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< All Fellows and Scholars

Dr. Michael Berkowitz

Dr. Michael Berkowitz
2002-2003 Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow

"The Nazi Criminalization of Jewry and Its Consequences"

Professional Background

Dr. Michael Berkowitz received a Ph.D. and an M.A. in history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison under the guidance of the late George L. Mosse, eminent scholar and 1994-1995 J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was Reader in Modern Jewish History at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London. For his Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship for Archival Research, Dr. Berkowitz conducted research for his book project “The Nazi Criminalization of Jewry and Its Consequences.”

Dr. Berkowitz is well-known for his monographs in modern Jewish history including The Jewish Self-Image: American and British Perspectives, 1881-1939 (New York University Press, 2000), Western Jewry and the Zionist Project, 1914-1933 (Cambridge University Press, 1997), and Zionist Culture and West European Jewry before the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 1993). He is also co-editor with Susan L. Tananbaum and Sam W. Bloom of Forging Modern Jewish Identities: Public Faces and Private Struggles (Valentine Mitchell, 2003). Dr. Berkowitz has also written dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters and is the recipient of numerous grants, fellowships and academic honors for his work including a Littauer Foundation Grant, a Wiener Library Fellowship, a DAAD Fellowship, and Lady Davis Fellowship from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Fellowship Research

During his tenure at the Museum, Dr. Berkowitz examined German sources about the Nazi effort to cultivate antisemitism based on portraits of Jews as criminals. He analyzed Nazi antisemitic propaganda such as the claim that Jews were to blame for Germany’s financial downfall in the 1920s and early 1930s and that Jews in the occupied East were plunderers. He researched the Museum’s archival collections of the German SS-police records and investigations into individual Jews who were branded criminals, and visual sources of Nazi attempts to depict Jews as criminals. In his study Dr. Berkowitz contextualized criminality within the larger racist-political spectrum of Nazi antisemitism.

Dr. Berkowitz was in residence at the Mandel Center from August 1, 2002 to September 15, 2002 and March 30, 2003 to September 10, 2003.