The Holocaust and Asia: Refugees, Memory, and Material Culture (2022)
This workshop explored the “Asian Turn” in Holocaust studies, including the experiences of Jewish refugees across Asia and the place of the Holocaust in Asian cultures of memory.
Decentering Holocaust Studies: Comparative Perspectives from the Global South (2022)
This workshop explored the cultural and emotional communities displaced European Jews forged in exile in the Global South, their relationships with local populations, the complex legacies of their experience of Holocaust-era persecution in postwar contexts of authoritarian states and political violence, and the challenges of comparative research across far-flung locales.
Interrogating the Sacred: Holocaust Objects and their Care (2022)
This workshop explored questions of what makes a Holocaust object “sacred” and what it means to care for such objects.
Archives, Power, and Truth Telling: Catholic Archives and Holocaust Memory (2021)
This workshop addressed the roles of the institutional and local Church and of individual Catholic actors, as they relate to the actions and motivations of the Church and its adherents, and the role of archival research in scholarship and the potential contribution of these findings to Jewish-Christian Relations.
Family History Workshop (2019)
Researchers from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum assisted survivors, their families, and the families of victims seeking information and documentation in the Roma-related records of the Arolsen Archives and other Museum holdings at this workshop in Prague.
Jewish Experiences and the Holocaust in the Soviet Union (2019)
This workshop focused on the Holocaust and Jewish life in World War II in the countries of the former Soviet Union, including areas that were occupied by German and Romanian forces.
For the Soul of the People: Reflections on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Religion and the Holocaust (2019)
This panel conversation focused on religion and the Holocaust with five distinguished scholars in the fields of history, religious studies, and conflict analysis and resolution. The panelists reflected on interdisciplinary approaches to studying the Christian churches in the Nazi era and Jewish-Christian relations before, during, and after the Holocaust.
Regarding Atrocity: Photography, Memory, and Representation (2017)
This workshop focused on all aspects of atrocity photography, with an emphasis on photographic images of the Holocaust: secret and official photographs; photographs taken by and of perpetrators, victims, and onlookers; the use of photographs during the war and after, for documentation, propaganda, education, and memorialization; in a variety of venues, including books, museums, the internet, and the classroom. Participants from Australia, Canada, Germany, and the US addressed a variety of questions: What separates the sincere desire to understand from voyeuristic curiosity? Does our consumption of photographs of atrocity risk replicating the original violence? Or, if we are to understand an event fully, are we obliged to engage with all the documents that recorded it, even the most disturbing visual sources?
Military Culture and Sexual Violence in the Holocaust and Beyond (2016)
This workshop addressed the relationship between sexual violence and military culture in the Holocaust and beyond, and sought to integrate scholarship on gender, militarism and the Holocaust. Participants from political science, history, critical military studies, anthropology, gender studies and journalism analyzed military bonding, peer pressure, hazing, and other related topics in the context of sexual violence and war.
Politics, the State, and Antisemitism: Exploring the Roots of Regional Variation in Civilian Violence during the Holocaust in Europe (2016)
Recent historical research on the Holocaust in Eastern Europe has focused on the importance of local conditions, experiences, and particularities to the fate of Jewish communities in the region. This workshop examined this scholarship – which focuses on the role of the German occupation, the presence and nature of Soviet rule (and Jewish attitudes toward Soviet rule), and actions of local nationalists and collaborators – and placed it in the context of the role of the state as the key social space where the values, attitudes, and relationships that influenced these factors were formed. Participants compared Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, and other Eastern European territories in order to bring local histories of the Holocaust in the region into a broader social-scientific analysis of the role of the state in shaping modern society.
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Microcosms of the Holocaust: Emotional Communities in the Modern Metropoles of Nazi-Occupied Europe (2016)
Throughout the big cities of twentieth-century Europe, Jews and Gentiles lived together, often enmeshed in tight networks that crosscut public and private spheres. Both communities are well-studied in the historiography of the Holocaust, but often is isolation. This workshop examined how the interactions of Jews and Gentiles evolved, during the Holocaust and in the immediate pre- and postwar years. Participants focused on various metropolitan areas in both Eastern and Western Europe where relations between large groups of acculturated Jews and their non-Jewish fellow citizens remained largely free from prewar antisemitic socialization. Drawing on the scholarship on affective relations and the emotional communities they form, the group analyzed transnational patterns in the nature and extent of these relations before the war, their durability (or lack thereof) in the face of increasing antisemitic violence, the extent to which they translated into concrete action during the Holocaust, and the reconstitution of Jewish-Gentile relations in the wake of the Holocaust.
Genocide, Agency, and the Nation-State after Auschwitz (2015)
The Holocaust is the starkest example of how the nation-state has underpinned and enabled genocide in the modern era. Yet as an organizational form, it equally inaugurated unprecedented possibilities for human freedom and agency for its subjects. This workshop examined how these two facets of the nation-state are structurally related and mutually reinforcing. Participants drew on Anglophone and European philosophy, political theory, critical and postcolonial theory, and gender studies to analyze the link between agency, genocide, and the nation-state, all while exploring the ethical and political implications of their analyses for our response to other genocides in the wake of the Holocaust.
Religion, Fascism, Antisemitism, and Ethno-Nationalism in Europe (2015)
In the wake of World War I, a number of religiously based fascist and nationalist groups emerged throughout Europe, laying the foundation for their subsequent involvement in the Holocaust. This workshop explored how Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox religious leaders, theologians, and institutions throughout Europe addressed the issues of fascism, ethno-nationalism, and antisemitism during the interwar period and after the Nazis came to power in Germany. Particular attention was given to the radical religious groups that began to form throughout Europe during the 1920s and subsequently played an influential role during the Holocaust. Participants explored the origins of these groups, examining the parallels between them that transcended theological differences as well as distinctions based on different national, theological, and cultural settings.
