2005–06 Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellow Ms. Ilana Offenberger
Ms. Ilana Offenberger earned a B.A. in German from Skidmore College and spent a year of her undergraduate study at Salzburg College (Austria). During her fellowship at the Museum, she was a Ph.D. candidate in history at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. For her Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellowship, Ms. Offenberger conducted research on “The Nazification of Vienna and the Response of the Viennese Jews.”
Ms. Offenberger has received several prestigious honors due to her academic achievements. In 2000 she received the General Consulate Award and Departmental Honors for her exceptional work in German. Since 2002 she has been a Crown Family Doctoral Research Fellow, a Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies Fellow, and since 2003 a Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany Graduate Studies Fellow. Ms. Offenberger is also a former intern of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Department of Public Programs and the Benjamin and Vladka Meed Registry of Holocaust Survivors.
While in residence at the Center, Ms. Offenberger examined the life of the Jews of Vienna following the Nazi takeover of Austria. She described and analyzed the collective history of the Viennese Jews during the pre-genocidal period of the Holocaust, from the perspective of the victims. Focusing on specific families and individuals, Ms. Offenberger explored the dilemmas that they faced and the decisions that they made, and searched for turning points that ultimately lead to their escape, suicide, and/or murder.