New Research on Roma and the Holocaust
September 15–18, 2014
This combination workshop and symposium is designed to foster scholarly cooperation among junior scholars working on Roma and the Holocaust across Europe, as well as histories of prewar persecution and the effects of the Holocaust on Romani communities in its aftermath. The program will consist of three days of consultation and discussion of participants’ research in a workshop setting, followed by a day-long public symposium.
Symbols of Exclusion: The Semiotics of Race in Public Spaces
October 23–24, 2014
Co-organized with the University of Mississippi, this interdisciplinary symposium will explore emerging research in Holocaust studies on the semiotics of race in public spaces and efforts to memorialize histories of racialized atrocities, as well as current research on these topics in the American South.
(Un)Silencing the Past: Narratives of Trauma in Comparative Perspective
October 24–25, 2013
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Co-organized by the Mandel Center and the University of New Mexico, this interdisciplinary symposium explored emerging Holocaust research on historical trauma and its aftermaths, as well as current research on these topics in the American Southwest and its borderlands.
New Research and Resources on Children and the Holocaust
February 26–27, 2013
This symposium explored the evolution of the study of children and the Holocaust ten years after the Mandel Center first convened a conference on the topic. Drawing from new Museum resources, presenters explored such familiar subjects as hiding and rescue, as well as new areas like postwar identity, history and memory, and the challenges and opportunities of child survivor testimony itself.
The Holocaust: Cultural Elites, Collaboration, Murder
January 18, 2007
The focus of this symposium was the appeal of National Socialism and fascism to publicly respected cultural figures and intellectuals in Germany, as well as in Allied, Axis, occupied, and neutral countries in Europe. Panelists explored the various reasons why intellectual identification with Nazism and fascism took hold and the manner in which leading figures confronted—or did not confront—their past after 1945.
Protesting Prejudice after the Holocaust: The American Experience
November 3, 2005
Marking the 50th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, this symposium highlighted the legacy of the Holocaust in the efforts of postwar activists to combat religious, racial, ethnic, and gender prejudice. Stunned by the atrocities in Europe, many Americans turned to the fight against prejudice and discrimination at home. Panelists provided comparative analyses of early responses to the Holocaust, the impact of the Holocaust on efforts to challenge religious intolerance, and civil activism as a legacy of the Holocaust.
The Holocaust in the Courtroom
January 13, 2005
This symposium focused on Holocaust-related trials from 1945 until today. Panelists provided comparative analyses of trials involving perpetrators, collaborators, and Holocaust deniers, as well as examined the law in different countries and how it affected trial outcomes. The symposium concluded with a roundtable discussion of challenges and lessons for today, when Holocaust-related criminal trials are still ongoing and the world is faced with continuing crimes against humanity in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sudan, and elsewhere.
The Holocaust in Romania
May 20, 2004
On October 22, 2003, President of Romania Ion Iliescu announced the formation of the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania, chaired by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. The commission—composed of recognized historians and public figures from France, Germany, Israel, Romania, and the United States—began the process of examining in detail the discrimination, isolation, internment, deportation, and physical destruction of Romanian Jews and other Jews under Romanian control between 1937 and 1945; the Romanian persecution of Roma between 1942 and 1944; and the post-World War II trials of the perpetrators accused of crimes related to these events. In this symposium, commission members offered the first public presentation of their findings at the time.
The Holocaust in the Soviet Union
November 6, 2003
Masses of rich archival material that have become available since the dissolution of the Soviet Union have provided new insight into previously under-researched aspects of the Holocaust on Soviet territory. In this symposium, scholars discussed the initial effects of the Nazi occupation on Jewish communities; the centralized and local initiatives that culminated in the mass murder of Soviet Jewry; the murder, mass starvation, and forced labor of Soviet prisoners of war; the participation of Jews in the Soviet war effort; and the impact of the Holocaust on the postwar Soviet Union.