Literary Responses to Genocide in the Post-Holocaust Era (2014)
This workshop examined the impact of Holocaust narratives on literary representations of mass atrocity and genocide produced in its aftermath. Participants analyzed the phenomenon of witnessing, issues of memory and representation, and aesthetics of violence in diverse contexts in order to establish a comparative framework for literature that responds to genocide and state-sponsored violence. Participants focused on both new readings of literature about the Holocaust and its aftermath, and the relation of the Holocaust to other significant events, including Apartheid in South Africa, the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, dictatorship in Argentina, and post-Holocaust readings of the systemic violence of American plantation slavery.
Complicity and Collaboration: Definitions, Distinctions, and Debate (2014)
Although the term “collaborator” has served to draw a boundary between Nazi perpetrators and those who assisted them, the situation on the ground was far more complex. Participants in this workshop examined a variety of groups of understudied collaborators and perpetrators in order to shed new light on the forms of collaboration and complicity with the Nazi genocidal project, as well as the postwar consequences of collaboration for individuals and societies.
The Politics of Repair: Restitution and Reparations in the Wake of the Holocaust (2013)
This workshop examined postwar restitution and reparations projects across Europe, analyzing their origins in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust and their resurgence following the end of the Cold War. Participants explored these efforts at redress as they relate to evolving notions of victimhood, the reinterpretation of national histories, and the reintegration of Jews into European societies, as well as their implications for transitional justice more broadly.
Landscapes of the Uprooted: Refugees and Exiles in Postwar Europe (2013)
The Holocaust and World War II displaced or made homeless more than 30 million Europeans from all parts of the continent. The many distinct categories of refugees in postwar Europe have predominantly been studied in isolation from each other, however. This workshop brought together an international team of specialists who discussed how to integrate these important and fascinating stories in a way that illuminates the profound human cost of the war and its aftermath.
Exploring the Plight and Path of Jewish Refugees, Survivors, and Displaced Persons (2012)
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University organized a two-week workshop for advanced doctoral candidates and recent PhDs. The workshop aimed to advance participants’ proposed research projects through both sustained engagement with archival resources in New York and Washington, DC, and intensive workshop discussion among participants, workshop leaders, and other invited respondents. The workshop was held on successive weeks in New York City and Washington, DC, and led by David Engel, professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies, professor of history, Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Chair of Holocaust Studies, and chair of the Skirball department of Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University; Michael Brenner, chair of Jewish history and culture at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; and Alexandra Garbarini, associate professor of history and chair of the Jewish studies program at Williams College. Daily sessions comprised both archival research and presentation and discussion of the participants’ work.
Holocaust Memory in East Central Europe (2012)
Although often overlooked in the history of the Communist period, Jewish and Romani survivors in East Central Europe pursued a variety of strategies to memorialize the Holocaust and to cope with its aftermath. This workshop explored this history in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland, and analyzed it in a comparative perspective. Participants examined several intertwined themes, including the continuities in antisemitic and anti-Gypsy sentiment from the interwar through the Communist period, postwar retribution and restitution, survival techniques during and after the Holocaust, the marginalization of Romani victims in public memorials and restitution, and the transmission of Holocaust memory from one generation to the next in survivor families.
New Sources on the Roman Catholic Church and the Holocaust (2012)
This workshop identified new and emerging areas of research in some of the most important topics related to Church history and the Holocaust. Drawing on the Museum’s unique archival holdings from the Vatican, participants examined the relationship between the Holy See and Zionism, European clerico-fascism and its importation to North America, Vatican diplomacy, and the concept of brotherhood as transformational in post-Holocaust Christian-Jewish relations.
Jews and the Law in Modern Europe: Emancipation, Destruction, Reconstruction (2011)
The participants in this workshop compared the expulsions of Jews from various European legal systems during the Holocaust within the context of 20th-century European history. Although historians have long recognized the essential role of the German courts in the exclusion, repression, and ultimate murder of Jews, less attention has been paid to the dynamic relationship between Jews and the European legal systems before, during, and after the Holocaust. Combining the study of jurisprudence and legal institutions with the methodologies of cultural history, gender history, and the history of everyday life, the substantive and symbolic place of law in European Jewish life in Germany, Poland, and France was examined in order to re-situate the Jewish experience within the context of the history of modern Europe.
Sephardic Jewry and the Holocaust (2010)
This workshop included both seminar and research components and highlighted the Museum’s recently acquired collections on Sephardic Jewry. Participants assessed different aspects of Sephardic Jewish life during and after the Holocaust in a variety of languages, including Judeo-Spanish, Judeo-Arabic, Greek, Bosnian, Bulgarian, and French. The workshop also showcased the need for further study and the hunger that exists for archival and secondary sources on the topic. The work of these early-career scholars—enriched by their time at the Museum—is positive evidence of the serious work being conducted to explore the impact of the Holocaust on Sephardic communities in Europe and North Africa.
The Politics of Jewish Spaces: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Preservation, Memory, and Renewal in Post-Holocaust Poland (2010)
Workshop participants examined the Polish impulse to restore, preserve, memorialize, and celebrate Jewish spaces and the implications of the cultural politics of Jewish sites in Poland after the Holocaust, particularly in the present day.
Contemporary Antisemitism in Higher Education (2010)
This workshop assessed the documented rise of contemporary antisemitism on many college and university campuses in the United States. Participants assessed and identified manifestations, ideologies, and possible responses to campus-based antisemitism, and presented independent research that reflected a wide variety of disciplinary interests, including literature, sociology, legal studies, media studies, and philosophy.
