Shlomo Sand (also transliterated as Zand) was born in Linz (Austria) in 1946, and arrived in Israel in 1948. He is a professor of History in Tel Aviv university.
Zand's father, born in Lodz in 1910, was a communist. In December 1939, his parents fled to Soviet-occupied eastern Poland, after his father had seen some drunken German soldiers hang three Jews in the centre of Lodz. They spent the war in Uzbezistan and returned to Poland in 1945.
Sand spent the first two years of his life in a displaced persons camp near Munich—his parents were Polish Jewish Communists who had survived the Holocaust. He and his family arrived in Jaffa in 1948; in a 2004 interview, Sand commented:
I wouldn't say that the bed was still warm, but it is by now obvious that that flat had been left, or that it had been forcefully left, by Palestinian refugees who most probably live in Gaza today.After fighting in the 1967 war, he left the Moscow-oriented Israeli Communist Party and joined Matzpen. In the mid-70s he went to Paris, earning his PhD, on Georges Sorel and Marx, from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.
He is no stranger to controversy and confrontation. In 1983 he took part in a heated exchange over Zeev Sternhell’s Ni droite, ni gauche: l’idéologie fasciste en France, and later drew the ire of Claude Lanzmann with his 2002 book in Hebrew, Film as History, in which he not only passed scathing judgement on Lanzmann’s Shoah, but also revealed that the film had been secretly funded by the Israeli government.
Shlomo Sand signed the Zochrot petition asking that the directors of his employing institution, Tel Aviv University, give expression, in the form of a sign, to the history of Sheikh Muwanis, the Palestinian village on whose land the institution was built.