University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Center for Holocaust Studies

Past Events

Current Events


Monday, April 7, 2014, 7:00 PM, Waterman Memorial Lounge (Room 338)


On the Peripheries of the Holocaust:
Killings and Pillage of Jews by their Neighbors
in Occupied Poland

Jan T. Gross, Princeton University

GrossDrawing upon research from his latest book, Professor Gross will examine in this lecture whether pillage, occasional murder, or denunciation of Jews hiding in the Polish countryside during the Holocaust were accepted social practices, or were acts carried out by criminal elements in the Polish population that met with social censure.

Jan Tomasz Gross is Norman B. Tomlinson '16 and '48 Professor of War and Society at Princeton University, where he has been in the History Department since 2003 after teaching at New York University, Yale University, Emory University, and universities in France, Austria, and Poland.  An internationally-recognized authority on the German and Soviet occupations of Poland and the Holocaust in the Polish lands, Professor Gross is author of, among other works, Polish Society under German Occupation: the Generalgouvernement, 1939-1945 (Princeton, 1979), Revolution from Abroad: Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia (Princeton, 1988), Neighbors: the Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (Princeton, 2001), Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz. An Essay in Historical Interpretation (New York, 2006), and most recently Golden Harvest: Reflections about Events at the Periphery of the Holocaust (Oxford, 2012), co-authored with Irena Grudzinska-Gross. The publication of these last three works has put Professor Gross at the center of a transformative reassessment of the historiography on wartime and postwar Jewish-Polish relations, and has aroused lively public debate in Poland and beyond

Underwritten by the Ader/Konigsberg Endowment for Holocaust Studies at UVM



Monday, March 31, 2014, 7:00 PM, Waterman Memorial Lounge (Room 338)


Recent Trends in Holocaust Research in Italy

Franklin H. Adler, Macalester College

AdlerWhat had happened to Italian Jews during the final phase of Fascism and during the German occupation of Northern Italy was not a subject faced by Italians once the Second World War ended and a new republic established by a coalition of parties that had participated in the anti-fascist resistance. Jews were melded into a larger group of “victims of fascism,” as if they had been targeted for discrimination and persecution primarily because they were “anti-fascists” rather than “Jews.” So far as the Shoah was concerned, an auto-exculpatory myth of the “good Italian” was created, counterposed to the pervasive image of the “bad German,” Italians, that is, who did whatever they could to protect and save their Jewish compatriots from roundups and deportation by the Germans to Auschwitz and other camps. The anti-Semitic policies of the Fascist regime, from 1938 to 1943, and later collaboration with the German occupying authorities, were rarely treated, even during the 1970s when a new, critical literature on Fascism emerged. It was only during the late 1980s, in the wake of the fiftieth anniversary of the 1938 racial laws, that a new wave of research began to focus seriously on the racial policy of the Fascist regime (its origins, the role of intellectuals, the public response) and on the active collaboration of Italians in the arrest of Jews, the appropriation of their property, and their deportation to death camps.

Franklin H. Adler is the G. Theodore Mitau Professor of Political Science at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He specializes in Political Theory and Comparative Politics. He has published extensively on Western Marxism, Critical Theory and Hermeneutics, European movements of the extreme right, especially Italian Fascism and the contemporary far right in France. His first book on Italian Fascism focused on the complex relationship between industrialists and the regime (Italian Industrialists from Liberalism to Fascism, Cambridge University Press). He is currently writing a book on Italian Jews and Fascism, a topic on which he has published a number of critical essays that have appeared in the United States, Great Britain, Italy and France. A long-term editor of the journal Telos, his work has appeared in such other journals as Les temps modernes, Raisons Politiques, Il Ponte, Patterns of Prejudice, Modern Judaism, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Comparative Political Studies, and Perspectives on Politics. He also contributed to the four-volume Routledge anthology Antonio Gramsci: Critical Assessments, and to the two-volume Einaudi anthology Il Fascismo: Un dizionario Critico.



Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 7:00 PM, Waterman Memorial Lounge (Room 338)


Richard Wagner in the Third Reich

Pamela Potter, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Looking first at Richard Wagner's own complex relationship toward Jews, Judaism, and race during his lifetime, this lecture will then examine how Wagner took on a largely symbolic meaning in Nazi Germany, even when performances of his works may have actually declined. It will then show how various theories about Wagner's racism and antisemitism proliferated after World War II, overstating the importance of his works in Hitler's Germany, and raising new ethical questions about their performance today.

Potter Pamela M. Potter is Professor of German and Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests have concentrated on relating music, the arts, and the writing of cultural history to ideological, political, social, and economic conditions, focusing on twentieth-century Germany, Jewish music, and the impact of German emigration on American musical life. She is the author of Most German of the Arts: Musicology and Society from the Weimar Republic to the End of Hitler's Reich (Yale University Press, 1998), translated into German in 2000 and forthcoming in Portuguese, and co-editor with Celia Applegate of Music and German National Identity (University of Chicago Press, 2002). Her newest book, Art of Suppression: Confronting the Nazi Past in Histories of the Visual and Performing Arts (University of California Press, forthcoming), raises questions about the uniqueness of Nazi culture and aesthetics and traces the roots of these ideas in Anglophone cultural histories.



Monday, October 28, 2013, 7:00 PM, Waterman Memorial Lounge (Room 338)

The Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the First News of the Holocaust

Richard Breitman, American University

Why didn’t Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a brilliant speaker, denounce the Holocaust when he first learned about it?  This question implies a harsh answer—FDR didn’t care, and some have claimed it was because he was an anti-Semite.  Apart from its bias, the question is technically impossible to answer since one can never establish completely why someone didn’t do something.

But we can address a more neutral formulation: how did FDR react to early news about what we call Holocaust, a term that was not in common use in his day.  To do that we need to put relevant events in chronological order in order to see things as FDR experienced them.  We will get a better sense of connections and interactions.  In other words, we will understand Roosevelt better, even if we do not agree with his decisions.


Richard Breitman is the author or co-author of ten books and many articles in German history, U. S. history, and the Holocaust.   He is Distinguished Professor at American University and is also editor of the journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies.  Breitman’s book The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution (New York: Knopf, 1991) won the Fraenkel Prize for Contemporary History and was translated into five languages.  Another book Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew (New York: Hill and Wang, 1998), has also appeared in five foreign languages.  Breitman served as lead editor of the first two volumes of the diaries and papers of James G. McDonald (League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 1933-35, and chairman of President Roosevelt’s Advisory Committee on Political Refugees, 1938-1945), part of a four-volume series published by Indiana University Press in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Breitman’s 2011 book Hitler’s Shadow, co-authored with Norman J. W. Goda, dealt with the fate of Nazi war criminals and collaborators in the postwar period.  It was based largely on newly declassified documents from the United States National Archives. Breitman served as director of historical research for the Nazi War Criminal Records and Imperial Japanese Records Interagency Working Group, which helped to bring about declassification of more than eight million pages of U.S. government records under a 1998 law.  FDR and the Jews (March 2013), co-authored with Allan J. Lichtman, is the product of more than twenty-five years of research and thinking about Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture is made possible through a generous gift from Jerold D. Jacobson, Esquire, of New York City, UVM Class of 1962



Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 7:00 PM, Waterman Memorial Lounge (Room 338)


Zionist Responses to Nazism
in the Jewish Community in Palestine

Mark Gelber, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel

This lecture will analyze the reactions to the rise of Nazism in Germany on the part of the Jewish-Zionist community living in Palestine. This community was comprised of politically and socially diverse factions, and by no means were the various responses uniform. The issue of possible discrepancies between the German Zionist organization and the Zionist leadership in Palestine is also raised in this context. By focusing on the issues of racialist theory and racism, völkisch ideology and community, and anti-Semitism, the lecture considers the complicated questions of "Zionist" compatibility and cooperation with Nazism, but also resistance to it, while demonstrating the range and diversity of Zionist attitudes overall in this context. As Nazi thinking and policy towards Jewry gradually changed in the years following the takeover and solidification of power, some Zionist reactions also exhibit certain signs of change which also require critical analysis.

Gelber Mark H. Gelber is an American-Israeli scholar of comparative literature and German-Jewish literature and culture. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University, having also studied as an undergraduate at the University of Bonn, the University of Grenoble, and Tel Aviv University. He received his M.A. and M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University. In the same year he accepted an appointment as post-doctoral lecturer at Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev, Beer Sheva, in the Department of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics. Except for guest professorships and periods of time spent as a research fellow abroad, he has been at BGU since that time. His research interests include: German-Jewish literature and culture, comparative literature, exile theory and the literature of exile, cultural Zionism, early Zionist literature and journalism, literary anti-Semitism, autobiography and biography, and the practice of literary reception. Since 2008 Gelber has directed the Research Center for Austrian and German Studies at Ben-Gurion University. He has been a member of the executive board of the Rabb Center for Holocaust Studies since its founding at BGU. Gelber has published scholarly essays about the following: Franz Kafka, Max Brod, Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth, Elias Canetti, Martin Buber, Theodor Herzl, Nathan Birnbaum, Else Lasker-Schüler, Richard Beer-Hofmann, Max Nordau, E.M. Lilien, Thomas Mann, Gustav Freytag, Georg Hermann, Manfred Sturmann, Julius Bab, Nelly Sachs, Glückel von Hameln, Heinrich Heine, Ludwig Börne, Karl Emil Franzos, Charles Dickens, T.S. Eliot, Erica Jong, Elie Wiesel, Jakov Lind, and others.