Seminar for Advanced Undergraduate, MA, and Early PhD Students: Introduction to the International Tracing Service Collection at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2010)
This workshop brought twenty advanced undergraduate and early graduate students to the Museum for a two-week session devoted to the study of five thematic areas relevant to the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. These students assessed these themes through the use of select ITS documents. Topics included the concentration camp system; non-Jewish victims; foreign, forced and slave laborers; Displaced Persons; and war criminals.
Coercive Medical Research and Practice during the Holocaust (2010)
This workshop researched victims of coercive Nazi medical experimentation, a group whose experiences remain significantly underestimated and underappreciated in scholarship. Specifically, participants examined the broad range of medical atrocities that arose out of Nazi-controlled human medical experiments and clinical practices by assessing the rich material provided by victim narratives.
North Africa and its Jews in the Second World War (2009)
Workshop participants examined the experiences of North African Jewry with especial focus on Nazi, Vichy, Spanish fascist, and local policymakers; anti-Jewish legislation and property confiscation and its implementation and effects on the ground; Muslim-Jewish relations; and Jewish cultural life. Participants also assessed postwar historiography and memorialization of Jewish experiences in North Africa during the Holocaust.
Bringing the past into the Present: Missing Narratives of the Holocaust in Ukraine (2009)
Workshop participants explored the experiences of Jews and Ukrainians during World War II and the Holocaust, with particular focuses on Ukrainian forced laborers, the Lvov ghetto, and the Janowska camp, as well as postwar historiography, collective memory, and contemporary treatment and presentation of this history in Ukraine.
Exploring the Newly Opened International Tracing Service (ITS) Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2009)
Twelve researchers from Europe, Israel, and North America participated in this workshop, which occurred at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Staff scholars introduced participants to the collection and assisted them in their research of the ITS materials that pertain to foreign, forced, and slave labor in the German war economy.
Exploring the Newly Opened ITS Archive (2008)
Co-sponsored by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and the International Tracing Service (ITS), this workshop convened at the ITS Archive in Bad Arolsen, Germany. Workshop participants focused on how best to use and understand ITS materials, which include multi-million page collections of concentration camp, deportation, transport, ghetto, and arrest records; forced and slave labor records; and postwar displaced persons and resettlement records. The workshop’s objective was to utilize the workshop-group setting to explore the various major sections of the documentation and to identify key portions of the material that offer particularly rich opportunities for new research.
Vichy and the Holocaust in France since 1990: Memory, Representation, and Revision (2008)
Over the past two decades, important films and landmark novels have succeeded in powerfully evoking and reshaping the historical and moral meaning of Vichy. Workshop participants explored the literary and cinematic Vichy Syndrome, using it as a basis for broader discussion of the problem of memory and historical responsibility in the wake of Vichy and the Holocaust, the nature and transmission of historical knowledge and understanding in France today, and the role of the media and the arts in shaping public perspectives.
Studying Antisemitism in the 21st Century: Manifestations, Implications, Consequences (2008)
Workshop participants explored the most fruitful directions for new research about the history of antisemitism to ensure a firm foundation from which to address what we currently know and understand—or do not understand—about contemporary manifestations of antisemitism; intellectual and campus-based manifestations of antisemitism and the media through which they are spread; and the implications and consequences of unchecked antisemitism in intellectual discourse and potential responses to it within the scholarly community.
From Prosecution to Historiography: American, Jewish, and German Perspectives on the US War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg, 1946–49 (2008)
Workshop participants provided in-depth, comparative analysis of the 12 so-called Nuremberg successor trials, highlighting the intellectual concepts and motivations underlying the trial series. Analysis focused particularly on the dynamics of the trials as well as the narratives that were passed down from the trials to the historiography of the Third Reich and the Holocaust.
The Holocaust in Eastern Europe: The Impact of Church-Fostered Antisemitism (2007)
Workshop participants analyzed the impact of church-fostered antisemitism on the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, detailing the historical and cultural differences among the respective Eastern European churches—from the roots of anti-Jewish thinking, to overt participation in deadly acts of antisemitism and murder, to postwar implications in Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslavia.
Geographies of the Holocaust (2007)
Few events in human history were as spatially complex or as well-documented as the Holocaust. Workshop participants considered questions of geography and methods that illuminate the role of perpetrators in planning the Holocaust and reveal the larger patterns embedded in the movements of millions of people.
American Religious Organizations and Responses to the Holocaust in the United States: Reichskristallnacht as a Case Study (2007)
Workshop participants addressed the crucial question of how American Catholics, Protestants, and Jews—the three dominant religious groups in the United States during the 1930s—responded to Reichskristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), the opening pogrom of the Holocaust in November 1938.
Intelligence and the Holocaust (2006)
Workshop scholars conducted research utilizing recently opened archival materials to clarify the degree of awareness of the Holocaust of intelligence agencies, their operatives, and recruits during the Holocaust; the role of intelligence agencies in shaping the perspective of their governments regarding the Holocaust and in dealing with actual or alleged perpetrators during and following World War II; and the involvement of intelligence agencies in dealing with other post-Holocaust issues such as displaced persons, property restitution, postwar trials, and perpetrator immigration/denaturalization/deportation cases.
Prosecuting the Perpetrators: War Crimes Trials in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (2005)
This workshop addressed the problem of postwar trial records as a historical source for the study of the Holocaust. Participants examined the presentation of the Holocaust in the investigations and prosecution of Nazi war criminals and local collaborators, the role of ideology and political expedience in the trials, and the legal practices of the Soviet Union and East European countries; as well as attempted to provide methodological guidelines for scholars who will be using war crimes trial records.
