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< All Fellows and Scholars

Dr. Laura Jockusch

Dr. Laura Jockusch
2012-2013 Ben and Zelda Cohen Fellow

"Beyond Vengeance: Jewish Conceptions of Retributive Justice after the Holocaust"

Professional Background

Dr. Laura Jockusch is to become a Martin Buber Society Fellow in the Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an instructor in the International MA Program in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa (Israel) in October 2012. She received a PhD in Hebrew and Judaic studies from New York University in 2007. For her Ben and Zelda Cohen Fellowship, she conducted research for her project “Beyond Vengeance: Jewish Conceptions of Retributive Justice after the Holocaust.”

Dr. Jockusch’s dissertation, published as Collect and Record! Jewish Holocaust Documentation in Early Postwar Europe by Oxford University Press in August 2012, examines the beginnings of Holocaust research by Jews and from a Jewish perspective in the aftermath of World War II. Comparing the cases of France, Poland, Germany, Austria, and Italy, her research challenges the misconception that survivors remained silent about their pasts for several decades and that systematic research on the Holocaust began only in the 1960s. It demonstrates that history writing constituted an integral response of those who had endured, witnessed, and survived the European Jewish catastrophe and that their early postwar initiatives were trailblazers for later Holocaust historiography.

Dr. Jockusch is currently an editor for two volumes under contract: Jewish Honor Courts: Revenge, Retribution and Reconciliation in Europe and Israel after the Holocaust with Gabriel Finder (anticipated 2014) and Early Jewish Texts on the Holocaust: The Collections of the Jewish Historical Commissions and Documentation Centers, 1943–1953 with Natalia Aleksiun (anticipated 2014).

In addition, Dr. Jockusch has written several articles, including “Justice at Nuremberg? Jewish Responses to Nazi War Crimes Trials in Allied Occupied Germany,” accepted for publication by Jewish Social Studies; “Breaking the Silence: The Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine in Paris and the Writing of Holocaust History in Liberated France,” in After the Holocaust: Challenging the Myth of Silence, edited by David Cesarani and Eric J. Sundquist (2011); and “Paradise Lost? Postwar Memory of Polish Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union,” with Tamar Lewinsky in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Winter 2010).

She has participated in numerous conferences and workshops and has been the recipient of several awards, grants, and fellowships, including the Max-Planck Foundation’s Feodor Lynen Minerva Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Kreitman Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Fellowship Research

During her tenure at the Center, Dr. Jockusch researched how European Jews during and after the Holocaust conceptualized justice, legal redress, and retribution for Nazi crimes. In particular, she analyzed the multifaceted Jewish perspectives on Nazi war crime trials at Allied military tribunals in postwar Germany and explored the comprehensive attempts by Jewish individuals, communities, and international organizations to intervene on behalf of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Dr. Jockusch was in residence at the Mandel Center from August 1 to September 30, 2012 and August 1 to September 30, 2013.