Event held at the Center for Research in Contemporary History (ZZF), Potsdam, Germany

September 30 - October 2, 2013


German Society under National Socialism:
Viewpoints and Perspectives

(Die deutsche Gesellschaft im Nationalsozialismus.
Forschungspositionen und -perspektiven)

Co-sponsored by the Center for Research in Contemporary History (ZZF), Potsdam and the Miller Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont.

Organizers: Winfried Süß (Potsdam), Rüdiger Hachtmann (Potsdam), Thomas Schaarschmidt (Potsdam), Alan E. Steinweis (Vermont).

Conference Program (PDF), Feature about the Conference (in German), Conference Report (in German)



Event held at the Jena Center for 20th Century History, University of Jena, Germany

July 11-13, 2013


Ethnic Minorities and Holocaust Memory: A Global Perspective

Co-sponsored by the Jena Center for 20th Century History, the Miller Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont, the Chair for Transatlantic Cultural History at the University of Augsburg, and the European Network for Contemporary History (EURHISTXX).

Organizers: Norbert Frei (Jena), Jacob Eder (Jena), Philipp Gassert (Augsburg), Alan E. Steinweis (Vermont).

Link here to flyer and full program for the conference



April 23, 2013

The 24th Harry H. Kahn Memorial Lecture

"When Suddenly Tomorrow Is Another Day"
German-Jewish Writer Jurek Becker:
His Life and Literary Legacy

Christine Becker

Christine Becker grew up in a German publishing family and studied German Literature and Publishing at the Free University of Berlin. She was married to Jurek Becker from 1986 until his death in 1997. Their son Jonathan was born in 1990.

Becker edited a collection of letters written by her husband between 1969–96, entitled You Nonpareils (2004) followed by a collection of essays, interviews and lectures, entitled My Father, the Germans and I (2007), both are published by Suhrkamp. She also edited a compilation of essays in the English language – some of them translated by Jonathan Becker. In 2009 she edited an audiobook of readings by Jurek Becker followed by an audiobook of his novel Bronstein’s Children read by Christoph Grube, which she directed. Since 2007 Becker has visited various Universities in the US to give lectures, introduce film screenings or present books. She is currently working on an English edition of Short Stories written by her husband. Becker lives in Berlin.

Becker Becker

Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian



April 15, 2013

The Annual Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture

German Churches and the Holocaust:
Assessing the Argument for Complicity

Robert P. Ericksen, Pacific Lutheran University

During the first years after 1945, the history of German churches during the Nazi period was mostly written by and for the churches themselves. The result was a story of moral opposition to Adolf Hitler and his ideology, coupled with tales of Christian suffering and adversity under the Nazi regime. Both Catholic and Protestant historians told variations on this story. Furthermore, many on the Allied side were prepared to listen. They could point to people like Martin Niemöller, representatives of the churches who really did suffer for their opposition to the Nazi state. Christians in the Allied world much preferred a story in which Christian values were understood to be antithetical to Nazi values, rather than supportive. As early as the 1960s, some Catholic scholars began to question this story, noting, for example, the silence of Pope Pius XII. By the 1970s and 1980s, Protestant scholars started to poke at the mythology of the “Church Struggle” and the heroic, anti-Nazi image of the Confessing Church. Robert Ericksen has contributed to this reconsideration in a number of important works. In this lecture he will assess whether “complicity” is the best concept for understanding our new, more complicated sense of the relationship between churches and the Holocaust.


Robert P. Ericksen, Kurt Mayer Chair in Holocaust Studies at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA, studied with James Joll at the London School of Economics, where he earned his Ph.D. in history in 1980. He is the author of Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany (Cambridge University Press, 2012). His first book, Theologians under Hitler: Gerhard Kittel, Paul Althaus and Emanuel Hirsch (Yale, 1985), appeared in German, Dutch and Japanese translation. In 2005 it became the subject of a documentary film, Theologians under Hitler, by Steven Martin of Ericksen is the author of more than three dozen scholarly articles or chapters on German churches and universities, and has edited three books, including Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust, co-edited with Susannah Heschel (Fortress Press, 1999). He is a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, serves as chair of the Church Relations Committee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and is a founding member of the board of editors of Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte.

The Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture is made possible through a generous gift from Jerold D. Jacobson, Esquire, of New York City, UVM Class of 1962



April 8, 2013

Yom Hashoah Lecture

Photography, Jews, and the Holocaust: The Eclipse of a Field

Michael Berkowitz, University College London

In the context of the Holocaust, historians are aware that certain socio-economic realms in which European Jews were heavily involved were 'Aryanized' and almost thoroughly destroyed. Yet traces and memory of such activity remains. That is, we know that Jews were well out of proportion to their numbers as market-square traders in much of pre-war Eastern Europe. Jews were heavily involved in Poland and elsewhere in textiles. In Central and Eastern Europe Jews dealt with wholesale and retail ready-to-wear clothing. Establishments such as bookshops, liquor stores, and tobacco shops were often in Jewish hands. Jews were a major part of the diamond trade in the Low Countries (and Germany, until the Nazis). The visual evidence from Kristallnacht alone reveals many clusters of businesses in which Jews were notable if not prevalent. One area, though, where there has been little notice of a Jewish presence, is in photography. Jews were conspicuous in establishing commercial premises, devising and popularizing studio practices, advancing film and optical technologies, participating in empire and state-building photographic expeditions, photojournalism, advertising, fashion and sport photography, the retailing of cameras, film, and photo equipment, and the merging of photography into the fine arts, avant-garde, and social-political movements. Some attention has been paid to the photographing of Jews "as Jews" particularly in interwar Europe, but the integration of photography in most of the historiography on European Jewry from 1900 to 1945 tends to be illustrative, rather than analytic. Jewry's complex, and often, Jewishly self-conscious engagement with photography, world-wide—beyond "Holocaust representations" --has generally escaped scholarly notice. This is part of an effort to reconstruct and interpret a critical dimension of Jewish life that was in great part decimated in the Nazi onslaught, about which there is scant recognition of what was lost.

Berkowitz Michael Berkowitz is Professor of Jewish History at University College, London. A native of Rochester, New York, he received his BA from Hobart College and his MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied under George L. Mosse. His scholarship has dealt broadly with modern Jewish identity formation and political self-representations, 1881-1948; relationships between art, politics, and culture; sport (especially boxing) and spectacle; the politics of religion in Mandate Palestine; perceptions of criminality and social deviance from early modern times to the present; Jews and German culture; ties between charity and nationalism; and modes of understanding and misunderstanding the Holocaust. His many book include Zionist Culture and West European Jewry before the First World War (1993); The Crime of My Very Existence: Nazism and the Myth of Jewish Criminality (2007); Western Jewry and the Zionist Project, 1914-1933 (1997), and The Jewish Self-Image: American and British Perspectives, 1881-1939 (2000). Professor Berkowitz's current work is on the engagement of Jews and photography. He is preparing a book tentatively entitled Jews and Photography in Britain: Connections and Developments, 1850-2007.

Underwritten by the Henry and Lili Altschuler Endowment



March 22, 2013


German Intelligence and the Holocaust

Katrin Paehler, Illinois State University

Walter Schellenberg, the last head of Heinrich Himmler's political foreign intelligence service, filled many roles in Nazi Germany. As Reinhard Heydrich's right hand man, he claimed to have been central to the negotiation of the Einsatzgruppen agreement of April 1941. He signed the decree that made impossible the emigration of Belgian and French Jews in May 1941. He briefed Himmler on the infamous AB-Aktion in Poland and on racially and politically defined enemies in the Low Countries. He attempted to rethink and to conduct intelligence and counterintelligence—and an independent SS foreign policy—in racialized and ideologized terms.

How, then, did Schellenberg manage to remake himself into a diplomat at war's end? How did he eke out a place in the history books closer to Canaris and Speer than to his erstwhile associates Himmler, Heydrich, or Gestapo-Müller? How did his writings come to be seen as a reasonably reliable historical source, especially on the last months of Nazi Germany?

This seminar will address Schellenberg's unusual and surprisingly successful attempt to reconfigure his past. Rather than downplaying his role in Nazi Germany, he crafted a coherent narrative that embraced certain roles. He portrayed himself as the ultimate insider, willing to assist the Allies in their post-war efforts to bring Nazi perpetrators to justice; as a cosmopolitan diplomat respected abroad; and as a humanitarian and thwarted peacemaker, who had played a key role in the Bernadotte Mission and who, in late April 1945, had persuaded Himmler to offer conditional surrender to General Eisenhower. Schellenberg thus created a usable past for himself that still reverberates in the history books.

Katrin Paehler

Katrin Paehler, Associate Professor of History at Illinois State University, specializes her research and teaching on Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, foreign intelligence, genocide studies as well as history, memory, and representation. She authored a subsection of Das Amt und die Vergangenheit. Deutsche Diplomaten im Dritten Reich und in der Bundesrepublik (München: Blessing, 2010) and has published chapters, in German and English, in edited volumes on the Nazi Security and Intelligence Service; on Foreign Intelligence and the Holocaust; on the West German memory on the Siege of Leningrad; and on film. She is revising for publication with Cambridge University Press her book Making Intelligence Nazi: The SD, Foreign Intelligence, and Ideology and is co-editing with David Messenger the volume, "Nazi Self-Help" and Recast Identities: Post-War Fates of Nazi Functional Elites, for the University Press of Kentucky.


