2007–08 Joyce and Arthur Schechter Fellow Mr. Thomas Lutz
Mr. Thomas Lutz earned an M.A. in history, political science, and sports from Philipps University in Germany. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was Director of the Memorial Museums Department at the Topography of Terror Foundation in Berlin, Germany, and a Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute for Social Sciences and Education in History and Politics at the Free University in Berlin. For his Joyce and Arthur Schechter Fellowship, Mr. Lutz conducted research for his project “From Educational Aims to Emotional Perception: The Search for a Middle Ground between Current and Future Demands in the New Exhibition of Memorial Museums for the Victims of the National Socialism in Germany.”
For the last two decades Thomas Lutz has coordinated and advised memorial museums and sites dealing with Nazi victims. At the Topography of Terror Foundation, Mr. Lutz stimulates exchange of information among staff at memorial museums in Germany; organizes research and study seminars; and advises parliaments in the Federal Republic of Germany about memorials. He has served as a member of the German delegation to the International Task Force for Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research; Vice President of the International Committee for Memorial Museums for the Remembrance of Victims of Public Crimes (ICOM); Chair of the International Board of the Memorial Museums Foundation of the State of Brandenburg; and has been a member of the International Mauthausen Concentration Camp Forum, among others. He is the editor of several publications, including most recently GedenkstättenRundbrief, a bi-monthly newsletter for memorial museums, and “minderwertig” und “asozial”. Stationen der Verfolgung gesellschaftlicher Außenseiter (2005).
During his tenure at the Museum, Mr. Lutz researched the future impact and perception of Nazi crimes in 18 new exhibitions at historical sites in Germany. As the events depicted in memorial sites shift from contemporary history to history, Mr. Lutz examined from an education perspective how Nazi atrocities should be presented, and how the victims should be remembered after survivors are no longer be able to speak personally about their experiences.