Survival, Displacement, and Struggle: Jewish Displaced Persons in the Wake of the Holocaust (2005)
Workshop participants attempted to reconcile the often contradictory depictions of the DP experience and to bring their various methodological and disciplinary perspectives into conversation in order to construct a more complete and multifaceted picture of the Jewish Displaced Persons.
Gender and the Holocaust (2004)
Workshop participants examined the issue of gender and the Holocaust, including the influence of gender on thinking and writing about the Holocaust after the war.
The Holocaust and Antisemitism in Christian Europe (2004)
Workshop participants examined the nature and role of antisemitism embedded in the response of the Christian churches to National Socialism, as well Jewish responses to Christian antisemitism.
Jewish Holocaust Diaries and Early Memoirs, 1933–1954: Disclosing Identity and Survival Strategies (2004)
One of the major themes in contemporary Jewish studies is the impact of modernity on Jewish identity, of which the Holocaust is an extreme example. This workshop examined the evolving religious, cultural, and political self-understanding of Jews during the Holocaust, as well as their vision of a potentially meaningful Jewish existence afterward, and also assessed possible links between changes in Jewish identity and the selection of survival strategies in the face of the Nazi assault.
Interpreting Testimony (2003)
Workshop participants examined the crucial and contested status of testimony in writing and interpreting the history and postwar cultural impact of the Holocaust. Participants used oral histories, war crimes trial testimony, and other forms of testimony to explore its potential uses in advanced scholarly work.
Foreign Forced Laborers, Prisoners of War and Jewish Slave Workers in the Third Reich: Regional Studies and New Research (2003)
Workshop participants considered the history of Jewish and non-Jewish forced and slave laborers in Austria, Belgium, former Czech territories, Germany, Poland, and Belorussia and other areas in the former USSR.
Jewish Resistance and Jews in National Resistance Movements in Nazi-Occupied and Axis Countries (2003)
Participants examined how Jews participated in national resistance movements seeking the restoration of national sovereignty and renewal of national purpose in their respective countries. Specifically, participants looked at the role of Jews in the establishment of the movements and the construction of their respective ideologies; the status of Jews in the leadership structure of such movements; the role of Jewish youth movements in national resistance; the role played by Jews in underground and rescue movements; and the role of Jews in the culture and propaganda efforts of underground movements on behalf of the resistance.
The Lodz Ghetto (2002)
Workshop participants presented a nuanced mosaic of Jewish life in the Lodz Ghetto, drawing on Jewish and non-Jewish documentation that describes daily administration and operations; postwar testimonies by survivors; trial records; published and unpublished diaries and journals; artworks; songs; poetry; and photographs.
The Churches and the Holocaust: The Responses of Laity, Clergy, and Church Authorities (2001)
Taking into account new source material, participants discussed the responses of the Christian churches to the Holocaust. Among the themes examined were churches and society; theology and faith; protest; the Nazi Party and the churches; collaboration; rescue; church sources and new archival materials; and postwar perspectives.
Locating the “Righteous” of France (2001)
Workshop participants assessed the rescue of Jews by Gentiles in wartime France. Defining “righteousness” in the context of the Holocaust was discussed, as were postwar efforts by the French to confront the issue of collaboration with the Nazis, and the impact this has had on relations between Jews and Christians. Additional subjects discussed included the condition of the Jewish population in France during World War II and the rescue efforts of Evangelical pastor Roland de Pury in Lyon and Catholic bishop Paul Rémond in Nice.
Culture within Ghetto Settings, Europe, 1933–1945 (2001)
This workshop explored aspects of the visual arts, theater, music, and literature produced by artists and writers in a variety of “ghetto settings.” Among the subjects discussed were the types of work created by Jews and other artists within the increasingly limited social and physical space of ghettos, as well as the differences or similarities that are evident in this art. The panelists attempted to shed new light on the functioning of culture and the creative process in a world under duress.
Film, Television, and the Holocaust (2000)
Participants in this workshop examined how historical footage of the Holocaust has been utilized and manipulated in television and movies since 1945. Discussion focused on the effects of its use on public perceptions about the Holocaust and potential threats to the integrity of original footage in light of technological developments that allow computer images to be easily and rapidly altered. Scholars in this workshop included experts in film studies, modern languages, international politics, and film history and analysis.
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Videotaped Holocaust Testimony (2000)
This workshop allowed scholars to study audiovisual Holocaust testimony from an international and interdisciplinary perspective and discussed the implications for the use of videotaped testimony in a variety of public settings, as well as its relation to written materials about the Holocaust and other forms of public memorialization.
SS Racial Policies and Forced Population Movements in Occupied Europe (1999)
The participants investigated the role of the SS in the preparation, planning, and implementation of National Socialist racial policies in German-occupied Europe. Building off of a case study from Eastern Europe, workshop participants focused discussion on the history of SS institutions, the development of SS ideology from both perpetrator and victim perspectives, SS plans to re-engineer the population and landscape of territories incorporated into the German Reich, how SS ideology was transformed into concrete population policy, and the ideological backgrounds of SS officials involved in implementing racial policies.
The Nazi “Final Solution” in Ukraine (1999)
Participants in this workshop examined the Holocaust in Ukraine, a topic previously under-studied due to the lack of access to archival documentation. They discussed the role of the SS and police apparatus in implementing the “Final Solution” in cooperation with civil and military authorities and non-German allies. Discussion analyzed the range of perpetrators, regional considerations influencing German policy, cross-agency cooperation between the SS and police with other German institutions, and the issue of native collaborators. Participants came from Germany, the United States, and England.