Monday, March 18, 2013

The Memory of War and Atrocity
in Contemporary French Politics

John Flower, University of Kent at Canterbury

Understandably the dramatic years of the Nazi occupation of France (1940-45) have remained deeply ingrained in the national psyche and its memory forms an indelible part of what the former prime minister, François Fillon, coined (in connection with the Algerian War) the country’s sense of ‘collective guilt’. The ways in which the years of Nazi occupation have been recalled and presented have been subject to a variety of factors – to the distance with which each subsequent generation views it, to the discovery of new material, as well as to how the events of those years could be adapted for subsequent purposes. This lecture will briefly trace – with reference to novels, films, and newspaper surveys – some of the ways and the reasons for which the recollection of the Occupation has shifted. In particular it will examine how, especially prior to and after the presidential election, there was a marked political maneuvering of its history and memories.

John Flower John Flower, Officier de Palmes académiques, has held the chair of French in the UK at the universities of Exeter and Kent, where he is now Emeritus Professor, and in France has been professeur invité at Paris-X Nanterre, Bordeaux and Avignon. He has published widely on the literature and culture of France in the 20th century, especially the work of writers of the Left and of François Mauriac. His recent publications include François Mauriac et Jean Paulhan; Correspondance 1925-1967 (2001), Autour de la ‘Lettre aux directeurs de la Résistance’ de Jean Paulhan (2003), Joan of Arc: Icon of Modern Culture (2008), François Mauriac, journaliste: les vingt premières années (2011) and Historical Dictionary of French Literature (2012). He is Editor of the Journal of European Studies.

Sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages


Friday, February 22, 2013


Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf: Toward a Scholarly Edition

Edith Raim, Institute for Contemporary History, Munich

In 2015, the copyright for Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which is currently owned by the Bavarian Ministry of Finance, will expire. This prompts the question how Germany will deal with Hitler’s problematic literary legacy. The Institute of Contemporary History in Munich has been entrusted with the task of preparing an annotated scholarly edition of Mein Kampf in order to preempt the mass publication of uncritical editions of the book. A member of the team in Munich that is preparing the scholarly edition, Dr. Raim will discuss how historians can confront the challenge of presenting Hitler’s repulsive text to a mass readership.

Edith Raim

Edith Raim studied history and German literature at the University of Munich and at Princeton. Her doctoral dissertation culminated in a book about the 15 Jewish subcamps of Dachau concentration camp in the last phase of the Second World War (Die Dachauer KZ-Außenkommandos Kaufering und Mühldorf. Rüstungsbauten und Zwangsarbeit im letzten Kriegsjahr 1944/45). She has taught at the Universities of Durham and Liverpool in Great Britain, has worked at the Haus der Geschichte in Bonn, Germany, and has been a fellow at the Mémorial – un musée pour la paix in Caen, France. Since 1999 she has been employed by the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, working on a database encompassing all West and East German judicial investigations and trials for Nazi crimes. In 2012 she earned her Habilitation at the University of Augsburg, where she is also on the faculty, with a study of West German prosecutions of Nazi crimes in the years 1945 to 1949. Since 2010 she has been working on the scholarly annotated edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.


November 16, 2012


Recent Trends in Holocaust Research in the Netherlands

David Barnouw, Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies (NIOD), Amsterdam (Fall 2012: Visiting Professor at the University of Vermont)

In this informal presentation, Dr. Barnouw will discuss the emergence and development of Holocaust scholarship in the Netherlands, focusing on how views of Dutch society during the Nazi occupation have become more scholarly and nuanced over time.


A senior member of the staff at the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam, David Barnouw is the co-editor of the definitive scholarly edition of the diary of Anne Frank, as well as the author of numerous works on the Dutch experience in World War Two. During the Fall 2012 semester he is based at UVM, where he is teaching a course on the Holocaust in the Netherlands.


October 17, 2012

Vichy and the Holocaust:
New Perspectives on History and Memory

Henry Rousso, Institut d'histoire du temps présent, Paris

Since the end of the 1970's, the memory of the Holocaust in France has been a vivid and controversial issue. The continual debates of recent decades over the behavior of the Vichy regime, the French population, and the Jews themselves have led to tremendous changes in perceptions of French national history. At the same time, French and foreign historians have produced a great amount of work about Vichy France and the Holocaust. Nevertheless, many issues remain unresolved. Why has the balance of casualties been less important in France than in other Western countries? Why were the majority of the victims foreign Jews? Why, despite the great efforts provided in terms of reparation, is France still accused, especially in the US, of not being able to "cope with its past"? Whatever the answers, historians can not deal with these issues without leaving the national framework and adopting a comparative perspective.


Henry Rousso is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Contemporary History, Paris, and professor at the University of Paris-Ouest Nanterre. He coordinates the European Network on Contemporary history (EURHISTXX). He has published: The Vichy Syndrome. History and Memory in France since 1944 (1987 & 1991); Vichy, An Ever-Present Past, with E. Conan (1994 & 1998); The Haunting Past. History, Memory, and Justice in France (1998 & 2002); Stalinism and Nazism (Ed.) (1999 & 2004); Vichy. L’Événement, la mémoire, l’histoire (2001); Le dossier Lyon III. Le racisme et le négationnisme à l’université Jean-Moulin (2004); Le Régime de Vichy (2007), Das Vichy-Regime in Geschichte, Erinnerung und Recht (Göttingen: 2010). He is currently writing a biography of Serge Klarsfeld.

Underwritten by the Ader/Konigsberg Endowment for Holocaust Studies at UVM

Co-sponsored by the Department of History, UVM


September 14, 2012

Laughter and Amusement in Confinement: Jewish Culture in the Westerbork Nazi Transit Camp in Holland, 1942-44

David Barnouw, Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam

Almost every week a train with thousands of Jews left the Westerbork Transit Camp for Auschwitz, Sobibor, Theresienstadt, or Bergen-Belsen -- more than 100,000 Jews in all, only 5,000 of whom would return. And almost every week there was cabaret, light music and serious music, theater, and ballet performed by the Jewish inmates, sometimes including famous performers from Germany. The German camp commander, SS-Obersturmführer Albert Konrad Gemmeker, was proud of his camp, with its well-constructed barracks, its perfect administration (by the Jewish inmates), the absence of open resistance, the minimal number of escapes, and the smoothly running train. He was so delighted with “his” camp, that he produced a documentary (filmed by the Jewish inmates) to show how efficiently it ran. The Jewish prisoners had to work, but there was a school for the children, a very good hospital for sick prisoners, and a prison barrack for those who violated the rules. There were also sports events and cultural events, with Gemmeker and his staff seated in the front row at every premiere, which took place mostly in the evening, after the deportation train had left “to the East.” The Jewish performers tried to save their lives in this way, and the Jewish audiences tried to enjoy the distraction.


A senior member of the staff at the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam, David Barnouw is the co-editor of the definitive scholarly edition of the diary of Anne Frank, as well as the author of numerous works on the Dutch experience in World War Two. During the Fall 2012 semester he will be based at UVM, where he will teach a course on the Holocaust in the Netherlands.

Lecture in honor of Cecelia Dry upon her retirement from UVM, with financial support from the employees of UVM Student Financial Services


April 22, 2012

The Sixth Miller Symposium

The German People and the Persecution of the Jews

The Popularity of Antisemitism in Germany, 1890-1933
Richard S. Levy, University of Illinois at Chicago

German Responses to the Persecution of the Jews as Reflected in Three Collections of Secret Reports
Frank Bajohr, Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte, Hamburg

Babi Yar, but not Auschwitz: What did Germans Know About the "Final Solution"?
Peter Fritzsche, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Indifference, Participation or Protest? Berliners and the Persecution of the Jews 1933-45
Wolf Gruner, University of Southern California

Where Did All "Our" Jews Go? Germans and Jews in Post-Nazi Germany
Atina Grossmann, Cooper Union

Comment and Concluding Discussion
Doris Bergen, University of Toronto

Oldenbourg 1938

Jewish men arrested after the "Kristallnacht" pogrom being paraded through the streets of Oldenbourg, Germany, November 10, 1938.

Photo: Yad Vashem


April 18-19, 2012

Yom HaShoah Observance

Three Events Featuring Henry Greenspan


Henry Greenspan is a psychologist and playwright at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who has been interviewing, teaching, and writing about Holocaust survivors since the 1970s. He is the author of On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Beyond Testimony, now in its second edition; with Agi Rubin, Reflections: Auschwitz, Memory, and a Life Recreated; along with numerous chapters and articles on Holocaust survivors and their retelling. His play, Remnants, also based on his extended conversations with survivors, was first produced for National Public Radio in the United States and has been staged at more than 200 venues worldwide. In 2011, he co-led the Hess Seminar for Professors of Holocaust Cources at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. He is currently the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at Concordia University in Montreal.

April 18, 2012 (at Temple Sinai, 500 Swift Street, South Burlington)

Community Yom HaShoah Memorial Service

Invisible Audiences: "Performing" a Play in Theresienstadt

Henry Greenspan will recall performing his play, "Remnants," in a theater space in Theresientadt that was used during the Holocaust itself. He will reflect on some not obvious ways "attendees" at Holocaust remembrances include both the dead and the living.

