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Dr. Athanase Hagengimana

Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellow
"Psycho-Social Characteristics of Rwanda Genocide Criminals"

Professional Background

Dr. Athanase Hagengimana, a native of Butare, Rwanda, received an M.D. from the National University of Rwanda and a Master of Medicine in psychiatry at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was Research Fellow and Lecturer at the National University of Rwanda in Kigali and Harvard Medical School. For his Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellowship, Dr. Hagengimana conducted research for his project “Psycho-Social Characteristics of Rwanda Genocide Criminals.”

Dr. Hagengimana is the former Vice Dean of the Rwanda Medical School and has received several fellowships and honors for his work including the Social Science Research Council Fellowship on Conflict Studies and the Education for Foreign Medical Graduates Fellowship on Traumatic Studies. He has completed extensive work in psychiatry relating specifically to the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders of Rwandan genocide survivors. Dr. Hagengimana has given dozens of lectures worldwide examining the role of psychiatry in conflict resolution, the expression of mental suffering in African culture, and the psychological repercussions of the Rwandan genocide. He has also completed a significant amount of work focusing on the particularities of sexual violence and the Rwandan genocide. In addition to acting as a consultant for the World Health Organization’s Program on Violence against Women, Dr. Hagengimana also worked on the Rehabilitation Program for Female Genocide Survivors with the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Development Fund for Women. Additionally, he has served as Co-Investigator for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst project, “Trauma, Healing, and Reconciliation among Survivors and Perpetrators of Genocide,” and was an expert witness in international war crimes proceedings against Rwandan perpetrators.

Fellowship Research

During his tenure at the Museum, Dr. Hagengimana compared the psycho-social characteristics of the Interhamwe Militia with Nazi SS-policemen. He conducted most of his research from English and French sources on Nazi perpetrators. In particular he studied psycho-analytical material about personality disorders and Nazi criminals.

Dr. Hagengimana was in residence at the Mandel Center from January 1 to April 1, 2003.