Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar
2022, Bioethics, Disease, and the Holocaust
The 2021 seminar probed the history of bioethics, pathology, disease, and the Holocaust. Recognizing the thriving interdisciplinary nature of the fields of the history of medicine, public health, and the ethics of medicine, this seminar examined how the Nazis contorted scientific knowledge to serve their racist ‘public health’ and eugenics agenda and, more specifically, how they devised racialized discourses surrounding pathology and disease.
2021, LGBTQ Histories of the Holocaust
The 2021 seminar focused on the history of LGBTQ+ people during the Holocaust, as well as the continued relevance of this history to understanding the discrimination that queer and trans people face today. Drawing on new research, the seminar explored the many facets of LGBTQ+ histories under Nazism, including: To what extent were queer women targets of state violence? How did racialization affect queer Jews and queer Poles? When did gender transgression and queerness not necessarily aggravate the Nazi state? And what lasting lessons can we learn from the under-researched history of trans people and gender non-conformity during the Holocaust?
2020, Between Enemy Combatant and Racial ‘Other’: Nazi Persecution of Soviet POWs
The 2020 seminar examined Soviet prisoners of war (POWs) as one of the many victim groups that the Nazis deliberately persecuted in their campaign on the Eastern Front. The seminar addressed the Nazis’ policies toward Soviet POWs, including the use of mass-starvation tactics, forced labor, and mass executions. Particular attention was paid to the Nazis’ treatment of Soviet POWs within the larger context of the Third Reich’s race policies, the war of annihilation in the East, and the Holocaust. The seminar also examined the challenges faced by POW survivors who were repatriated to the Soviet Union after the end of World War II.
2019, Disability, Eugenics, and Genocide: Nazi Germany, Its Antecedents and Legacy
The 2019 seminar explored the history of the persecution of persons with disabilities. It looked at how eugenic theories framed the debate about the treatment of individuals with disabilities and how that discourse had deadly consequences during the era of the Third Reich and the Holocaust. Likewise, it examined the legacy and continuing impact of eugenics in medicine, science, and ethics today. By placing the experiences and perspectives of victims’ with disabilities within the larger context of the Holocaust, this study enlarged our understanding of the many facets of the Holocaust and those targeted by National Socialists.
2018, Silenced Voices and Marginalized Histories: Roma and Sinti in the Holocaust
The 2018 seminar examined the persecution of Roma and Sinti through the 20th century, placing these victims’ experiences and perspectives within the larger context of the Holocaust. The Seminar introduced participants to recent scholarship that examined the Nazi racial state, the Holocaust in the East, the gendered dynamics of racial persecution, strategies of resistance and survival, and the struggles of survivors in postwar Europe to rebuild their decimated communities among the perpetrators and witnesses of their persecution.
2017, Gender and Sexuality in the Holocaust
The 2017 seminar focused on gender and sexuality to strengthen and expand the participants’ knowledge of how social understandings of gender norms and human sexuality affected the lives of perpetrators, bystanders, and victims during the Holocaust. Using a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, the participants examined where men’s and women’s Holocaust experiences mirrored one another and where they differed, as well as the ways in which the Nazi system redefined—and in some cases shattered—traditional gender roles.
2016, After the Holocaust: Teaching the Postwar World
The 2016 seminar explored the complex history of the postwar world, including topics such as: the problems of survival; the political wrangling over displaced persons; the integration of the experience of soldiers and evacuees into the history; the issues of postwar justice and restitution; and the challenge of representation for future generations.
2015, Using Film and Media to Teach about the Holocaust
The 2015 seminar explored the use of film and media to teach about the Holocaust in the university classroom. Representation of the Holocaust in film was analyzed from its evolution during the early postwar period until today, ranging from documentary productions to feature films and television. The seminar explored the intent, form, content, and utility—as well as change and continuity—of this form of Holocaust representation.
2014, Holocaust Literature: Teaching Fiction and Poetry.
The 2014 seminar focused on imaginative responses to the Holocaust created by a variety of writers—from those writing during the Holocaust, to survivors, to members of the second generation, to those without an explicit family connection to this history.