Sponsored by Temple Sinai, Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, Ahavath Gerim Synagogue, UVM Hillel

April 19, 2012

How Survivors Became Fashionable: Holocaust Survivors in the American Imagination

Holocaust survivors moved from relative obscurity to near celebrity status in American popular consciousness in the late 1970s. Various explanations have been offered. This talk will suggest that it is essential to consider a wider preoccupation with disaster and surviving extremity that emerged as central themes in American popular culture forty years ago (and which remains with us today). It will also be argued that survivors' new visibility has not meant that their recounting has been more thoughtfully engaged.

April 19, 2012


REMNANTS is a voice play based on twenty years of the author’s conversations with Holocaust survivors. The piece was originally produced for radio and broadcast on National Public Radio stations across the United States. As a stage play, Greenspan has performed REMNANTS as a one-man presentation at more than two hundred venues throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including the Magdeburg Barracks Theatre in the former Theresienstadt camp--a space used for performances during the Holocaust itself. Both the radio and staged versions of REMNANTS have received more than a dozen awards. Professor Alvin Rosenfeld, Chair of the committee on academic programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, notes, ““REMNANTS says more about the Holocaust in fewer words than just about anything I know. Its lean, minimalist format is powerfully affecting. This is Holocaust theatre at its best.”

Henry Greenspan's visit is underwritten by the Ader/Konigsberg Endowment for Holocaust Studies at UVM


April 4, 2012

Grounds for Murder: The Local Participation of The German Army in the Holocaust

Waitman W. Beorn, Loyola University, New Orleans

This lecture will address the participation of the Wehrmacht in the Nazi genocidal project on the ground in Belarus. Rather than simply crediting the military with “complicity” in the Holocaust, this presentation will seek to concretely describe and explain how and why German soldiers became agents in the Holocaust in the Soviet Union. It will examine, among other questions: the connection between an imaginary anti-partisan war and military collusion in anti-Jewish killings; the incremental nature of the process of increasing participation in the murder operations; sexual violence against Jews; theft of Jewish property by German soldiers; and rare but instructive instances of Wehrmacht soldiers attempting to assist Jews.

Waitman Beorn

Waitman W. Beorn is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Loyola University in New Orleans. Next year he will join the faculty of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he will be Assistant Professor of History and holder of the Louis and Frances Blumkin Professorship of Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He is a 2000 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, a former Army officer, and a veteran of the war in Iraq. After leaving the military, he earned his PhD in German History in 2011 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the direction of Christopher R. Browning. Dr. Beorn has received Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships. In addition to articles in scholarly journals, he has completed a book manuscript, tentatively titled Marching into Darkness: The Local Participation of the Wehrmacht in the Holocaust, 1941-42. Aside from his scholarly activities, Dr. Beorn consults with the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, where he assists with its Civic and Defense Initiatives missions. He works with cadets and midshipmen from the military academies using the Holocaust to help teach ethical military decision-making.

Organized in cooperation with Army ROTC at UVM, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the United States Military Academy at West Point.


April 2, 2012

The Harry H. Kahn Memorial Lecture

Primo Levi, Tadeusz Borowski, and the Historical Auschwitz

Jonathan Huener, University of Vermont

As the largest center for the annihilation of European Jews, Auschwitz stands as the most prominent symbol of the Holocaust, but its symbolic value has often led to an oversimplification and distortion of its history. Among the many well-known authors who have brought Auschwitz into the public eye, survivors Primo Levi, an Italian Jewish inmate, and Tadeusz Borowski, a Polish political prisoner, have emerged as voices of both authority and insight. Reflecting on his use of these authors in the classroom, Professor Huener will consider the writings of Levi and Borowski as historical sources, emphasizing how the evidence and interpretations they provide not only challenge conventionally-held views of Auschwitz, but also lead to a more nuanced and accurate understanding of its complex history.


Joining the University of Vermont faculty in 1996, Jonathan Huener earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. An affiliate of the Carolyn and Leonard Miller Center for Holocaust Studies at UVM, he teaches courses on the Holocaust, Polish history, German history, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe. His research has focused on public memory in post-World War II Poland, Polish-Jewish relations, Auschwitz, and German policy in the occupied Polish lands. Huener is author ofthe book Auschwitz, Poland, and the Politics of Commemoration, 1945-1979(Ohio University Press, 2003), which was awarded the 2004 Orbis Books Prize inPolish Studies from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, and was a finalist for the Pro Historia Polonorum award of the Polskie Towarszystwo Historyczne (Polish Historical Association) for the best foreign-language book in Polish history. In addition, he is co-editor, with Francis R. Nicosia, ofMedicineand Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices, Legacies(Berghahn, 2002),Business and Industry in Nazi Germany(Berghahn, 2004), andThe Arts in Nazi Germany: Continuity, Conformity, Change (Berghahn, 2006). His current research is on Polish Catholicism and the Polish Roman Catholic Church under German occupation.

Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian


Event held on the campus of the University of Haifa, Israel

January 4-5, 2012

Global Holocaust? Memories of the Destruction of the European Jews in Global Context (II)

Co-Organized by the Miller Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont, the Chair for Transatlantic Cultural History at the University of Augsburg, the Bucerius Institute for Contemporary German History and Society at the University of Haifa, and the Center for German and European Studies at the University of Haifa.

Download Conference Program (PDF)

Download Conference Summary (PDF) -- in German


November 3, 2011

The Jews of Montreal: A Community in Transition

Pierre Anctil, University of Ottawa

Montreal Jewry is unique in many respects, not only vis-à-vis the other major Jewish communities in Canada but even in the North American sphere. This is reflected in many ways. Montreal Jews are highly concentrated residentially, their community exhibits a high degree of institutional completeness and they themselves tend to cultivate a strongly defined Jewish identity both in the cultural and religious spheres. To a large extent these features can be attributed to the fact that the Montreal Jewish community is the oldest and most established in Canada, that it has received relatively little outside immigration in the last two or three decades, and that it is somewhat sheltered from American social norms. Montreal ranks very high in the world with regards to the presence of Holocaust survivors, who form almost a quarter of the population over 56 years of age, or nearly 6,800 individuals. With their descendants, they account for nearly a third of the community, their experience in Europe having colored many of the Jewish perceptions locally. Montreal Jews must also come to terms with a broader Francophone community that is itself at odds with the mainstream Anglo Canadian components and forms a distinct society. In negotiating a balance between all these factors, including Quebec nationalism and the rise of a new vibrant Francophone culture, the Montreal Jewish community has gained features which point to a separate destiny in the larger Canadian Jewish ensemble.


Pierre Anctil is Professor of History at the University of Ottawa. He has written at length on the history of the Jewish community of Montreal and on the current debates on cultural pluralism in that city. Among his contributions are translations from Yiddish to French of memoirs written by Jewish immigrants to Montreal in the first half of the twentieth century. He was the director of the Institute of Canadian Studies at the University of Ottawa until July 2008. Before that date, he was president of the Conseil des relations interculturelles of the Government of Québec, 2002-2003, and has held different positions in the Québec civil service in the domain of immigration (1991-2004). He was a guest researcher in 1999-2000 at Musée Pointe-à-Callière, for the conception of an exhibit on boulevard Saint-Laurent (2002) and for an international exhibition on the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls (2003). He was also director of the French Canadian Studies Program at McGill University (1988-1991) and researcher at the Institut québécois de recherche sur la culture (1980-1988).

Underwritten by the Kinsler Endowment for Holocaust Studies at UVM

Co-Sponsored by the UVM Canadian Studies Program


October 28, 2011

Research Seminar

"Holocaust Angst":
The Federal Republic of Germany and Holocaust Memory in the United States

Jacob S. Eder, University of Pennsylvania

Eder will discuss his project on German cultural diplomacy in the United States and its relevance for the formation of transnational Holocaust memory. His research focuses on this topic from three angles: the exponentially growing interest of American society in the Holocaust and its impact on German-American relations since the late 1970s, efforts in the United States on the part of the Federal Republic to (re-)claim the power of interpretation over the history of the Holocaust, and the reception of such policies in the United States by governmental or private institutions and individuals. Kohl
Jacob S. Eder Jacob S. Eder is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Pennsylvania and an associate member of the graduate school of the Jena Center 20th Century History, Germany. During the 2011-12 academic year, he is a Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellow at George Washington University. He holds M.A. degrees from Penn and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he spent an academic year on a Fulbright Scholarship. He is the author of “Holocaust-Erinnerung als deutsch-amerikanische Konfliktgeschichte” in Universalisierung des Holocaust? Erinnerungskultur und Geschichtspolitik in internationaler Perspektive(2008) and the recipient of numerous academic grants and fellowships, including doctoral fellowships from the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the USHMM, and the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C.

Underwritten by the Henry and Lili Altschuler Endowment


October 10, 17, and 24, 2011

Perpetrators and Victims:
Reassessing the "Final Solution"

Three lectures by

Christopher R. Browning

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

No historian has done more to enhance our understanding of the Holocaust than has Christopher R. Browning. In this series of lectures, Professor Browning will summarize the findings of three of his most influential books, explain how he sees them relating to the evolving historiography of the field, respond to some of his critics, and point to opportunities for future research on the Holocaust.

Please scroll down for information on each lecture.


Christopher R. Browning is the Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Before taking up this position in the fall of 1999, he taught for 25 years at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.

