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Dr. Mark Celinscak

Pearl Resnick Postdoctoral Fellowship
"Canada and the Relief of Bergen-Belsen"

Professional Background

Dr. Mark Celinscak is a Visiting Research Associate at York University’s Centre for Jewish Studies in Toronto. He received his PhD from York’s Department of Humanities. His dissertation is titled, “At War’s End: Allied Forces at Bergen-Belsen.” During his doctoral studies, Dr. Celinscak worked with the Azrieli Foundation on the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program. He was responsible for summarizing and assessing unpublished manuscripts, as well as interviewing Holocaust survivors living in the Greater Toronto Area.

He has been the recipient of several scholarships and awards, including the Susan Mann Dissertation Scholarship from York University, the Neil Black Memorial Scholarship from the London Goodenough Association of Canada, an Ontario Graduate Scholarship from the Government of Ontario, and both the Fleischer Award and the Tom and Mary Beck Jewish Studies Award from York’s Centre for Jewish Studies. In 2011, Dr. Celinscak participated in the USHMM Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Hess Seminar on “Teaching about the Holocaust through Eyewitness Testimony: Using Interviews and Memoirs in the Classroom.”

Dr. Celinscak’s articles include, “A Procession of Shadows: Examining Warsaw Ghetto Testimony,” New School Psychology Bulletin (2009) and “Captivity and Encounter: Thomas Pellow, The Moroccan Renegade,” University of Toronto Art Journal (2008). In 2011 he was featured on CBC Radio about a Canadian airman who was in charge of planning the collection and employment of resources during the relief efforts at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Dr. Celinscak’s first book, At War’s End: British and Canadian Forces at Bergen-Belsen, is currently under contract with University of Toronto Press and is scheduled for publication during the winter of 2013-2014. It re-examines the surrender and relief of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northwest Germany at the end of the Second World War. The book surveys the personal narratives of both British and Canadian military personnel as they responded to the situation at the camp. He also has a number of encyclopedia entries forthcoming, including “Le Paradis Massacre,” “René Bousquet” and “Benin Expedition” for the Atrocities, Massacres, and War Crimes: An Encyclopedia (ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Press). In addition, he was written entries on “Robert Watson-Watt” and “Henry T. Tizard” for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of the History of the Philosophy of War and Strategy (ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Press).

Fellowship Research

For his Pearl Resnick Postdoctoral Fellowship, Dr. Celinscak will be researching “Canada and the Relief of Bergen-Belsen.” Building on his original dissertation research, he will examine how and why hundreds of Canadian military personnel became involved at Bergen-Belsen, a camp that had been surrendered to and which remained under the control of the British Army. The remarkable Canadian efforts at this camp have not been properly acknowledged, studied or documented.

Dr. Celinscak will be in residence at the Center through April 30, 2013.