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Dr. David Furber

Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow
"Going East: Colonialism and German Life in Nazi Occupied Poland, 1939-1945"

Professional Background

Dr. David Furber received a Ph.D. in history at the State University of New York at Buffalo, an M.A. in history at Clemson University, and a B.A. in international affairs at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was a lecturer at the State University of New York at Cortland. For his Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship for Archival Research, Dr. Furber conducted research for his project “Going East: Colonialism and German Life in Nazi Occupied Poland, 1939-1945.”

Dr. Furber is the recipient of several awards and distinctions for his graduate work including the Selig Adler Prize for Best Graduate Paper from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and the Ernest McPherson Lander Award for the Most Outstanding Graduate Student in History and an Alumni Fellowship for the Most Promising First-year Master’s Student at Clemson University. Dr. Furber has studied at the Technical University’s Center for the Study of Antisemitism and the Goethe Institute in Berlin. He has lectured in California, New York, South Carolina, Canada, Germany, and Poland.

Fellowship Research

During his tenure at the Museum, Dr. Furber focused on German manifestations of colonialism in Poland during the Nazi occupation. He explored Nazi occupation policy, practice, and the everyday experience of colonizers through analogies to the European experience in its overseas colonies. Dr. Furber argued that Germans moving eastward experienced “culture shock” as a new minority ruling class among a society they considered to be “primitive.” This gave rise to a sense of a “civilizing mission” among many local administrators and planners that regarded the removal of Jews as a necessary first step. Thus, he argued, the emotional complex that fueled the “white man’s burden” in Africa also fed into the Holocaust in Poland. Dr. Furber added a new dimension to the ideological, psychological, and institutional explanations of Nazi perpetrators in the East by further situating the events between 1939 and 1945 within a broader historical framework. To complete his research, he made extensive use of the Museum’s archival collections by examining numerous districts throughout Poland including Kielce, Radom, Busko, Krakow, Lodz, Jedrzejow and many others.

Dr. Furber was in residence at the Mandel Center from May 19 to August 19, 2003.