Browning received his B.A. degree from Oberlin College in 1967 and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1968 and 1975 respectively. He is the author of eight books: The Final Solution and the German Foreign Office (1978), Fateful Months: Essays on the Emergence of the Final Solution (1985), Ordinary Men: Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (1992), The Path to Genocide (1992), Nazi Policy, Jewish Workers, German Killers (2000), Collected Memories: Holocaust History and Postwar Testimony (2003), and The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942 (2004), and Remembering Survival. Inside a Nazi Slave Labor Camp (2010). He is also co-editor of Every Day Lasts a Year: A Jewish Family’s Correspondence from Poland (2007).

Browning has served as the J. B. and Maurice Shapiro Senior Scholar (1996) and Ina Levine Senior Scholar (2002-3) at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He has been a fellow of the Institutes for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey, and on the campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has also received Fulbright, Alexander von Humboldt, DAAD, and Woodrow Wilson Foundation fellowships. He has delivered the George Macaulay Trevelyan Lectures at Cambridge University (1999) and the George L. Mosse Lectures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2002), as well as the lectures of the Bertelsmann Visiting Professorship at Mansfield College, Oxford University (2007). He is a three-time recipient of the Jewish National Book Award—Holocaust Category, for Ordinary Men, The Origins of the Final Solution, and Remembering Survival.

Browning has served as an expert witness in “war crimes” trials in Australia, Canada, and Great Britain. He has also served as an expert witness in two “Holocaust denial” cases: the second Zündel trial in Toronto in 1988 and in David Irving’s libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt in London in 2000.

Lecture One

October 10, 2011

Adolf Hitler and the Decisions for the Final Solution

How and when the Nazi regime decided to solve its self-imposed “Jewish problem” through the systematic and total mass murder of every last Jew—man, woman, and child—within its grasp has been the subject of one of the most central and long-running debates among Holocaust historians. This lecture will seek to explain 1) why this issue has been important to historians; 2) what the course of the debate has been over both the timing of and Hitler’s role in the decision-making process; and 3) the reasons and evidence behind my position in this debate.

Underwritten by the Leonard and Carolyn Miller Distinguished Professorship in Holocaust Studies


Lecture 2

The Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture

October 17, 2011

Revisiting the Holocaust Perpetrators: Why Did They Kill?

In this lecture Prof. Browning will look at a variety of Holocaust perpetrators, including ideologues (“true believers”), technocrats and bureaucrats (the “managers” of genocide), and rank-and-file executioners (“grass roots killers”). He will examine the variety of explanations that scholars have offered concerning motivation that culminated in the so-called “Goldhagen debate,” and then look at subsequent evidence and insights that have emerged.

The Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture is made possible through a generous gift from Jerold D. Jacobson, Esquire, of New York City, UVM Class of 1962.


Lecture 3

October 24, 2011

Holocaust History and Survivor Testimony: The Case of the Starachowice Factory Slave Labor Camps

This lecture will examine two issues. First, what are the general methodological issues and concerns involved in using survivor testimony to write Holocaust history. Second, in a close examination of 292 survivors of the Starachowice factory slave labor camps, what can we learn about German policies and personnel on the one hand, and the survival strategies and internal dynamics of the Jewish prisoner community on the other.

Underwritten by the Leonard and Carolyn Miller Distinguished Professorship in Holocaust Studies



June 10-11, 2011

Event held on the campus of the University of Augsburg, Germany

Global Holocaust? Memories of the Destruction of the European Jews in Global Context

download conference report (PDF)

download conference program (PDF)

information on the project (in German)

Co-Organized by the Chair for Transatlantic Cultural History at the University of Augsburg and the Miller Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont, with financial support from the Foundation for German-American Academic Relations (SDAW)


  • Philipp Gassert, University of Augsburg
  • Alan E. Steinweis, University of Vermont / University of Frankfurt
  • Participants
  • Jacob S. Eder, University of Pennsylvania
  • Maria Framke, Jacobs University Bremen
  • Jonathan Goldstein, University of West Georgia
  • Lutz Kaelber, University of Vermont
  • Reinhild Kreis, University of Augsburg
  • Wendy Lower, University of Munich
  • Gilad Margalit, University of Haifa
  • Francis Nicosia, University of Vermont
  • Götz Nordbruch, University of Southern Denmark
  • Amalia Ran, University of Nebraska / University of Tel Aviv
  • Susanna B. Schrafstetter, University of Vermont
  • Hubert Seliger, University of Augsburg
  • Denise Youngblood, University of Vermont


April 28, 2011

Holocaust Memorial/Yom Hashoah Lecture

Surviving the Holocaust: One Family's Story

Ronald J. Berger, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Berger Surviving In this lecture, the distinguished sociologist Ronald Berger recounted the story of his father and uncle’s survival of the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Poland and how he came to tell it.  Berger’s father endured several concentration camps (including Auschwitz) as well as a horrific winter death march, while Berger’s uncle passed as a Catholic among anti-Semitic Polish workers and Partisans, eventually becoming an officer in the Soviet Army.  Illuminating their experiences through the lens of sociological analysis, Berger challenged the conventional wisdom that survival was simply a matter of luck.  By highlighting the prewar experiences, agentive decision-making and risk-taking, and collective networks that helped Jews elude the death grip of the Nazi regime, Berger steered a new course between condemnations of Jewish victims’ passivity and romanticized celebrations of their heroism.
Ronald Berger

Ronald J. Berger (Ph.D., UCLA) is Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he teaches courses in criminology, white-collar crime, Holocaust studies, and disability studies, which are also the areas of his current writing and research.

Dr. Berger has published more than a dozen books, including Surviving the Holocaust: A Life Course Perspective; Hoop Dreams on Wheels: Disability and the Competitive Wheelchair Athlete; Wheelchair Warrior: Gangs, Disability, and Basketball (with Melvin Juette); Storytelling Sociology: Narrative as Social Inquiry (with Richard Quinney); Fathoming the Holocaust: A Social Problems Approach; Juvenile Justice and Delinquency: Sociological Perspectives (with Paul Gregory); Crime, Justice, and Society: An Introduction to Criminology (with Marvin Free & Patricia Searles); and Rape and Society: Readings on the Problem of Sexual Assault (with Patricia Searles).

He has also published more than forty articles and book chapters, which have appeared in Contexts, Criminal Justice Review, Gender and Society, Humanity and Society, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Law and Society Review, Perspectives on Social Problems, Qualitative Inquiry, Social Science Quarterly, Sociological Focus, and Sociological Quarterly, among other professional venues.

Dr. Berger has received UW-W's highest awards for both teaching and research, as well as the Chancellor's Award for service to students with disabilities and the Wisconsin Sociological Association's William H. Sewell Outstanding Scholarship Award. He is a former editor of Sociological Imagination, the journal of the Wisconsin Sociological Association, and currently serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography and as the consulting editor of the Disability in Society book series for Lynne Rienner Publishers.


April 14, 2011

Lev Raphael reads from his book My Germany

My GermanyLev

The son of Holocaust survivors, Lev Raphael is a pioneer in writing fiction about America's Second Generation, publishing his first short story about children of survivors in 1978. Many of his early stories on this theme were collected in his award-winning book, Dancing on Tisha B'Av, while the best of those and newer ones appear in his second collection Secret Anniversaries of the Heart.

Raphael is the author of 17 other books including two novels about survivors, Winter Eyes and The German Money, and two memoirs, Journeys & Arrivals and Writing a Jewish Life. Raphael's fiction has been widely anthologized in the U.S. and Britain, most recently in the anthology Criminal Kabbalah, which contains Lev's latest story featuring a child of survivors: "Your Papers, Please."

Along with hundreds of reviews in papers from The Washington Post to The Detroit Free Press, Raphael has published dozens of essays, articles, and stories in a wide range of Jewish publications: Midstream, Hadassah, Psychology and Judaism, The Forward, Reform Judaism, Reconstructionist, Agada, Commentary, The Baltimore Jewish Times, The Detroit Jewish News, Inside, The Jewish Exponent, Jewish Currents, Tikkun, Jerusalem Report, and Shmate.

Raphael has keynoted three international Holocaust conferences where he received standing ovations, as well as appearing at hundreds of invited lectures and readings in Israel, North America, and Europe at Jewish Book Fairs, Jewish Community Centers, synagogues and universities. Featured in two documentaries, he has been a panelist at London's Jewish Film festival. His stories and essays are on university syllabi around the U.S. and in Canada; his fiction has been analyzed in books, scholarly journals and at scholarly conferences, including MLA.

Born and raised in New York City, he received his MFA in Creative Writing and English at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he won the Harvey Swados Fiction Prize, awarded by renowned editor Martha Foley for a Holocaust-themed story later published in Redbook. Winner of the Reed Smith Fiction Prize and International Quarterly's Prize for Innovative Prose (judged by D. M. Thomas), Raphael holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Michigan State University. Raphael taught at the university level in New York, Massachusetts and Michigan for 13 years and the first course he designed was a multi-disciplinary study of the Holocaust. He left teaching in 1988 to write and review full-time.

Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian


March 31, 2011

The Harry H. Kahn Memorial Lecture

Truth and Consequences: Issues in Holocaust Family Memoir

Irene Kacandes, Dartmouth College

Daddy's War In this talk, Irene Kacandes proposed the term "Holocaust family memoir" to describe the numerous autobiographical books that have been appearing in recent decades by children of Holocaust survivors like Art Spiegelman's Maus, Helen Epstein's Where She Came From, Lisa Appignanesi's Losing the Dead, and Helen Fremont's After Long Silence.  These memoirs narrate what happened to family members in the Shoah and share the story of learning that story.  Kacandes documented how such texts stake their claim to recount true history, albeit personal history.  She concluded by arguing against critics of second generation literature, and for the ethical and historical value of Holocaust family memoirs.  Soon they will provide our only new sources for understanding something of the fullness of Holocaust survivors' experiences.
Irene Kacandes Irene Kacandes is Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College, where she also teaches in Jewish Studies and Women and Gender Studies.  She currently chairs the German Studies Department.  Kacandes is author of Daddy’s War:  Greek American Stories  (U of Nebraska P, 2009) and  Talk Fiction:  Literature and the Talk Explosion (U of Nebraska P, 2001).  She is coeditor of A User’s Guide to German Cultural Studies (U of Michigan P, 1997) and Teaching the Representation of the Holocaust (MLA 2005), as well as of a special issue of Women’s Studies Quarterly on “Witness” (2008).  She has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University and has also studied at the Free University in Berlin, Germany, and at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. Author of articles on trauma and memory studies, Holocaust studies, German and Italian cultural studies, narrative theory, and feminist linguistic theory, her current research focuses on family memory and the Second World War.  Kacandes is recipient of a Fulbright Full grant, a SONY grant, and a fellowship at the United States Holocaust Museum and Memorial.  She currently hold the Friedman Family Fellowship. Kacandes edits a books series at de Gruyter Verlag in Berlin, Germany and has served in numerous capacities for various  divisions and committees of the Modern Language Association and on the executive committees of the International Society for the Study of Narrative and of the German Studies Association. She resides with her husband, Philippe Carrard, Professor Emeritus of Romance Languages at UVM, in Lebanon, NH.

Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian


March 17, 22, and 24, 2011

The Long Shadow of the Nazi Perpetrator over 20th-Century German Art

Three Lectures by Paul B. Jaskot, DePaul University

Underwritten by the Leonard and Carolyn Miller Visiting Distinguished Professorship in Holocaust Studies

Please scroll down for details on each lecture

Few regimes, if any, have influenced the history of the 20th-century as much as National Socialist Germany. Clearly, the criminal policies of this state came from a complex set of conditions and decisions leading up to Hitler’s selection as Chancellor and had a profound impact on the postwar political order, including our definitions of genocide. And yet, such a strong influence and extreme policies are strangely absent from our study of 20th-century art. Scholars in art history too often limit their understanding of the Nazi past to the few high-profile antisemitic events such as the “Degenerate Art” show, without analyzing the pre-Nazi and postwar relationships to this history.

In a series of three lectures, Paul B. Jaskot interrogated the impact of Nazi personnel and genocidal policies on art and art history both before the Party came to power as well as in the postwar period. He highlighted the strangely ignored role of the perpetrator in analyses of art, especially in the postwar era. While naturally scholars have attended to the memorialization of victims, the variable presence of Nazi Party members in specific artistic debates in the pre-Nazi era as well as their reception as perpetrators in the postwar period has had a much greater influence on specific moments of artistic and art historical production than has previously been assumed.

These lectures explored the long shadow of that Nazi past, arguing that a much more serious approach to the history of the Hitler state needs to be integrated into our understanding of modern art history.

Jaskot Paul B. Jaskot is professor of art history at DePaul University. His research focuses on the relationships between art and politics in modern art, with a specific emphasis on how art has been influenced by Nazi policies of oppression. Among his publications, he is the author of THE ARCHITECTURE OF OPPRESSION. THE SS, FORCED LABOR AND THE NAZI MONUMENTAL BUILDING ECONOMY as well as the co-editor of BEYOND BERLIN. 12 GERMAN CITIES CONFRONT THE NAZI PAST. In addition to his research and teaching in this area, he is also the Director of the Holocaust Education Foundations' Summer Institute on Jewish Culture and the Holocaust (Northwestern University). From 2008-2010, he was the President of the College Art Association, the largest professional association for artists and art historians in the United States.

Lecture 1

March 17, 2011

The Nazi Party’s Strategic Use of Art History and Antisemitism in the Weimar Republic: The Case of Heinrich Wölfflin

In this lecture, Professor Jaskot introduced the relationship of the Nazi Party to cultural policy before coming to power by looking at the way specific leaders used art history to further their antisemitic and political goals in the late Weimar Republic. Focusing on perhaps the most well-known art historian of the 20th Century, Heinrich Wölfflin, he argued that his writings were carefully manipulated by key individuals for political advantage. In the process, the lecture revealed a previously unremarked connection between one of the most important art historians and the politics of the Nazi Party. Wolfflin

Lecture 2

March 22, 2011

The Importance of the Perpetrator in Postwar Germany: Gerhard Richter and the Banality of the Nazi Past in Art

The Nazi past was much more relevant to postwar German art than has previously been assumed. In this lecture, Professor Jaskot analyzed the shifting debates in postwar West Germany as they circulated around changing definitions of perpetrators. Focusing on the high-profile trials of Adolf Eichmann as well as the Auschwitz guards, he argued that the reception of these trials on the government of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer engaged a broad section of the artistic establishment. Richter, one of the most prominent 20th-century German artists, was deeply influenced by the crises in Adenauer’s government and other debates concerning the ongoing presence of the perpetrator in West German society. Understanding the resonance of the Nazi past in all of its dimensions helps us to clarify key aspects of his artistic choices. Hitler

Lecture 3

March 24, 2011

The Fear of the Perpetrator in a Nazi Present: Libeskind’s Jewish Museum and its Transformation after Reunification

Museum Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin is one of the most well-known buildings that, in part, responded to the Nazi past. What is not so well known, however, is the transformation of the original proposed function and meaning of the building after reunification in 1989. Libeskind’s building was a Cold War project that lost some of its import in the post-Cold War Germany. However, with a sudden surge in Neonazi violence and political debates about the possible resurgence of a new generation of Nazi followers, Libeskind’s building took on renewed urgency within the local Berlin government but also that of Chancellor Helmut Kohl. As a result of this moment in the potential appearance of a new Nazi present, the building, its function and its form all changed.


March 25, 2011

Interrogating the Map, Visualizing the Archive: Analyzing the Spaces and Buildings of Auschwitz

A Roundtable Discussion


  • Chester Harvey, Middlebury College
  • Jonathan Huener, University of Vermont
  • Paul B. Jaskot, DePaul University
  • Anne Kelly Knowles, Middlebury College
Auschwitz Plan

This public panel discussion focused on recent research concerning the spaces of Auschwitz. Drawing on art historical, historical and geographic specialists, the panel introduced the variety of spaces of victims and perpetrators at Auschwitz and discussed their interpretation from the view of spatial and historical evidence.



March 16, 2011

Avant-Garde and Anti-Judaism in the Romantic Age: The Case of Ferdinand Olivier’s "Family Tree of Neo-German Art" (1823)

Cordula Grewe, Columbia University

1819 witnessed the first anti-Jewish riot in nineteenth-century Europe. Three years later, Olivier addressed this explosive question—what place could modern Jewry have in a Christian State?—in the opening print of his famous landscape cycle Seven Views of Salzburg and Berchtesgaden. The print, titled Dedication, centers on a genealogical tree of modern German art, which a fearsome Archangel Michael defends against Satan and his companions, two Jews. Aesthetics, artistic revival, and anti-Judaic sentiment converge, as the ideal community is depicted as an exclusively Christian affair. This is, at least, the thesis of this talk, which located the print’s iconography and religious politics in a fervent culture of re-Christianization, Volksmission, and conversion of the Jews. The talk thus challenged the tendency of previous scholarship to focus on the print’s theoretical aspects, particularly its nature as artistic manifesto, to the detriment of its theological implications. Yet to understand the larger political argument of Olivier’s cycle, we must access its religious core. To that end, this talk traced the confluence of artistic goals, religious belief and political action in Olivier’s work and situated it in the larger context of Jewish emancipation and Christian revival in early nineteenth-century Germany.

Dedication Dedication cropped
Cordula Grewe, associate professor of art history at Columbia University, specializes in German art of the long nineteenth century. She is particularly interested in visual piety, Romanticism and its Sacred Imaginary, and aesthetics. She has published widely on Romantic art and art theory, contributing to numerous exhibition catalogues, essay collections and journals such as Pantheon, Word & Image, Modern Intellectual History, New German Critique, and the Art Bulletin, which in March 2007 published her article “Historicism and the Symbolic Imagination in Nazarene Art.” In October 2009, her book Painting the Sacred in the Age of Romanticism appeared with Ashgate, and she is currently preparing a second book, provisionally titled The Nazarenes: Style and Aesthetics, to be published with Penn State University Press. She has held numerous other grants, among them the 2006-2007 Hans Kohn fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and in 2009 an Alexander-von-Humboldt fellowship. Since 2007, she has served as a member of the Advisory Board of Intellectual History Review (Routledge / Taylor & Francis). Cordula Grewe’s new research topic is an interdisciplinary study of the interaction between Romantic avant-garde writing techniques, the rise of the illustrated book, and the connection of both with the evolution of the comic strip, The Artist as Arabesque: Autobiography, Print Culture, and the Crisis of Representation. Grewe

Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian and the European Studies Program


February 24, 2011 (Lecture held at the Vermont Law School)

Judging Auschwitz: Murder, Genocide, and the Challenges of Legal Interpretation

Devin Pendas, Boston College

How does one go about judging the greatest mass crimes in history? Can one do so using legal categories developed for far more mundane circumstances? What are the legal and political stakes involved in such cases? German courts in the 1950s and 1960s confronted these questions, as the country tried to prosecute Nazi genocide as murder under ordinary statutory law. Devin Pendas discussed the most famous such trial, the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, and explores the way the judges in that case tried to do justice for mass crimes using ordinary law. Auschwitz Trial
Pendas Devin Pendas is Associate Professor of History at Boston College. His research focuses on war crimes trials after World War II, particularly on West German Holocaust trials. In addition to many articles, he is the author of the acclaimed book, The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, 1963-1965: History, Genocide and the Limits of the Law (Cambridge University Press, 2006). He is currently working on two projects: a history of Nazi trials in German courts in all occupation zones from 1945 to 1950, to be published by Cambridge University Press, and a synthetic history of law and mass violence in the modern period.. Professor Pendas is a faculty affiliate and co-chair of the German Study Group at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. He has received research fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service, the MacArthur Foundation, the Center for Contemporary Historical Research in Potsdam, Germany, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, and the American Council of Learned Societies (Burkhardt Fellowship).

