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Ms. Sari Siegel

Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance Fellow
“Between Coercion and Resistance: Jewish Prisoner-Physicians in Nazi Camps, 1938-1945”

Professional Background

Ms. Sari Siegel is PhD candidate in history at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she earned her MA in history. She received her BA in history from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. While in residence at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Ms. Siegel conducted research on her project, “Between Coercion and Resistance: Jewish Prisoner-Physicians in Nazi Camps, 1938-1945.”

Ms. Siegel published “Treating an Auschwitz Prisoner-Physician: The Case of Dr. Maximilian Samuel” in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Winter, 2014). She has also presented her work at conferences and workshops in various countries. In 2015, she delivered papers at the International Conference of the German-Polish Society for the History of Medicine in Warsaw (Poland); the International Researchers’ Workshop: Medicine in the Holocaust and Beyond in Akko (Israel); and the Beyond Camps and Forced Labour Conference in London (England). Prior events include the 2012 Lessons and Legacies Conference, the 2011 European Summer School Ravensbrück, and the 2010 US Holocaust Memorial Museum Summer Workshop on Coercive Medical Research and Practice During the Holocaust. Several fellowships and grants have supported Ms. Siegel’s research in recent years, including the Claims Conference Saul Kagan Fellowship in Advanced Shoah Studies, Linnie and Michael Katz Graduate Fellowship Research Grant through the University of Southern California Department of History, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum-Institut für Zeitgeschichte Exchange of Scholars Award, and the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute Junior Fellowship.

Fellowship Research

During her tenure as a Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance Fellow, Ms. Siegel took advantage of the Museum’s extensive archival and library holdings to study the activities and experiences of medically trained men and women who utilized their professional knowledge in the extermination, concentration, and forced labor camps in the Greater German Reich between 1938 and 1945. Utilizing her knowledge of English, German, Yiddish, and French, Ms. Siegel studied witness statements collected in postwar criminal investigations, video testimonies, and memoirs. Of particular interest to her were the contextual factors that influenced the Jewish prisoner-physicians’ behavior, including the presence Nazi supervision and the acuteness of the need for Jewish forced laborers and, in turn, how such variables influenced the doctors’ conduct and room for maneuver.

Ms. Siegel was in residence at the Mandel Center from December 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016.