Teaching about the Holocaust in the Soviet Union: Perpetrators, Collaborators, Bystanders, and Victims
June 2–13, 2014
Apply by March 3
The Mandel Center is pleased to announce the 2014 Curt C. and Else Silberman Seminar for University Faculty, Teaching about the Holocaust in the Soviet Union: Perpetrators, Collaborators, Bystanders, and Victims. The seminar is designed for professors of all disciplines who are teaching or preparing to teach courses about the Holocaust or related topics and who wish to further their understanding of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union.
Despite the fact that more than one-third of all Jewish victims were killed in these territories, the Holocaust in the Soviet Union has remained an understudied, under-researched, and infrequently taught topic. Only since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the opening of previously inaccessible archives have scholars been able to reconstruct the course of events and to analyze how the Soviet government, Soviet Jews, and the Soviet public reacted to what transpired.
The Silberman Seminar will present some of the latest scholarly findings on the Holocaust in the Soviet Union and provide an overview of the ideological aims and tactics used in “the East.” The seminar will also examine the Soviet Jewish communities and culture prior to World War II and the relations between Jews and other Soviet nationalities within the context of modern Russian history and the impact of the Stalinist regime.
For pedagogical purposes, the seminar will explore the use of archival documentation and eyewitness accounts in research and teaching about perpetrators, collaborators, bystanders, and victims in the USSR. Sessions will include discussions on classroom teaching methods and strategies across multiple disciplines.
Jeffrey Veidlinger and Lynne Viola will co-lead the seminar.
Jeffrey Veidlinger is the Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He is an expert in Jewish studies and was named a “Top Young Historian” by the History News Network in 2006. A skilled educator, he has received teaching accolades such as Indiana University’s Trustees’ Teaching Award; he teaches courses on the Holocaust as well as special classes on topics such as antisemitism and philosemitism, in addition to broader surveys of Jewish history. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage (2000), which won a National Jewish Book Award and the Barnard Hewitt Award for Theatre Scholarship and was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. His book Jewish Public Culture in the Late Russian Empire (2009) won the Abe and Fay Bergel Award in Scholarship at the Canadian Jewish Book Awards, as well as the J. I . Segal Award. His just-released book, In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine (2013), is based on some 400 interviews with Yiddish-speakers conducted in the small towns of Eastern Europe. His work has been recognized through research grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, and the Mellon Fund.
Lynne Viola is University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Toronto, Canada. She is a specialist in 20th-century Russian history, focusing on political and social history, and her classroom teaching skills have been recognized thorough honors such as the University of Toronto Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award. Her research interests include women, peasants, political culture, and Stalinist terror. She is the author of some 30 articles and four books, including The Best Sons of the Fatherland: Workers in the Vanguard of Soviet Collectivization (1987); Peasant Rebels Under Stalin: Collectivization and the Culture of Peasant Resistance (1996); The War Against the Peasantry, 1927–1930 (2005); and The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin’s Special Settlements (2007). She also edited Contending with Stalinism: Soviet Power and Popular Resistance in the 1930s (2002) and A Researcher’s Guide to Sources of Soviet Social History in the 1930s (1990; with Sheila Fitzpatrick). Professor Viola is currently working on a book exploring issues related to the topic of perpetrators of Stalin’s terror, as well as co-writing the last volume of the Tragedy of the Soviet Countryside series for Yale University Press’s Annals of Communism. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Connaught, IREX, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Fund, and the Killam Fund.
The Mandel Center will introduce participants to resources that may be used in teaching and research about the Holocaust, including the Museum’s library, document archives, memoir collection, photo archives, oral testimony collection, film and video archive, and Holocaust survivor database, as well as the International Tracing Service (ITS) collection of more than 100 million Holocaust-era documents. The ITS records relate to the fates of more than 17 million people who were subject to incarceration, forced labor, and displacement during World War II. Learn more about the Museum’s collections.
Participants will also have the opportunity to consult and interact with Museum staff and visiting fellows.
Seminar applicants must be faculty members at accredited, baccalaureate-awarding institutions in North America. Applications must include:
- A curriculum vitae
- A statement of the applicant’s specific interest and needs in strengthening his or her background in Holocaust history for the purpose of improving teaching
- A supporting letter from a departmental chair or dean addressing the applicant’s qualifications and the institution’s commitment to Holocaust-related education. Syllabi of any Holocaust-related courses that the applicant has taught should also be included. Syllabi will be distributed at the seminar to facilitate discussion of successful teaching strategies.
Admission will be decided without regard to age, gender, race, creed, or national origin. A maximum of 20 applicants will be accepted. For nonlocal participants, the Mandel Center will (1) cover the cost of direct travel to and from the participant’s home institution and Washington, DC, and (2) provide lodging for the duration of the seminar. Incidental, meal, and book expenses must be defrayed by the participants or their respective institutions. All participants must commit to attend the entire seminar from June 2–13.
Applications must be postmarked or received in electronic form no later than Monday, March 3, 2014. Send to:
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2126
For questions, contact Dr. Dieter Kuntz at email@example.com or 202.314.1779. The Mandel Center will notify accepted applicants by Friday, March 28, 2014.
The Curt C. and Else Silberman Foundation endowed the Silberman Seminar for University Faculty in memory of Curt C. and Else Silberman. The Foundation supports programs in higher education that promote study of the Holocaust, and protect and strengthen Jewish values in democracy, human rights, ethical leadership, and cultural pluralism.