2013, Teaching about the Holocaust: History, Memory, and Memorialization
The 2013 seminar examined the history, memory, and memorialization of the Holocaust by analyzing the intent, form, content, and context—as well as change and continuity—of Holocaust representation. Daily sessions explored Holocaust remembrance, and the construction of memory in literature and visual representation, by surveying memorialization and educational efforts at sites of destruction, at monuments, and in museums. James E. Young, Distinguished University Professor in English and Judaic Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and founding director of its Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, led the seminar.
2012, Holocaust Geographies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching about the Holocaust
The 2012 seminar explored how the Holocaust created, changed, and destroyed places with particular meanings to those who inhabited them. Drawing on a range of primary sources and secondary literature, seminar participants examined a number of Holocaust landscapes (forest, ghetto, rail, camp, attic, road) in order to reveal how perpetrators made and remade the European landscape, how victims experienced (and reshaped) these landscapes, what bystanders witnessed there, and these sites’ postwar histories of commemoration and erasure. Participants learned how to incorporate various kinds of geographical visualization into their own teaching about the Holocaust, including how to use historical maps in teaching and research, how to make simple maps, and how to use digital media to convey the geographic and spatio-temporal dimensions of the Holocaust to students and other audiences.
2011, Teaching about the Holocaust through Eyewitness Testimony: Using Interviews and Memoirs in the Classroom
The 2011 seminar explored pedagogic strategies, challenges, and opportunities when teaching with, and about, first-person accounts in university courses on the Holocaust. It consisted of presentations and discussions about the Holocaust, focusing on the varied collections of newly available eyewitness accounts. Daily sessions assessed the insights gained from eyewitnesses’ experiences and explored the teaching possibilities and challenges associated with using this rich repository. Participants also received introductions to the Museum’s vast array of oral testimony holdings, including the Museum’s own considerable 9,000 videotaped oral histories, postwar memoirs, and rare book collections; the USC Shoah Foundation Institute Visual History Archive; the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies; the Yahad-In Unum Collection at the Museum; and the David Boder Oral History Interviews of Displaced Persons.
2010, The Holocaust in the Soviet Union: New Sources, New Perspectives for Use in Teaching
The 2010 seminar examined the Holocaust through case studies from Nazi-occupied areas of the Soviet Union and explored the actions, motivations, and responses of perpetrators, collaborators, bystanders, and victims to aspects of the genocide that have previously received less scholarly attention.
2009, The Holocaust and Other Genocides: Historical Contexts, Legal Issues, and Ethical Dilemmas
The 2009 seminar analyzed the Holocaust within the broader historical context of genocides of the modern era by focusing on the ethical dilemmas and legal issues surrounding these events. The seminar was co-led by John K. Roth, Edward J. Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, and Donald Bloxham, Professor of Modern History at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.
2008, The Holocaust: Perpetrators, Victims, and Bystanders
The 2008 seminar focused on the complex interactions between perpetrators, victims, and bystanders. Through presentations and discussions about the history of the Holocaust, the seminar examined the actions, interactions, and motivations of these three critical groups in Holocaust history. Special attention was given to the relationships among these groups, the “gray zones” between them, and the many people who fit more than one of those labels. Pedagogical sessions featured participant-facilitated discussions on classroom teaching methods and roundtable discussions on teaching strategies across multiple disciplines.
2007, Literature and the Holocaust
The 2007 seminar was designed for professors who are teaching or preparing to teach English, Jewish studies, literature, or other courses with a Holocaust-related literature component. The seminar included daily sessions of lectures and discussions of the principal works, latest approaches, newest techniques, and key pedagogical issues in the field; the use of Holocaust-related fiction and poetry in university-level courses; the ways in which the history and memory of the Holocaust are transmitted in literature; public reception of those transmissions; the relationship between oral testimony and literature; Jewish literary responses to the Holocaust by victims and survivors; and use of literature to confront the emotional trauma left behind after genocide. The seminar was team-taught by Dr. David G. Roskies, Sol and Evelyn Henkind Professor and Chair of Jewish Literature and Culture at The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, and Dr. Sara R. Horowitz, Director of the Centre for Jewish Studies and Professor of Humanities and English, at York University, Toronto, Ontario.
