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Professor Dan Bar-On

Matthew Family Fellow
"Psychology of the Holocaust"

Professional Background

Professor Dan Bar-On earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in psychology from Hebrew University (Jerusalem), and a B.A. from Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Beer Sheva). During his fellowship at the Museum, he was Professor of Psychology at Ben Gurion University in Negev, Israel. For his Matthew Family Fellowship, Professor Bar-On conducted research for his project, “Psychology of the Holocaust.”

Professor Bar-On is the author or editor of several books, including The “Other” Within Us: Changes in the Israeli Identity from a Psychosocial Perspective (Mosad Bialik and Ben Gurion University, 2005; English version published by Cambridge University Press forthcoming); with S. Adwan, eds., Learning the Historical Narrative of the Other – I & II (Beit Jala: Prime, 2002 and 2005); Tell Your Life Story (Central European University Press, 2006), original in German Erzaehl dein Leben! Meine Wege zum Dialogarbeit und Politischen Verstandigung (Hamburg: Koerber, 2004); Fear and Hope (Harvard University Press, 1995; and Legacy of Silence (Harvard University Press, 1989). He is also the recipient of various grants and awards for his contributions to the fields of psychology and sociology, Israeli identity, post Holocaust reconciliation, and Mideast conflict resolution.

Fellowship Research

While in residence at the Center, Professor Bar-On addressed the complexities involved in the personal and societal silence and silencing that occurred after the Holocaust, as well as the difficulties that the descendants of Nazi perpetrators and Holocaust survivors face today. He focused on an interdisciplinary perspective of the psychology of the perpetrators, survivors, bystanders, and rescuers and addressed the vast array of historical, psychological, and analytical issues that emerge from each group.

In February 2008 Professor Bar-On was interviewed as part of the Museum’s podcast series “Voices on Antisemitism.” He spoke about his work in bringing together children of Holocaust survivors with children of Nazi perpetrators for dialogue and reflection. Listen to his interview.

Professor Bar-On was in residence at the Mandel Center from June 4 to August 30, 2007.