The Jewish Resistance Movement in Nazi Concentration Camps in Light of Archival Sources (1999)
The participants in this workshop came from Canada, Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic to assess and define the nature of Jewish resistance in Nazi concentration camps based on information held in the Museum’s Archives and additional materials that were recently opened in Poland. The Museum’s archival materials used consisted of ex-concentration camp inmate and perpetrator testimony that had not previously been available to Polish researchers.
Sephardic and Oriental Jewry in the Holocaust (1999)
Seven scholars from a wide array of disciplines, including history, musicology, literature, and poetry, came to the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies to study the fate of Sephardic and Oriental Jews during the Holocaust. By looking at this under-studied issue through the lens of songs and poetry, the scholars sought to learn more about the identity of the Sephardic Balkan and North African Jewish victims of the Nazis and their allies. Participants came from Israel, Germany, and the United States.
Eastern European Displaced Persons, Refugees, and POWS during and after the Holocaust (2022)
This international conference focused on the experiences of POWs, Displaced Persons (DPs), and refugees hailing from Eastern Europe throughout the course of the Holocaust and in its aftermath. The conference was co-organized by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Latvia, and the Museum “Jews in Latvia.”
The Police and the Holocaust: The Role of Police Forces in the Genocide of Jews and Roma (2018)
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Co-organized with Yahad – In Unum and the Museo del Holocausto Guatemala under the patronage of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), this conference brought together scholars to address the role of the police in the Holocaust, particularly in the organized murder of Jews and Roma. Participants addressed how and why the police—as an executive agency of the state as well as an organized group of decision-making individuals—took part in the genocidal process across Europe, and examine the extent of their participation in different countries and contexts.
The Holocaust in Southeastern Europe (2015)
Co-organized with the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania, this conference brought together scholars from all disciplines working on the Holocaust in the southeastern tier of Europe to share their research.
The Holocaust in Hungary: 70 Years Later (2014)
The conference engaged international scholarly cooperation and presented new and emerging scholarship on the Hungarian Holocaust and its aftermath. Leaders in the field addressed a range of topics, including postwar Hungarian Jewish refugees; the Catholic Church, nationalism, and antisemitism in Hungary since 1989; and antisemitic and anti-Roma policies in present-day Hungarian politics.
International Tracing Service Collections and Holocaust Scholarship (2014)
The International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Germany, was, until November 2007, the largest closed archive in the world related to the Holocaust, forced labor, and Nazi persecution. Recently inscribed into the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) memory of the World Register, the ITS collection has opened important new potential for understanding the Holocaust and other Nazi-era crimes. While utilized for decades principally for tracing purposes, the documents provide opportunities for a better understanding of a broad range of topics related to persecution, incarceration, forced labor, mass murder, displacement, resettlement, and the legacies of those experiences as a result of World War II. Jointly organized with the ITS in Bad Arolsen, this conference brought together scholars who have conducted significant new and original research using the collections since the opening of the archive.
Simon Wiesenthal Conference 2013: Collaboration in Eastern Europe during World War II and the Holocaust (2013)
Co-organized with the Simon Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, this interdisciplinary conference brought together scholars in the humanities and social sciences to forge new analytical perspectives on collaboration in Eastern Europe. Panels addressed memory, trials, and the role of institutions such as the police, state administration, and press in the destruction of Jews and Roma in the Holocaust.
World War II, Nazi Crimes, and the Holocaust in the Soviet Union (2012)
Co-organized with Georgetown University, the National Research University Higher School of Economics, and the University of Toronto, this interdisciplinary conference brought together scholars in the humanities and social sciences to forge new analytical perspectives on the Holocaust in the East, the Nazi occupation of Soviet territories, and wartime Stalinism.
Immigration in Comparative Perspective (2012)
College Station, Texas
Co-organized with the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University, this interdisciplinary symposium explored emerging Holocaust research on immigration, refugees, and rescue, as well as current research on immigration in the American context. Panels addressed migrant networks, refugee and immigrant identity, migrant education, and religion and social memory in comparative and historical perspective.
Mass Graves of the Holocaust (2011)
Co-rganized with Yahad-In Unum and the Elie Wiesel Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania, this international scholarly conference on Holocaust-era mass graves on the anniversary of the 1941 Iaşi pogrom. The conference brought together scholars of mass killings in Russia, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, and elsewhere in Europe to discuss the discovery of such sites, the examination of the spectrum of victims in these massacres, and the legal, social, and ethical implications of the investigation of mass graves. Father Patrick Desbois, president of Yahad-In Unum and director of the Episcopal Committee for Relations with Judaism, which is connected with the French Conference of Bishops, presented the keynote lecture, “The Holocaust by Bullets in Eastern Europe.”
This program was made possible through the generosity of the Yetta and Jacob Gelman Endowment.
The Eichmann Trial in International Perspective: Impact, Developments, and Challenges (2011)
Co-organized with the Topography of Terror Foundation, this interdisciplinary conference examined the legacy of the Eichmann trial 50 years on. The trial was broadcast widely on radio and television, bringing the testimony of survivors into the public realm in an unprecedented way and marking a turning point in international awareness of the Holocaust. The conference examined the trial’s lasting impact in the realms of law, media, and history.
Bearing Witness: Memory, Representation, and Pedagogy in the Post-Holocaust Age (2010)
Co-organized with Shenandoah University, this interdisciplinary conference explored the challenges scholars and teachers face as the Holocaust becomes more distant in history and eyewitness voices begin to fade.
Operation 1005: Nazi Attempts to Erase the Evidence of Mass Murder in Eastern and Central Europe, 1942–1944 (2009)
Operation 1005 was the code name for the large-scale, secret campaign by Nazi Germany to destroy the evidence of mass murder that it perpetrated during World War II. This conference highlighted new archival resources and cutting-edge research on Operation 1005, including—but not limited to—the decision-making process; bystanders; case studies about places where it was conducted, both within and outside camps and ghettos; the 1005 Sonderkommando, including revolts and attempts to escape or sabotage the campaign; technical details; comparative studies; related postwar judicial proceedings; survivors’ and witnesses’ testimonies; and Operation 1005’s relationship to Holocaust denial.