2006, Seminar for Faculty of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
The 2006 seminar was designed for professors at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) who are teaching or preparing to teach a Holocaust-related course, or who plan to expand a current course to include a significant Holocaust-related component. The seminar comprised daily thematic sessions covering topics such as Holocaust history and racial theory; Jews and other victims of the Nazis; the Black experience in Nazi Germany; the history of race in the United States; colonialism and racism; the minority experience as outsider or “other”; the impact on families and family dynamics; the issue of property and restitution; Black-Jewish relations; and memory of the Holocaust and memory of slavery and the slave trade. Small group discussions, chaired by peer leaders, explored how to effectively integrate these issues and topics into specific courses taught at HBCUs. The seminar was team-taught by Dr. Mary Coleman, Professor of Political Science, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts, and Director, Center for University Scholars, at Jackson State University, and Dr. Alan Steinweis, Rosenberg Associate Professor of History at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
2005, The Holocaust and Antisemitism in France
The 2005 seminar examined the prewar background of antisemitism in France, the Jewish refugee crisis of the 1930s, the antisemitic policies of the Vichy government, the role of public opinion in the Holocaust in France, Jewish responses to the Holocaust, and Holocaust memory and Holocaust denial in French national consciousness. The seminar was led by Dr. Vicki Caron, Diann G. and Thomas A. Mann Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at Cornell University and 2005 J. B. and Maurice Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence, and Dr. Henry Rousso, Director of the Institut d’Histoire du Temps Présent at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Professor of History at the University of Paris-Nanterre. Twenty-one professors teaching courses on 20th-century France participated.
2004, Seminar for Faculty of Hispanic-Serving Institutions
The 2004 seminar—the first to be endowed as the Jack and Anita Hess Seminar for Faculty—was designed for professors in history, social sciences, or the humanities who are teaching a Holocaust-related course at Hispanic-serving institutions or other institutions serving significant numbers of Hispanic students or who are preparing to teach a Holocaust-related course or expanding a current course to include Holocaust-related components. The seminar was taught by Dr. Wolf Gruner, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Webster University in Missouri, and Dr. Elaine Leeder, Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Sonoma State University in California. The seminar featured lectures and discussions on Holocaust history, in conjunction with broader academic perspectives, including literature and music as transmitters of heritage, as well as social and political strategies adopted by individuals and communities in the midst of ethnic violence, victimization, and exile.
2003, Theology, Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust
The 2003 seminar featured sessions on the history of anti-Judaism and antisemitism, churches and the Holocaust, the Holocaust and contemporary general ethics, and debates on the actions of religious figures during the Holocaust. Attended by 16 faculty members from universities and seminaries throughout the United States, the seminar was taught by Fr. John T. Pawlikowski, Professor of Social Ethics and Director of Catholic Jewish Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
2002, The History and Development of the Concentration Camp System
Professor Emeritus Henry Friedlander led the 2002 seminar for faculty teaching Holocaust-related courses.
2001, Seminar for Faculty of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
The 2001 seminar featured the following sessions: “Hitler’s Rise to Power and the Consolidation of Nazi Rule,” “Toward a War for Race and Space, 1936–1941,” “From the Peak Years of Killing to the Collapse of the Third Reich,” and “The Aftermath and Legacy of the Holocaust.” Attended by 13 faculty members from historically black colleges and universities, the seminar was taught by Dr. Doris Bergen, Professor of History at Notre Dame University.
2000, The Holocaust in Poland
The 2000 seminar featured lectures and discussions on topics such as Poland between the wars; the Polish question during World War II; Polish society, Polish-Jewish relations and the Holocaust; the aftermath of the Holocaust on Polish lands; and the memory of the Holocaust. Attended by 17 professors either teaching or preparing to teach a 20th-century history course on Poland, the seminar was taught by Dr. Antony Polonsky, Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University.
Curt C. and Else Silberman Seminar for Faculty
2023, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Teaching about Holocaust Violence
The 2023 Silberman Seminar focused on the topic of teaching Holocaust violence in the college classroom by utilizing approaches from the fields of social sciences, history, literary analysis, oral history, film, and music studies.
2022, Teaching Holocaust Photographs
The 2022 Silberman Seminar explored the category of Holocaust photography, looking at how and why these images were originally created, and how Holocaust photographs have been used in scholarship, teaching, and the public domain.
