2008–09 Leon Milman Memorial Fellow Ms. Barbara Bluemmel
Barbara Bluemmel received an M.A. in Jewish studies at the Hochschule fuer Juedische Studien in Heidelberg, and an M.A. in philosophy. During her tenure at the Museum, she was a Ph.D. candidate in Eastern European Jewish history at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. For her Leon Milman Memorial Fellowship, Ms. Bluemmel conducted research for her project, “Children in the Warsaw Ghetto, 1940-1942.”
Ms. Bluemmel is the recipient of several awards, including the Max Planck Minerva Organization Fellowship to study Jewish history and the Jewish Bible at Bar-Ilan University in Israel; a fellowship from the University of Cracow to study Polish language, history and literature; and a German Historical Institute Fellowship for archival research in Warsaw. She is a native German speaker and has language skills in English, French, Hebrew, Polish, Yiddish, Norwegian, Russian, and Latin.
During her fellowship at the Center, Ms. Bluemmel researched the 100,000 children who lived in the Warsaw ghetto between 1940 and 1942. Her project contributed to the understanding of what life was like for children in the ghetto, a subject which has received little scholarly attention. She studied the deterioration of the ghetto’s living conditions and the role children played in supporting their families. She also examined the social, religious, and educational aspects of the children’s lives, as well as the deportations and chances of survival among children. Ms. Bluemmel utilized the Museum’s many archival collections to carry out her research, including written and oral survivor testimonies, the Ringelblum (Oneg-Shabbat) Archive, and official documents pertaining to the administration of the Warsaw ghetto.