Soviet Jewish Soldiers, Jewish Resistance, and Jews in the USSR During the Holocaust (2008)
New York, New York
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, masses of rich materials have become available, providing new insights into previously under-researched aspects of the Holocaust and World War II on Soviet territory. This conference looked at those insights, examining the Soviet Jewish experience during World War II and the Holocaust. The conference focused on Soviet Jews in armed combat in the struggle against Nazis and their collaborators; Soviet Jewish life and culture during the war; collaboration as a Soviet and post-Soviet issue; the Holocaust and the evolution of Soviet Jewish consciousness; German, Axis, and Soviet policies and attitudes during the Holocaust; Nazi and Axis camps and ghettos in the Soviet Union; and representations of Jewish soldiers in the press, literature, and films.
The Holocaust in Ukraine: New Resources and Perspectives (2007)
This conference highlighted the latest historical research on the Holocaust in Ukraine, including discussions of new sources of documentation. Topics included perpetration, collaboration, and local reaction; documentation, physical evidence, and testimony; the history, responses, and resistance of Jews and other victim groups; and aspects of historical memory and representation. The conference was jointly organized by the Shoah Memorial, Paris; the Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Washington, DC; Yahad-in Unum: Catholics and Jews Together, Paris; and the Center for Central Europe History of the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne.
The Holocaust in Hungary: Sixty Years Later (2004)
Washington, DC, and Budapest, Hungary
Spring 2004 marked the passing of 60 years since the deportation and destruction of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews. Co-organized with the Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, this major international conference of scholars to coincide with the worldwide commemoration of the Holocaust in Hungary. In coordination with this conference, the Holocaust Documentation Center and Memorial Collection Public Foundation of Budapest organized an international scholars conference titled “The Holocaust in Hungary: Sixty Years Later: A European Experience,” which took place in Budapest, April 16–18, 2004.
Children and the Holocaust (2003)
During the Holocaust, more than one million children were killed. Those who escaped that fate went into hiding, were forced to emigrate—often without their families—or survived by concealing their Jewish identity. Children were ghettoized, deported, or murdered at the hands of mobile killing squads, or died in concentration, transit, labor, and extermination camps. After the war, those who survived struggled to reunite with family members. Many had to face the fact that they were orphans. This symposium explores the variety of fates children experienced, from the perspectives of both scholars and the child survivors themselves. It is one of several programs focusing on children taking place between April 2003 and April 2004 in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This symposium is made possible by the Helena Rubinstein Foundation.
Introduction: Paul A. Shapiro, Director, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)
Keynote Address: Nechama Tec, Professor of Sociology, University of Connecticut-Stamford; Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council and its Academic Committee; and 1997 Senior Research Fellow, Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance, USHMM
Session I: Emigration and “Mischlinge”
Moderator: Severin Hochberg, Historian, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
Jewish Emigration and International Refugee Policy: The Situation of Children—Susanne Heim, Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, Berlin, and 2003 Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
Heroic Acts and Missed Opportunities: The Rescue of Youth Aliyah Groups from Europe During World War II—Sara Kadosh, Director,American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives, Jerusalem, and former Research Affiliate, International Institute for Holocaust Research,Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
The Plight of German Children from Jewish-Christian ‘Mixed Marriages:’ Often-Forgotten Victims of the Holocaust—Cynthia A. Crane, Assistant Professor of English, University of Cincinnati
Session II: Ghettoization, Hiding, and the Camp Experience
Moderator: Ann Mann Millin, Assistant to the Director, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
Childhood in the Warsaw Ghetto—Barbara Engelking-Boni, Assistant Professor, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw
“Unbekannte Kinder:” The Unknown Children of Westerbork—Daphne L. Meijer, author and journalist, Amsterdam, and former Writer-in-Residence, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
Transformation and Resistance: Schooling Efforts for Jewish Children and Youth in Hiding, in Ghettos, and in Camps—Lisa Anne Plante, Adjunct Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, California State University–San Marcos
Session III: The “Surviving Remnant” and Reconstruction
Moderator: Menachem Z. Rosensaft, Member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council, and Founding Chairman, International Network of Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors
The Destruction and Rescue of Jewish Children in Bessarabia, Bukovina, and Transnistria—Radu Ioanid, Director, International Archival Program, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
Coming to Terms with Memory Through Fiction and Poetry—Henryk Grynberg, novelist, short-story writer, poet, playwright, and essayist, Washington, DC; nominee, the Nike Literary Prize, and winner, the Koret Jewish Book Award, the Tadeus Borowski Prize, the Koscielski Foundation Prize, the Stanislaw Vincenz Prize, the Alfred Jurzykowski Prize, and the Jan Karski–Pola Nirenska Prize
The Role of Children in the Rehabilitation Process of Survivors: The Case of Bergen-Belsen—Hagit Lavsky, Professor at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Samuel L. and Perry Haber Chair of Post-Holocaust Studies, and Director of the Bernard Cherrick Center for the Study of Zionism, the Yishuv and the State of Israel, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Forced and Slave Labor in Nazi-Dominated Europe (2002)
Civilians, concentration camp prisoners, deportees, foreign nationals, Jews, and prisoners of war were all forced into the sprawling forced and slave labor system that encompassed most of Europe and supported the war efforts of the Nazi regime and Axis countries. Forced and slave labor was used in road-building and defense works; the chemical, construction, metal, mining, and munitions industries; and elsewhere. Such labor was integral to concentration camps and their subcamps, farms, ghettos, labor battalions, religious institutions, prisoner-of-war camps, and private industries in Germany, other Axis countries, and the German-occupied territories east and west. The objective of this symposium is to examine key elements of the forced and slave labor system as a European phenomenon during World War II. This symposium was supported by the Helena Rubinstein Foundation.