2021, Teaching Mass Atrocity: the Holocaust, Genocide, and Justice
The 2021 seminar, lead by Douglas Irvin-Erickson and Thomas Pegelow Kaplan, brought the study of the Holocaust into conversation with studies of genocide and international justice for the purposes of opening an informed dialogue among scholars across disciplines, who utilize a range of approaches and methodologies in their classrooms.
2019, Displacement, Migration, and the Holocaust
The 2019 Curt C. and Else Silberman Faculty Seminar explored the disparate meanings and experiences of migration that preceded, accompanied, and/or followed the Holocaust. It introduced participants to the policies, practices, and experiences of migration(s) and consider diverging and complementary narratives of forced emigration, displacement, population transfers, and resettlement.
2018, Racial Practice: Theory, Policy, and Execution in Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow South
The 2018 seminar, co-lead by Wolf Gruner, Evelynn Hammonds, and Clarence Walker, explored the similarities, differences, and gray zones of racial theory and practice in Germany and the United States in the first half of the 20th century, paying special attention to how these practices sharply diverged as Nazi antisemitic policies turned into widespread, state sanctioned murder and genocide in the 1940s.
2017, Visualizing the Holocaust and the Use of Digital Humanities in the classroom
The 2017 seminar, led by Rachel Deblinger and Paul Jaskot, deepened participants' knowledge about the Holocaust and Digital Humanities. Lectures, discussions, and hands-on lab time allowed participants' to use Museum resources, both documentary and electronic, to learn how to create assignments for students and to imagine new ways to approach their own work.
2016, Jewish Responses to the Holocaust: Teaching Through Primary Sources
The 2016 seminar, taught by Alexandra Garbarini and Mark Roseman, addressed the rich and diverse responses to persecution of Jews and Jewish victims, inside and outside of Europe, from 1933 and into the postwar period. This seminar explored a variety of source bases and curricular and pedagogical approaches. It focused in part on the Museum-produced series, Jewish Responses to Persecution (completed in 2015), while also including new perspectives on traditional materials presented in the Holocaust Studies classroom.
2015, Teaching the Holocaust: Causes, Course, Consequences
The 2015 seminar, taught by Peter Hayes, deepened participants’ understanding of why and how the Holocaust occurred; introduced them to contemporary reflections on its aftermath and aftereffects; and equiped them with the knowledge base and pedagogical techniques required to address the most frequently asked questions (and misconceptions) raised by students as well as the fundamental issues that should concern students most.
2014, Teaching about the Holocaust in the Soviet Union: Perpetrators, Collaborators, Bystanders, and Victims
The 2014 seminar presented some of the latest scholarly findings on the Holocaust in the Soviet Union and provided an overview of the ideological aims and tactics used in “the East.” The seminar also examined the Soviet Jewish communities and culture prior to World War II and the relations between Jews and other Soviet nationalities within the context of modern Russian history and the impact of the Stalinist regime. Jeffrey Veidlinger and Lynne Viola led the seminar.
2013, Teaching about the Holocaust: Antisemitism, the “Final Solution,” Jewish Response, and Denial
The 2013 seminar strengthened participants’ backgrounds in Holocaust history and provided a firm scholarly grounding for Holocaust courses. The seminar consisted of presentations on the history of antisemitism and the Holocaust, participant-facilitated discussions on classroom teaching methods, and roundtable discussions on teaching strategies across multiple disciplines. Presentations and discussions included an overview of Holocaust history and topics, as well as new research findings for participants to incorporate into their course syllabi.
2012, Teaching the Gendered Experience of the Holocaust
The 2012 seminar deepened participants’ understanding of the Holocaust through the perspective of gender by exploring and comparing the points of convergence and divergence between male and female experiences in a variety of circumstances, including early persecution, refugee life, concentration camp life, life in hiding, separation and reunion of families, and survival in the postwar era. Through an interdisciplinary lens that combines historical, literary, archival, and visual sources, participants analyzed the experiences of gays and lesbians; how gendered perspective is reflected in Holocaust diaries, memoirs, and art; the gendered experiences of perpetrators and their postwar representation; and other topics.