Children and the Holocaust
April 3, 2003
During the Holocaust, more than one million children were killed. Those who escaped that fate went into hiding, were forced to emigrate—often without their families—or survived by concealing their Jewish identity. After the war, those who survived struggled to reunite with family members and many had to face the fact that they were orphans. This symposium explored the variety of fates children experienced, from the perspectives of both scholars and the child survivors themselves. It was one of several programs focusing on children taking place between April 2003 and April 2004 in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Forced and Slave Labor in Nazi-Dominated Europe
October 24, 2002
Civilians, concentration camp prisoners, deportees, foreign nationals, Jews, and prisoners of war were all forced into the sprawling forced and slave labor system that encompassed most of Europe and supported the war efforts of the Nazi regime and Axis countries. Such labor was integral to concentration camps and their subcamps, farms, ghettos, labor battalions, religious institutions, prisoner-of-war camps, and private industries in Germany, other Axis countries, and the German-occupied territories east and west. The objective of this symposium was to examine key elements of the forced and slave labor system as a European phenomenon during World War II.
Life and Death in the Ghettos of Nazi-Occupied Europe
November 1, 2001
Despite the passage of nearly 60 years since the end of World War II, the experience of Jews subjected to forced confinement in ghettos by the Nazis and their collaborators continues to attract attention by scholars. This program offered the opportunity to hear from ten scholars whose research into newly released archival materials provided fresh insight and deeper understanding of various aspects of life in the ghettos of Europe from 1939 to 1945. Presentations in the morning aim at defining ghettos, describing their administration, and examining the issue of resistance. The afternoon session features detailed examinations of the impact of ghettoization on Jewish culture, including presentations on the Jewish religious response, daily life, and contemporaneous reflections on the experience.
The Holocaust: Literature and Representation
May 24, 2001
For several decades, literary scholars in North America, Europe, and Israel discussed the value and importance of employing fiction and poetry in reflections upon the Holocaust. Many of the issues central to this ongoing dialogue remain hotly debated, including the ways in which the history and memory of the Holocaust are transmitted in literature; the public reception of those transmissions; the relationship between oral testimony and literature; and the potentially therapeutic value of using literature to confront the emotional trauma left behind after the genocide. This program was a unique opportunity to hear from 12 leading academics and literary critics whose work examines and analyzes literary treatments of the Holocaust.
Though economic discrimination and the seizure of Jewish property were integral parts of the Holocaust, until recently, research on this dimension of Nazi anti-Jewish persecution has lagged behind other areas of Holocaust studies. This program gave a unique opportunity to hear from eleven scholars whose research in newly released archival materials has advanced the study of the confiscation of Jewish property by the Third Reich and its European allies. The speakers examined the institutions charged with implementing confiscation policies, the manner in which Jewish assets were seized, and the perspectives of those whose property was confiscated.
Roma and Sinti: Under-Studied Victims of Nazism
September 21, 2000
This program featured prominent scholars whose research, analysis, and insights have advanced the study of the Nazi persecution of Roma and Sinti. Speakers addressed Nazi racial policy concerning Roma and Sinti, how Roma were persecuted in various regions of Eastern and Western Europe, and future research possibilities on this subject.
The Persecution of Homosexuals under the Nazi Regime
April 28, 2000
This program featured eight international scholars and historians whose research, analysis, and insights have expanded our understanding of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. Speakers from the United States and Europe addressed how and why homosexual men, women, and youths were persecuted; the medical experiments conducted on them; why many victims remained silent for decades after the war; and the new research opportunities on this subject.
The Holocaust in Hungary: Confrontation with the Past
November 9, 1999
The Holocaust in Hungary, as elsewhere, leaves many questions unanswered—history provides as many puzzles as clues. Scholars refer to a “Golden Age” for Hungarian Jews from the end of the nineteenth century to World War I, when the country was hospitable to Jewish emigration and assimilation. Until the German occupation in March 1944, Hungary was a place where Jews could still find refuge from the Holocaust. The Mandel Center sponsored this symposium to examine the impact of the Holocaust on Hungary and the efforts of Hungary to confront its past and come to terms with the implications.