Introductory Comments: Paul A. Shapiro, Director, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)
Session I: Forced and Slave Labor in Germany
Chair—Peter Black, Senior Historian, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
Forced and Slave Labor in Nazi Germany:The State of the Field—Peter Hayes, Theodore Zev Weiss Chair of Holocaust Studies and Professor of History, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, and Member, Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council
The Business of Genocide:The Holocaust and Forced Labor in the Concentration Camps—Michael Thad Allen, Associate Professor in the School of History,Technology, and Society at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
Cultural Policy and Political Oppression: Nazi Architecture and the Development of SS Forced-Labor Concentration Camps—Paul Jaskot, Associate Professor of Art History, DePaul University, Chicago
Session II: Jewish Forced and Slave Labor
Chair—Wendy Lower, Director,Visiting Scholars Division, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
Forced Labor of German Jews as a Basic Element of Persecution after 1938—Wolf Gruner, Researcher, Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung,Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, and 2002–2003 Pearl Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Wartime Labor Service System of Hungary—Randolph L. Braham, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science, and Director, Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and Member, Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council
The Factory Forced Labor Camps in Starachowice, Poland: Memories of the Jewish Survivors—Christopher R. Browning, Frank Porter Graham Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and 2002–2003 Ina Levine Scholar, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
Retelling the Jewish Slave Labor Experience in Romania—William Rosenzweig, Chairman of the Fashion Ribbon Group of Companies, New York City, and Holocaust survivor from Chernowitz (Cernauti), Romania (present-day Chernivtsi, Ukraine)
Session III: Forced and Slave Labor Across Europe
Chair—Martin Dean, Applied Research Scholar, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Slave Labor, Durchgangstrasse IV, and German-Romanian Relations—Andrej Angrick, Historian, Hamburger Stiftung zur Förderung von Wissenschaft und Kultur, Hamburg, Germany
Foreign Labor in Vichy France:The Groupements de Travailleurs Etrangers—Sarah B. Farmer, Associate Professor of History, University of California, Irvine
Racism versus Pragmatism: Soviet Prisoners of War as Forced Labor in Germany, 1941–1942—Rolf Keller, Referent, Niedersächsische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, Hannover, and doctoral candidate, University of Hannover, Germany
The Holocaust: Literature and Representation (2001)
For several decades, literary scholars in North America, Europe, and Israel have engaged in a discussion about the value and importance of employing fiction and poetry in reflections upon the Holocaust. Many of the issues central to this ongoing dialogue remain hotly debated, including the ways in which the history and memory of the Holocaust are transmitted in literature; the public reception of those transmissions; the relationship between oral testimony and literature; and the potentially therapeutic value of using literature to confront the emotional trauma left behind after the genocide. This program is a unique opportunity to hear from 12 leading academics and literary critics whose work examines and analyzes literary treatments of the Holocaust.
Introductory Comments: Paul A. Shapiro, Director, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Methodological Value of Fiction for Approaching Memory of the Holocaust—Geoffrey H. Hartman, Sterling Professor (Emeritus) of English and Comparative Literature, and Project Director, Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University, New Haven
Session I: Bearing Witness Through Literature
Nostalgia, Home, and Exile in Contemporary Representations of the Holocaust—Sara R. Horowitz, Associate Professor of English, Division of Humanities, and Associate Director, Centre for Jewish Studies, York University, Toronto, Ontario
"Holocaust" and "War" as Paradigms in Israeli Literature and Culture—Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Institute of Contemporary Jewry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Commentary—James E. Young, Professor of English and Judaic Studies, and Chair, Judaic Studies Department, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Session II: Transmission and Reception
Imagining Cultural Genocide since 1948: The Story of How Texts Become Persons—Amy Hungerford, Assistant Professor of English and American Studies, Yale University, New Haven
The Aesthetic of Complicity and the American Literary Response to the Holocaust—R. Clifton Spargo, Assistant Professor of English, Marquette University, Milwaukee, and 2000–2001 Pearl Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
Representing the Holocaust in Postcolonial Narrative—Michael Rothberg, Assistant Professor of English, University of Miami, Florida
Commentary—Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Professor of English, and Director, Borns Jewish Studies Program, Indiana University, Bloomington
Session III: Trauma, Testimony, and Holocaust Literature
Death in Language: From Mado’s Mourning to the Act of Writing—Petra Schweitzer, PhD candidate, Department of Comparative Literature, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
"And in the Distance You Hear Music, a Band Playing": Reflections on Chaos and Order in Literature and Testimony—Sidney M. Bolkosky, William E. Stirton Professor in the Social Sciences, University of Michigan-Dearborn
A Voice in Conflict: Primo Levi and Poetic Silence—Jonathan M. Alexander, Lecturer in Holocaust Literature, Burlington County College, Pemberton, New Jersey
Commentary—Lawrence L. Langer, Alumnae Chair Professor of English (Emeritus), Simmons College, Boston
Confiscation of Jewish Property in Europe (2001)
Though economic discrimination and the seizure of Jewish property were integral parts of the Holocaust, until recently research on this dimension of Nazi anti-Jewish persecution has lagged behind other areas of Holocaust studies. This program is a unique opportunity to hear from eleven scholars whose research in newly released archival materials has advanced the study of the confiscation of Jewish property by the Third Reich and its European allies. The speakers examine the institutions charged with implementing confiscation policies, the manner in which Jewish assets were seized, and the perspectives of those whose property was confiscated. Also considered are the possibilities for future research as well as potential barriers to it.