2011, Teaching the Holocaust: An Integrated Approach
The 2011 seminar explored Jewish responses to persecution through an investigation of both primary and secondary source readings. It included presentations, participant-facilitated discussions of classroom teaching methods, and roundtable discussions of teaching strategies across multiple disciplines.
2010, Jewish Responses to the Holocaust: Teaching the Victims’ Perspective
The 2010 seminar explored Jewish responses to persecution through an investigation of both primary and secondary source readings. It included presentations, participant-facilitated discussions of classroom teaching methods, and roundtable discussions of teaching strategies across multiple disciplines.
2009, Teaching the Holocaust: Causes, Course, Consequences
The 2009 seminar deepened participants’ understanding of why and how the Holocaust occurred; introduced them to contemporary reflections on its aftermath and aftereffects; and equipped them with the knowledge base and pedagogical techniques required to address the most frequently asked questions (and misconceptions) raised by students as well as the fundamental issues that should concern students most.
2008, Teaching the Legacy of the Holocaust: Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine
Over two thirds of the Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis and their allies lived within the borders of prewar Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine. The 2008 seminar focused on the Holocaust in this region; the current public debate on the involvement of their citizens in the perpetration of the Holocaust; and the complex issues of memory, memorialization, and remembrance. It was led by Professor Antony Polonsky, Albert Abramson Chair of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University and a specialist on the history and culture of the Jews of East Central Europe and the history of the Holocaust.
2007, The Impact and Legacy of the Holocaust on the Law
The 2007 seminar was designed for US law faculty teaching or preparing to teach courses on constitutional and international law and related legal field. Designed to strengthen participants’ knowledge of the impact of the Holocaust on the development of domestic and international law, the seminar featured sessions led by Theodor Meron, Judge of the Appeals Chamber of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals, The Hague, Netherlands; Dinah Shelton, Patricia Roberts Harris Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School; and Henry Friedlander, Professor Emeritus of History in the Department of Judaic Studies at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. Topics included the co-opting and corrupting of the German legal system during the Holocaust; the independence of the judiciary and judicial ethics; minority rights; property, reparations, and restitution issues; domestic legal actions against perpetrators, including denaturalization, deportation, and lustration; the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal and subsequent national and international trials; continuity and change since 1945 in international human rights law and international criminal law; transitional justice today; hate speech prohibitions; and genocide denial and the law.
2006, Seminar for Faculty Teaching Holocaust-Related Courses
Twenty-one faculty from colleges and universities in nine US states and Canada participated in the 2006 Silberman Seminar. The co-leaders of the seminar were Mark Roseman, Pat M. Glazer Professor of Jewish History at Indiana University, and Dr. Juergen Matthaeus, Senior Research Scholar in the Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. The seminar schedule included presentations on the history of the Holocaust; participant-facilitated discussions on classroom teaching methods; and roundtable discussions on teaching strategies across multiple disciplines. Presentations and discussions covered such topics as Holocaust testimony; studies of perpetrators, collaborators, bystanders, and victims; individual/collective trauma; comparative violence/genocide; gender roles; and antisemitism.
2005, Seminar for Faculty in the Social Sciences
The 2005 seminar was designed to (1) examine recent developments in Holocaust-based research in the social sciences and (2) review approaches for incorporating Holocaust history into college/university-level teaching. Discussions included such topics as individual/collective trauma, perpetrator-victim-bystander studies, inter-ethnic relations, comparative violence/genocide, gender roles, and the influence of antisemitism. Professors Christopher R. Browning, James Waller, and Jane Caplan led the seminar. Dr. Browning, an internationally recognized leader in the field of Holocaust studies, is Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Center’s 2002–2003 Ina Levine Scholar. Dr. Waller is Professor of Psychology and Edward B. Lindaman Chair of the Psychology Department at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, and was a participant in the Center’s 1999 Summer Seminar on Teaching the Holocaust, taught by Raul Hilberg, and the 2005 Summer Research Workshop on Interpreting Testimony. Dr. Caplan is University Lecturer in Modern History and Fellow of St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford and participated in the Center’s 2005 Summer Research Workshop on Gender and the Holocaust.
2004, Using Primary Sources for Teaching the Holocaust
The 2004 seminar was designed to (1) explore the power of using primary sources to respond to critical questions about the Holocaust, (2) closely examine subject areas where this approach is especially appropriate, and (3) identify effective pedagogical approaches to employing Holocaust-era documentation in the classroom. Professor Peter Longerich and Dr. Wendy Lower led the seminar. Dr. Longerich is Professor of Modern German History at Royal Holloway, University of London and Director of the University’s Research Centre for the Holocaust and Twentieth Century History. He was the 2003–2004 J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Senior Scholar in Residence at the Museum. His breadth of knowledge concerning Nazi policy and the origins of the “Final Solution” is reflected in his numerous publications and has been widely consulted. Most recently, he was the primary document expert for the defense in the libel trial brought by Holocaust-denier David Irving against Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books. Dr. Lower is Assistant Professor of History at Towson University and has taught on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust at American University and Georgetown University. She commands in-depth knowledge of the Museum’s archival collections, oral histories, films, and photo archives; was a principle architect of the Center’s developing multivolume publication series, Archives of the Holocaust; and is a published specialist on the Holocaust in the Ukraine.
2003, Literature and the Holocaust
The 2003 seminar focused on key issues such as the methods and importance of employing Holocaust-related fiction and poetry in English and literature courses; 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. Professors Geoffrey H. Hartman, Sterling Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature, and Project Director, Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut; Sara R. Horowitz, Associate Professor of English, Division of Humanities, and Associate Director, Centre for Jewish Studies, at York University, in Toronto, Ontario; and R. Clifton Spargo, Assistant Professor of English at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, led the seminar.
2002, The Holocaust: History, Memory, Representation
The 2002 seminar focused on key issues such as decision making and genocide; perpetrator motivation; the Holocaust as it relates to other genocides; uses of oral testimony, literature, fiction, and documentaries in the classroom; and commemoration. Professor Omer Bartov, the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History in the Department of History at Brown University and author of Hitler_’_s Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich; Mirrors of Destruction: War, Genocide, and Modern Identity; and Murder in Our Midst: The Holocaust, Industrial Killing, and Representation, led the seminar.
2001, Ethics After the Holocaust: Key Issues for Philosophy and Religion
Professor John K. Roth, the Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, led the Center’s the 2001 seminar, designed for professors of philosophy, religion, or ethics. The seminar focused on such questions as: Why were ethical traditions ineffective in preventing the Holocaust? Are there ethical implications and lessons that emerge from the Holocaust? How can study of the Holocaust best be included in ethical reflection? What do philosophy and religious studies contribute to Holocaust studies, and how can Holocaust studies help to define the tasks of philosophy and religious studies?
2000, Seminar on Teaching the Holocaust
Professor Richard Breitman of the Department of History at American University led the 2000 seminar. Dr. Breitman is the author of What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew and The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution. Sixteen faculty members from as many institutions participated in this intensive, two week program from.
1999, Seminar on Teaching the Holocaust
Renowned historian and scholar Raul Hilberg, author of the classic work in the field The Destruction of the European Jews, led the inaugural seminar in June 1999. One participant said of Hilberg, “To work with him directly is not simply to be informed; it is to be inspired.”
Faculty Seminar on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust
2023, Religious Approaches to Understanding Rescue During the Holocaust
This seminar explored the religious dimensions of rescue during the Holocaust and the historiographical development of the study of rescue.
2022, Theological Encounters of Race, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust in Transatlantic Context
This seminar examined the multifaceted encounters between Black American Christians and Jews in both the United States and Europe from the 1920s to the present, as well as the transnational circulation of ideas that shaped Christian and Jewish theological understandings of and responses to persecution.
2021, The Holocaust and the Christian Tradition in Seminary Education Today
This seminar examined the Holocaust and its historical, ethical, and theological relevance for Christianity and its particular implications for theologians, clergy, and Christian leaders today.
2020, Confronting Difficult Issues Around Religion and the Holocaust
This seminar considered the complex roles of religion (specifically Judaism and Christianity) in the Holocaust by addressing five key themes: everyday religious life under persecution; religion and violence; rescue, conversion, and coercion; religious/ethnic/national identities; and religious freedom in authoritarian societies.
