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Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust

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The Holocaust raises profound theological, ethical, and historical questions for people of all faiths. All too many Christians in Germany welcomed the rise of National Socialism, and all too few engaged in protest, rescue, or resistance. The widespread complicity and involvement of “ordinary people” in this genocide challenge us to rethink our assumptions about human decency and morality.

Our work on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies offers a variety of programs and resources through its Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust (PERH). These programs and resources focus on the history of the churches’ response to the Holocaust and the ways in which religious institutions, leaders, and theologians have addressed this history and its legacy since 1945. Through PERH, the Museum is a resource for scholars, faculty, students, and practitioners of all religions as they address the historical aspects and profound moral implications of the Holocaust.

Our Partners and Audiences

Audiences served by our programs include:

  • Individuals and groups grappling with the ethical and philosophical issues raised by the Holocaust and contemporary manifestations of antisemitism
  • Scholars conducting research on the history of religion across Europe and elsewhere during the Holocaust
  • Seminaries and religious studies departments seeking to incorporate material on the Holocaust in their curriculum
  • Scholars who study the intersections of religion and genocide
  • People actively involved in interfaith work
  • Leaders and members of all faith communities

PERH also engages in outreach programs and lectures on college and university campuses, as well as for interfaith organizations and religious bodies. Through PERH, the Mandel Center works actively with the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations (CCJR) and other interfaith organizations. PERH partners include many member seminaries in the Association of Theological Schools as well as leaders of all faiths. The Mandel Center is a Related Scholarly Organization of the American Academy of Religion (AAR).

For Faculty and Scholars

PERH organizes conferences, seminars, lectures, and other activities. We offer an annual faculty seminar at the Museum and regularly organize research workshops on the history of religious communities, leaders, and institutions during the Holocaust and on related ethical issues. Some programs have led to the publication of new works in the field.

For Clergy and Others Engaged in Interreligious Work  

PERH offers many resources on our website, including material for Holocaust commemorations and teaching tools. We also offer structured visits and workshops at the Museum for clergy, seminary classes, religious groups, and organizations.

For more information on how to schedule a group visit or workshop, please contact perh@ushmm.org.

Contact Information

Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2126
perh@ushmm.org

Rebecca Carter-Chand, PhD
Acting Director
rcarter-chand@ushmm.org

Julia McStravog, MA
Program Manager
jmcstravog@ushmm.org

The Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust are supported by the Hoffberger Family Foundationand by Joseph A. and Janeal Cannon and Family.