Session I: Opening Remarks
Introductory Comments—Paul A. Shapiro, Director, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Confiscation of Jewish Assets and the Holocaust—Gerald D. Feldman, Professor, Department of History, and Director, Center for German and European Studies, University of California, Berkeley and Director, Institute of European Studies
Session II: Institutions of Confiscation
The Finanzamt Moabit-West and the Development of the Property-Confiscation Infrastructure—Martin C. Dean, Research Scholar, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Supervision and Plunder of Jewish Finances by the Regional Financial Administration: The Example of Westphalia—Alfons Kenkmann, Director, Villa ten Hompel Memorial Institute, Münster, and Lecturer, University of Dortmund
Property Seizures from Poles and Jews: The Activities of the Haupttreuhandstelle Ost—Jeanne Dingell, Doctoral Candidate, Technical University, Berlin
Session III: Country Studies
Seizure of Jewish Property in Romania—Jean Ancel, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
Nazi Looting of Antwerp’s Jewish Diamond Merchants—Eric Laureys, Historian, War and Contemporary Society Research Center, Brussels
Franco-German Rivalry and "Aryanization" as the Creation of a New Policy in France, 1940–1944—Jean-Marc Dreyfus, Doctoral Candidate, University of the Sorbonne, Paris, and Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Session IV: Victim Perspectives
Expropriation of the Property of Jewish Emigrants from Hessen during the 1930s—Susanne Meinl, Historian, Fritz-Bauer Institute, Frankfurt am Main
Economic Discrimination and Confiscation: The Case of Jewish Real Estate—Britta Bopf, Doctoral Candidate, Friedrich-Wilhelm University, and Curator, Museum of the History of the German Federal Republic, Bonn
Jewish Cultural Property and Its Postwar Recovery—Elisabeth M. Yavnai, Doctoral Candidate, London School of Economics and Political Science
Session V: Summary and Conclusions
Summary and Conclusions—Peter Hayes, Theodore Z. Weiss Professor of Holocaust Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, and Member, Academic Committee, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
Roma and Sinti: Under-Studied Victims of Nazism (2000)
This program featured prominent scholars whose research, analysis, and insights have advanced the study of the Nazi persecution of Roma and Sinti. Speakers addressed Nazi racial policy concerning Roma and Sinti, how Roma were persecuted in various regions of eastern and western Europe, and future research possibilities on this subject.
Session I: Opening Remarks
Welcoming Remarks—Paul Shapiro, Director, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Roma and Sinti History and Culture—Ian Hancock, Professor, University of Texas, Austin, and member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
Session II: Persecution in the Third Reich
Nazi Racial Policy and the Roma and Sinti—Wolfgang Wippermann, Professor, Friedrich Meinecke Institut für Neuere Geschichte der Freie Universität, Berlin
Nazi Persecution of the Roma and Sinti in the Third Reich—Michael Zimmermann, Lecturer, Ruhruniversität Bochum
Gypsies in Nazi Concentration Camps–Guenter Lewy, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
History of Prejudice against Roma and Sinti in European Popular Culture—John Brown, PhD candidate, University College, London
Session III: Persecution in the Axis and Occupied Countries
Roma Persecution in Romania—Radu Ioanid, Associate Director, International Programs Division, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Roma Persecution in Croatia—Mark Biondich, Lecturer, University of Toronto
Roma Persecution in France and Belgium—Denis Peschanski, Professor, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris
Session IV: Closing Presentations
Romanian Memory of Roma Persecution—Viorel Achim, Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow, CAHS (Nicolae Iorga Institute of History, Bucharest)
Current Trends and Needs in Research: Problems and Possibilities—David Crowe, Professor, Elon College, and Ian Hancock
Closing Remarks—Raul Hilberg, Professor Emeritus, University of Vermont, and Member, Academic Committee, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
Persecution of Homosexuals under the Nazi Regime (2000)
This program was a unique opportunity to hear from eight leading international scholars whose research, analysis, and insights have greatly advanced the study of Nazi persecution of homosexuals. Speakers from the United States and Europe addressed how and why homosexuals were persecuted; medical experimentation specifically conducted on them; why many victims remained silent for decades after the war; and new research opportunities in the field. This program was made possible by a generous grant from the Wortman Family Trust.
Session I: Opening Remarks
Welcoming Remarks—Paul Shapiro, Director, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Background Presentation—John Fout, Professor, Department of History, Bard College, New York
Session II: Persecution of Homosexuals in Nazi Society
Homosexual Panic and Nazi Youth—Geoffrey Giles, Professor, Department of History, University of Florida
The Campaign Against Homosexuality and Its Effects on Lesbians—Claudia Schoppmann, Historian, Center for the Research on Antisemitism, Technical University, Berlin, Germany
The Dominance of Experts: The Role of Physicians in the Realization of Nazi Policies Against Homosexuals—Günter Grau, Historian, Gay and Lesbian Studies, University of Bremen, Germany
Session III: Research Trends on the Persecution of Homosexuals in Nazi Society
Magnus Hirschfeld and the Legacy of the Institute for Sexual Science—Rainer Herrn, Scientific Director, Research Center for the History of Sexology, Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany
Commemoration and Community: Gays, Lesbians, and the Collective Memory of the Holocaust—Erik N. Jensen, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Current Trends in Research: Problems and Possibilities—Rüdiger Lautmann, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Bremen, Germany
Session IV: Closing Remarks
Portraits of Gay Survivors and Their Lack of Profile in Memorial Culture—Klaus Müller, Project Director for Western Europe, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum