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Kimberly Allar
2013-2014 Ben and Zelda Cohen Fellow

“Training Nazi Camp Guards: Dachau, Ravensbrück, and Trawniki in Comparison”

Professional Background

Ms. Kimberly Allar is currently a PhD Candidate in Holocaust Studies, Clark University (USA), and is expected to earn her degree in May 2015. Her dissertation is titled “Training Nazi Camp Guards. Dachau, Ravensbrück, and Trawniki in Comparison.” Ms. Allar earned her Bachelor’s Degree in History from Amherst College in 2008. Ms. Allar has language skills in French, German, and Spanish. Recent lectures and presentations include: “Kinder, Küche, Kirche, und Konzentrationslager: Gender Norms and Female Perpetrators in the Holocaust,” for the German Studies Association in Denver, Colorado, 2013; “German Sources and Archives of the Holocaust” at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, in Munich, Germany, 2013; “Changing of the Guard: An Examination of Nazi Concentration Camp SS from 1933-1945,” for Forced Labor, Exploitation, War Production. 18th Workshop on History and Memory of National Socialist Concentration Camps, Bremen, Germany, 2012; “International Tracing Service Seminar,” at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, 2012; and “Judging Collaboration: The Trawniki Men of Trial,” for Truth, Memory, Justice, Recovery. The 9th Biennial Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2011. While in residence at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Ms. Allar conducted research on her project entitled “Training Nazi Camp Guards: Dachau, Ravensbrück, and Trawniki in Comparison.”

Ms. Allar has published one monograph entitled “Arbeit Macht Frei” Through the Gates of History: The Postwar History of Auschwitz from its Liberation to Present Day, (Amherst, MA: Robert Frost Library and Special Collections, 2008). She has also written essays for three books, one which is forthcoming. These are: “Setting the Picture Straight. The Ordinary Women of Nazi Germany and Rwanda who Participated in Genocide” in Aftermath the Politics of Genocide (Victoria, Australia: Monash University Press, forthcoming); “Holocaust Tourism in a Post-Holocaust Europe: Anne Frank and Auschwitz” in Dark Tourism and Place Identity: Marketing, Managing, and Interpreting Dark Places, ed. Leanne White and Elspeth Frew (New York: Routledge, 2013); and “Evil or Ordinary Women, the Female Auxiliaries of the Holocaust” in The Evil Body, ed. April Anson (Freeland, UK: Interdisciplinary Press, 2011).

Fellowship Research

For her Ben and Zelda Cohen Fellowship, Ms. Allar examined the Museum’s collections pertaining to Dachau, Ravensbrück, and Trawniki and how the camps’ guards were trained. The purpose of this project was to determine exactly how the Nazis turned ordinary people into ruthless enforcers of the Nazi ideology. To accomplish this goal, Ms. Allar used the testimonies of perpetrators, victims, and bystanders. She also examined documents and testimonies about the many youth organizations created by the Nazis and how those may have expedited the transition from ordinary citizen to mass murderer.

Kimberly Allar was in residence at the Center from October 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014.