2008–09 Laurie and Andy Okun Fellow Ms. Angelika Benz
Angelika Benz received an M.A. in German history and philology from the Technical University of Berlin. During her tenure at the Museum, she was a Ph.D. candidate in new German history at the same institution. For her Laurie and Andy Okun Fellowship, Ms. Benz conducted research for her project, “Trawniki.”
Ms. Benz is the author of book chapters and scholarly articles, including “Der Novemberpogrom aus Sicht der Opfer,” [The November Pogrom from the Perspective of the Victims] in: Tribuene (September 2008); “Herman Seelbach: Die Geschichte eines Überläufers,” [Hermann Seelbach: The Story of a Deserter] in Schriftenreihe der Bundesschule Bernau (Bundesschule Bernau, 2007); “Trawniki” in Wolfgang Benz and Barbara Distel’s Der Ort des Terrors: Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslage, Bd. 7 (Verlag C.H.Beck, 2007); and “Vom ‘Zuhause’ bis zur neuen Heimat,” [From ‘Being at home’ to ‘New Heimat’] in Angelika Königseder and Christel Panzig’s Zweite Heimat. Flucht, Vertreibung, Integration Deutscher nach dem II. Weltkrieg in Sachsen-Anhalt (MetropolitanVerlag, 2004). She is also the editor of Garai, Jehuda: Pecs, Auschwitz, Kaufering: Stationen einer verlorenen jüdischen Jugend [Garai, Jehuda: Pecs, Auschwitz, Kaufering: Stations of a Lost Jewish Youth] (Metropol, 2006) and the book Beirach, Moshe: Vom Ghetto in die Waelder [Beirach, Moshe: From the Ghetto into the Woods] which was forthcoming at the time of her tenure. Ms. Benz was a graduate assistant in Gert Weisskirchen’s office at the German Parliament and a proofreader for the periodical Dachauer Hefte. She received a scholarship from the Cusanuswerk and has language skills in German, Latin, and Spanish.
During her fellowship at the Center, Ms. Benz conducted research on the Trawniki SS work and training camps, an area of Holocaust studies that has received little scholarly attention. She continued research for her dissertation in which she contextualizes the strategy, organization, and administration of the Trawniki camps. Ms. Benz closely examined the staff of the SS-training camp and their responsibilities, leading to an exploration of the question of guilt—ethically as well as juristically. Her work revealed the importance of the Trawniki camps to Action Reinhardt and Nazi Germany’s plan to murder the Jews of Europe. To conclude her study, Ms. Benz focused on how the camps were handled after the war and the lawsuits against former SS staff of both camps.