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Dr. Uta Larkey
2012-2013 ‘Life Reborn’ Fellowship for the Study of Displaced Persons

"Narrating Horror: Language and Identity in Early Postwar German-Language Interviews and Testimonies"

Professional Background

Dr. Uta Larkey is an Associate Professor of German, Goucher College (USA). She received her PhD in in Modern Russian Literature, Humboldt Universität Berlin, Germany. In 2010 Dr. Larkey contributed as a Scholar-in-residence to the project Families, Children and the Holocaust, at Hadassah Brandeis Institute, Brandeis University, in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2006 she received the David Baumgardt Fellowship Award, from the Leo Baeck Institute in New York City. She was also a selected participant and co-organizer of the International DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Summer Seminar, Memory and Intercultural Aspects in the German Language Classroom: Teaching about the Nazi Regime and the Holocaust, in Berlin, Germany, held June 10-15, 2006. Since 2011 Dr. Larkey has been an Advisory Board Member for the Orte der Erinnerung, The Vienna Memorial. Dr. Larkey conducted research on her project entitled: “Narrating Horror: Language and Identity in Early Postwar German-Language Interviews and Testimonies” while in residence at the Center.

In 2011, Dr. Larkey’s book, Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust: A Jewish Family's Untold Story, co-authored with Rebecca Boehling, was released by Cambridge University Press. This book explores the history of the Kaufmann-Steinberg family through correspondence, diaries and interviews. She is also the author of several articles including, New Places, New Identities: The (Ever) Changing Concept of ‘Heimat,’ (German Politics and Society, Volume 26, Number 2, summer 2008), and Bridging the Silence: Jewish and non-Jewish Voices of Remembrance – Sibylle Tiedemann’s documentary film ‘Kinderland ist abgebrannt (1997)’, (Glossen17 (2003) Dr. Larkey has developed several courses including Literature and Film on the Holocaust, Oral Histories of Holocaust Survivors, Current Trends in Israeli Cinema, Jews in Germany from the Haskalah (Enlightenment) to the Rise of the Nazi Regime, and Multicultural Germany at Goucher College. She has language skills in English, French, German, and Russian.

Fellowship Research

For her ‘Life Reborn’ Fellowship for the Study of Displaced Persons, Dr. Larkey analyzed early post-WWII interviews and testimonies given in DP camps and collected by the Central Historical Commission (CHC). She explored ways in which the survivors negotiated their cultural background, their sense of uprootedness, the resulting trauma, and their use of language. Dr. Larkey explored the Central Historical Commission Collections, which provide a wealth of early interviews and testimonies in German, collections on Displaced Persons Camps in Germany, 1945-1948, as well as collections on specific DP camps, such as Feldafing, Föhrenwald, Landsberg held in the archives at the Museum. She utilized documentation from the International Tracing Service collection for cross-referencing and confirming demographic information related to survivors and DP camps.

Dr. Larkey was in residence at the Center from February 1 to June 30, 2013.