2019, Interreligious Studies and the Holocaust: New Research, New Conversations
New research about minority religious communities throughout Nazi-occupied Europe and North Africa has opened a new lens into interreligious dynamics and the history of different religious communities under National Socialism. This seminar provided an overview of the history of the international interreligious movement in the early twentieth century, with a particular focus on diverse religious leaders and communities in Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied territories.
2018, After Evil: the Ethical Dynamics of Addressing the Past
The post-Holocaust statements issues by different religious bodies since 1945 offer a provocative case study in the complexity of ethical discourse and reconciliation in the wake of mass atrocity and genocide. This seminar explored these issues by examining key statements of guilt and repentance, interrogating their impact on similar attempts to address other pasts.
2017, Martin Luther's Theology and the Jews
The subject of “Luther and the Jews” became one of the most provocative themes in the field of Luther studies after the Holocaust. This seminar gave an overview of Luther’s writings about the Jews, probing the foundations of Luther’s (and his contemporaries’) antagonism toward the Jews and exploring the legacy of these texts in the early twentieth century.
2016, Good, Evil, and the Grey Zone: Religion's Role in Genocide from the Holocaust to ISIS
This seminar explored the complex ways in which religion (whether in the form of religious groups, leaders, institutions, or interpretations of religious traditions and teachings) becomes a factor in genocidal situations, with a special focus on the Holocaust, the Cambodian and Rwandan genocides, and the atrocities perpetrated by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
2015, Building Christian-Jewish Understanding After the Holocaust
The Holocaust catalyzed a new era in interreligious encounter as Jews and Christians addressed the historical and theological obstacles to a positive relationship. This seminar examined the development of these new dialogical directions.
2014, Moral Dilemmas and Moral Choice in the Holocaust: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Pius XII as Case Studies in Religious Leadership
This seminar examined the historical and theological complexities of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Pope Pius XII, two of the most central Christian figures during the Holocaust, and explored how the scholarship on both men has shaped Christian understandings of the Holocaust after 1945.
2013, The Overlooked Revolution: The Shift in Catholic Teaching on the Jews since Vatican II
This seminar explored the changes in Catholic teachings about Jews and Judaism after the 1965 promulgation of Nostra Aetate (“In Our Age”) at Vatican II.
2012, Understanding Complicity: The Churches’ Role in Nazi Germany
This seminar explored the historical and theological dynamics of the complicity of churches in Nazi Germany. Participants examined how widespread the complicity was and what its causes were; the role of the leadership of the churches; how this history influenced postwar discussions in Germany about guilt and responsibility; and how this issue been addressed in the general historiography of the Holocaust.
2011, Transforming Troubling Tellings: The History of the Deicide Charge and the Holocaust
This seminar examined the “shadow side” of Christian teaching and preaching about the Passion story that assigns blame to Jews and constitutes the core of a polemic against Judaism.
2010, Rescuers and Bystanders during the Holocaust: The Historical Significance of Morality and Complicity
Participants explored the history of Catholic and Protestant responses to Nazism and the Holocaust, with a particular focus on the role of rescuers and bystanders.
2009, Christianity and the Holocaust: History, Analysis, Implications
Using the history of the Catholic and Protestant responses to Nazism and the Holocaust as a starting point, this seminar traced the emergence of post-Holocaust Christian thought and analyzed the legacy of this history.
2008, Christianity and the Holocaust: Teaching the Tough Questions
This seminar focused on the “tough questions” that often arise in teaching the history of the Holocaust and Christian churches, including antisemitism, the relevance of rescue and resistance, the complexity of figures like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, contemporary interfaith challenges, and comparisons with other genocides.
2007, The Holocaust and the Christian Churches: Teaching this History Today
Participants explored the Catholic and Protestant churches’ responses to Nazism and the Holocaust—both inside and outside Germany—and the ways in which religious leaders have addressed this history since 1945.
2006, Complicity and Confession: Post-Holocaust Christian Interpretations of Guilt and Forgiveness
This seminar explored the behavior of Christian clergy and theologians in Nazi Germany, including their complicity and its broader legacy for postwar Christian theological discourse on guilt and forgiveness.