ‘hidden history’ the project also envisages developing methodological frameworks to uncover such histories.
Polish; German; English
Recent/Major Publications

Out now

Samantha K. Knapton, ”There is No Such Thing as an Unrepatriable Pole’: Polish Displaced Persons in the British Zone of Occupation in Germany’, European History Quarterly 50:4 (Oct., 2020). DOI:

Samantha K. Knapton, ‘Resettling, repatriating and ‘rehabilitating’ Polish displaced persons in British-occupied Germany, 1945–51′ in Michal Palacz & Bas Willems (eds), A Transnational History of Forced Migrations in Europe: Unwilling Nomads in the Age of Two World Wars, (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2022)


Samantha K. Knapton, Occupiers, Humanitarian Workers, and Polish Displaced Persons in British-occupied Germany (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2023)

Samantha K. Knapton and Katherine Rossy, Relief and Rehabilitation for a Postwar World: Humanitarian Intervention and the UNRRA (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2023)
– Knapton and Rossy, ‘Introduction’
– Knapton, ”UNRRA: You Never Really Rehabilitate Anyone’. Rehabilitation in Definition and Practice’.