Co-sponsored by the Vermont Law School


November 15, 2010

The Memory of Child Survivors: Documents, Memoir, Auto-Fiction

Yehudi Lindeman, McGill University

Human memory is a marvelous but fallacious instrument, says Primo Levi. This lecture addressed two questions. First, given the wild vagaries of memory, what should be the task of the Holocaust historian whose mandate it is to examine the sources? Is there a special discretion he or she should use in studying diaries, testimonies, memoirs, even auto-fictions, all the available ‘ego documents,’ to borrow a term introduced by Dutch historian Jacques Presser, author of The Destruction of the Dutch Jews (1965; English version 1969). Second, as a child survivor of the Holocaust, how does one draw an accurate picture of three years in hiding and on the run, given the perilous state of memory? To what degree is it proper to use ‘reconstruction and invention’ (Amos Oz) to help shape a narrative and convey perceptions and perspectives gained and retained during events that occurred sixty or more years ago?

Yehudi Lindeman, a child survivor of the Holocaust, was separated  from his family in the fall of 1942 and spent the next thirty months in hiding in about fifteen different locations in rural Holland. He holds degrees from the University of Amsterdam and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. He is a retired Professor of English at McGill University and the founder and past Director of Living Testimonies, the Holocaust Video Archive at McGill. He has published on a wide range of subjects, from topics in Renaissance education, poetry and translation to issues surrounding resistance and rescue during the Shoah. His most recent book is ‘Shards of Memory: Narratives of Holocaust Survival’ (2007). He is also the author, with Irene Lilienheim Angelico, of the forthcoming ‘The Third Seder: A Haggadah for Yom Hashoah’ (2010).


November 1, 2010

The Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture

Globalizing Anti-Semitism: Nazi Germany's Arabic Language Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust

Jeffrey Herf, University of Maryland

From 1939 to 1945, the Nazi regime globalized anti-Semitism through the medium of short wave radio broadcasts in many languages, including Arabic. From 1941 to 1945, an entourage of pro-Nazi Arab exiles led by Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, collaborated with officials, above all in the Radio Division of the German Foreign Ministry, but also with the SS and the Propaganda Ministry, to produce Arabic language broadcasts. Propaganda served the dual purpose of aiding Nazi Germany’s military operations in North Africa and in preparing the ground for a possible extension of the Final Solution. Begun in 1941 under the leadership of Alexander Kirk, the American Ambassador to Egypt, officials in the US Embassy in Cairo produced verbatim English language translations of Nazi propaganda aimed at North Africa and the Middle East until spring 1945. The resulting, recently discovered several thousand pages of “Axis Broadcasts in Arabic” offer new documentation of a key chapter in the globalization of National Socialist Jew-hatred and its fusion with a distinctive current of Jew-hatred articulated by Husseini and other creators of the twentieth and twenty-first century invented tradition known as Islamism.

Jeffrey Herf is Professor of Modern European History at the University of Maryland in College Park. His publications have examined twentieth century German political and intellectual history, including considerable work on the nature of anti-Semitism during the Nazi era and the Holocaust. His books include: Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (Cambridge University Press, 1984); Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys (Harvard University Press, 1997)–winner of the George Lewis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association; The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust (Harvard University Press, 2006); and most recently, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (Yale University Press, 2009). He has lectured widely at major universities in the United States, Europe and Israel. His many fellowships include stays at the Yitzak Rabin Center for Israel Studies in Tel Aviv, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, the American Academy in Berlin and the International Center Research Center in Cultural Studies in Vienna. In addition to publications in scholarly journals, he has been a regular contributor to The New Republic.

The Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture is made possible through a generous gift from Jerold D. Jacobson, Esquire, of New York City, UVM Class of 1962.


October 26, 2010

Preoccupied by the Occupation: French Memories and Reactions to the Dark Years of the Nazi Presence

John Flower, University of Kent at Canterbury

This lecture traced various ways the French have reacted to the years of the Occupation by the Nazis, especially as this is exemplified in literature and film. From the idea of a nation of resisters promoted by De Gaulle, through the emergence in the late 1960s and 1970s of a more complex picture, it turned to a growing preoccupation with the period in which guilt and the need to recognize  it appear to be increasing. The difficulties of evoking a period that is now over sixty years in the past were considered as were as the ways in which the notions of resistance and occupation, and the question of national identity, remain and have even grown in significance.

John Flower, Officier de Palmes académiques, has held the chair of French in the UK at the universities of Exeter and Kent, where he is now Emeritus Professor, and in France has been professeur invité at Paris-X Nanterre, Bordeaux and Avignon. He has published widely on the literature and culture of France in the 20th century, especially the work of writers of the Left and of François Mauriac. His recent publications include François Mauriac et Jean Paulhan; Correspondance 1925-1967 (2001), Autour de la ‘Lettre aux directeurs de la Résistance’ de Jean Paulhan (2003)and Joan of Arc: Icon of Modern Culture (2008). François Mauriac journaliste: les vingt premières années will appear in 2010. He is Editor of the Journal of European Studies.

Sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and the Don and Carole Burack President's Distinguished Lecture Series



October 14, 2010

Controversies and Consistencies in Holocaust Education: A Review of Research on Teaching

Simone Schweber, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Welcoming Remarks by Senator Bernie Sanders, Member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council

Professor Schweber discussed three key controversies involving Holocaust education, examining them against the backdrop of research in lived schools. By looking at Holocaust education in diverse institutional contexts and age groups, Schweber illuminated consistencies across classrooms.

Simone Schweber is the Goodman Professor of Education and Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on teaching and learning about the Holocaust in school contexts, and she is the author of Making Sense of the Holocaust: Lessons from Classroom Practice, an examination of public high school teachers' units. She is also the author (with Debbie Findling), more recently, of Teaching the Holocaust, a guide for religious school teachers on what to do and what not to do when teaching about this genocide. In addition, she has written numerous articles and consults frequently for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. 

Co-sponsored by the Department of Education and the College of Education and Social Services, UVM, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Keynote address for the Regional Holocaust Education Summit held at UVM, Oct. 13-15, 2010.


October 4, 2010

Inside Nazi Germany: Consular Reports on the Third Reich and the Persecution of the Jews

Frank Bajohr, Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte, Hamburg

This lecture summarized the results of an international research project that evaluates reports sent from Nazi Germany by the embassies and consulates of ten countries: The United States, Great Britain, France, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Japan, Argentina, and Costa Rica. It will focus on the following questions: How did the consular and embassy staff perceive the National Socialist regime? What did they report about the behavior and attitudes of the German population? And above all, what did they report about the persecution of the Jews? This persecution posed a major problem to foreign diplomats because so many Jews were seeking to obtain visas to emigrate. The reports on the Nazi persecution of the Jews filed by the American consulates alone amount to some 9,000 pages. The reports are of great importance for an understanding of the Nazi regime, because, in contrast to the regime’s own internal situation reports, they were composed by non-Nazi observers. As such they provide a “foreign view“ from inside Germany of political and social processes in the Third Reich.

Frank Bajohr is a historian of modern Germany and the Holocaust at the Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg (Research Institute for Contemporary History in Hamburg), and a lecturer in History at the University of Hamburg. Among his numerous books are Aryanization in Hamburg: The Economic Exclusion of the Jews and the Confiscation of their Property in Nazi Germany (New York and Oxford, 2002); "Unser Hotel ist judenfrei" Bäder-Antisemitismus im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (Frankfurt am Main, 2003); and, with Dieter Pohl, Der Holocaust als offenes Geheimnis. Die Deutschen, die NS-Führung und die Allierten/ (Munich, 2006). For the fall 2010 he is a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C."


October 6, 2010

No War, No Peace: The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the Armenian Genocide

Aram Yengoyan, University of California, Davis

After obtaining his doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1964 Professor Yengoyan spent many years at the University of Michigan before moving to the University of California at Davis. He has published extensively on cultural and linguistic theory as well as on Australia and the Philippines.

Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Don and Carole Burack President's Distinguished Lecture Series


April 27, 2010

Holding on to Humanity

The Terezín Performance of Verdi's Requiem and its Place in Postwar Memory

Anna Hájková, University of Toronto

Between 1943 and 1944, several hundred inmates of the World War II Jewish ghetto at Terezín gathered regularly in the basement of one of the barracks to rehearse Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem. The oratorio had to be rehearsed again and again because frequent transports to Auschwitz carried away many of the singers.  Only a handful of the musicians lived to see the liberation. The rendition was both controversial and celebrated in its time: inmates questioned the decision to perform an oratorio which was a Catholic mass for the dead in a Jewish ghetto. At the same time, however, the prisoners were aware that even among the rich Terezín cultural offerings, the Requiem was magnificent, musically and as a public statement. In performing the Requiem, inmates shipped to the ghetto from all over Europe refused to accept the Nazi-imposed status of racial inferiority and declared their connectedness to European culture and humanist values.

Anna Hájková is a PhD candidate in modern European history at the University of Toronto. She received her MA in history from Humboldt-University in Berlin in 2006. In her dissertation, she analyzes the social history of the Terezín ghetto. From 2006 to 2009, she was the editor of the Prague Terezín Initiative Institute’s yearbook, Theresienstädter Studien und Dokumente. She is also a member of the board of trustees of the Ravensbrück Memorial summer school. She has published on various aspects of the Terezín ghetto, the Holocaust in the Netherlands, and the Czechoslovak 1960s liberalization process’ impact on the association of concentration camp survivors.

This lecture was sponsored by the Center for Holocaust Studies at UVM in association with a performance of the Verdi Requiem by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, May 1, 2010. Both the concert and the lecture are parts of a larger program, Terezin Remembered, that took place at various venues in Burlington during the last week of April 2010. For a full calendar of events, please visit the website of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.


April 19, 2010

The Harry H. Kahn Memorial Lecture

Gender, Witness, and Remembrance in Ruth Klueger's Still Alive and Judy Chicago's Holocaust Project

Kathrin M. Bower, University of Richmond


A focus on women’s experiences during and after the Holocaust combined with a feminist critique of patriarchal forces in history link Ruth Kluger’s memoir, Still Alive, and Judy Chicago’s art exhibition, The Holocaust Project. While Kluger can appeal to the authenticity of her own experiences as a persecuted Jew in Vienna and a child survivor of a series of concentration camps, Judy Chicago’s association with the Holocaust comes through research, reflection, and a Jewish self-understanding with affinities to the victims as well as the ethical mission of tikkun (“mending the world”). Professor Bower explores the ways in which these two women seek to write female experience back into history and examines the complexity of the terms witness and remembrance in the context of Holocaust representation as the event recedes ever further into the past.

Kathrin Bower graduated with a B.A. in  German from the University of Vermont. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research focuses on Holocaust Studies and German Cultural Studies. Currently, she teaches at the University of Richmond where she chairs the German Department. In 2001, she was honored by her institution with Distinguished Educator Award. Among other publications, she is the author of Ethics and Rememberance in the Poetry of Nelly Sachs and Rose Ausländer.

Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian

March 28, 2010


Breeding Better Germans and Vermonters

Nazi and American Eugenics in History and Memory


  • Nancy Gallagher, author of Breeding Better Vermonters: The Eugenics Project in the Green Mountain State
  • Professor Lutz Kaelber, Associate Professor of Sociology at UVM
  • Dr. Patricia Heberer, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

    event website


March 17, 2010

Writing as Freedom, Writing as Testimony

Writing as Freedom, Writing as Testimony:

Judaism and Writing in Twentieth Century Italy

Sergio Parussa, Wellesley College

This lecture will address the relationship between Judaism and twentieth-century Italian literature. It will examine how for writers such as Primo Levi, Giorgio Bassani, and Umberto Saba, the recovery of Judaism consisted not only of telling stories with Jewish subject matter, but also of the repeated act of remembering: a way of salvaging the past from oblivion by means of its re-actualization in the present.

Sergio Parussa is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at Wellesley College. He receive his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Turin, Italy, and his PH.D. in Italian Studies from Brown University with a specialization in twentieth-century Italian and French Literature. He is the author of Writing as Freedom, Writing as Testimony: Four Italian Writers and Judaism (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 2008) and Eros Onnipotente: erotismo, letteratura e impegno nell'opera di Pier Paolo Pasolini e Jean Genet (Turin: Tirrenia, Stampatori, 2003). His work also includes the translations of L'Orso Maggiore by Ginevra Bompiani, as The Great Bear (New York: Italica Press, November 2000), and Simonetta Perkins by L.P. Hartley (Rome: Nottetempo, 2008).

Sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, cosponsored by the Center for Holocaust Studies.



February 19, 2010

Geographies of the Holocaust

Anne K. Knowles, Middlebury College

This presentation will describe a series of prototype projects that are assessing the potential for applying geographic methods to studying the Holocaust, particularly GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and geovisualization. Two projects will be highlighted: exploratory mapping of the Nazi concentration camp system, focusing on the historical geography of the system's creation and the deployment of labor at subcamps; and the use of visual analysis to interrogate the spaces of Auschwitz. These methodological experiments are laying the groundwork for what the participating scholars and students hope will be a new research agenda in Holocaust Studies, Geography, and the history of World War II.

Anne Kelly Knowles is Associate Professor of Geography at Middlebury College. Previous teaching positions include the University of Wales, Aberystwyth; Wellesley College; and George Washington University. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an historical geographer, Knowles has long advocated geographical approaches to historical research and teaching, including the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in historical scholarship. She has edited four volumes of essays on historical GIS, including theme issues of Social Science History and Historical Geography and two books, Past Time, Past Place: GIS for History (2002) and Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS Are Changing Historical Scholarship (2008), both with ESRI Press. In her own research she has applied GIS methods to studying the development of the American iron industry in the early nineteenth century and the battle of Gettysburg. She is currently working with an international group of scholars using GIS and geovisualization to study the geographies of the Holocaust.

Knowles' particular research specialty is nineteenth-century industrialization and immigration. Her first book, Calvinists Incorporated: Welsh Immigrants on Ohio’s Industrial Frontier (University of Chicago, 1997), explored the influence of Welsh Calvinism on immigrants’ economic behavior. She is now completing her second major study, a book titled Mastering Iron: The Struggle to Modernize an American Industry, 1800 – 1868, under contract with University of Chicago Press. Her iron research has been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Prototype projects toward developing a Holocaust Historical GIS (2008-2010) have been funded by the National Science Foundation.

Sponsored by the Center for Holocaust Studies.


November 18, 2009

Criminals with Doctorates: An SS Officer in the Killing Fields of Russia, as Reported by the Novelist Jonathan Littell

Henry Lea, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

The lecture will address Littell's novel, The Kindly Ones (Les Bienveillantes, 2006), which focuses on the "Einsatzgruppen," death squads sent by the Germans into the Soviet Union during World War II to kill Jews and other "undesirables." The narrator is an SS officer who becomes a murderer and lives to tell the tale.

Henry Lea, born in Berlin in 1920, received his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as a simultaneous interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials and remains one of two still alive who served in the Einsatzgruppen case. He has published on literature and music, including books on Gustav Mahler and Wolfgang Hildesheimer, with a forthcoming article on "Dictionary-Making in the Third Reich: The Case of Trübners Deutsches Wörterbuch."

This event is sponsored by the Department of German and Russian and co-sponsored by the Miller Center for Holocaust Studies.

November 2, 2009

Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture

Making Sense of the Murderers: Nazi Perpetrators in Victims' Eyes

Mark Roseman, Indiana University-Bloomington

What can victims of the Holocaust tell us about their tormentors? Often, their diaries, memoirs and testimony are strikingly silent about them. But in other cases, we have remarkable descriptions of observations, encounters and reflections. Yet historians have by and large ignored these. So we have not asked whether, when we look through victims' eyes, we can learn a lot about the perpetrators - or more about the victims themselves.

Mark Roseman

Mark Roseman holds the Pat M. Glazer Chair in Holocaust Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington. His publications have covered a wide range of topics in German, European and Jewish history, including life-reform and protest in 1920s and 1930s Germany; Holocaust survival and memory; Nazi policy and perpetrators; the social impact of total war; post-1945 German and European reconstruction; generation conflict and youth rebellion; Jewish and other minorities in modern German history. Among his notable books are The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting: The Wannsee Conference and the 'Final Solution', and A Past in Hiding: Memory and Survival in Nazi Germany. His current research projects include a critical synthesis of recent work on Nazi perpetrators, and a study looking at a life-reform and resistance group in Germany 1920-2000.

The Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture is made possible through a generous gift from Jerold D. Jacobson, Esquire, of New York City, UVM Class of 1962.


October 15, 2009

Locating Nazi Evil: German-Jewish Intellectuals Confront the Crimes of the Third Reich

Steven Aschheim, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Through an examination of the remarkable diaries, letters and lesser-known writings of three extraordinary and distinctive German-Jewish intellectuals - Gershom Scholem, Hannah Arendt and Victor Klemperer - this lecture will seek to illuminate what the intimate reflections of these thinkers reveal about their evolving identities and world views as they variously wrestled with new questions of evil and the meaning of being both German and Jewish before, during and after Hitler's Third Reich. This composite "history from within" will hopefully shed new light on the complexity and drama of the 20th century European and Jewish experience.

Steven E. Aschheim holds the Vigevani Chair of European Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is also Director of the Franz Rosenzweig Research Centre for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History. He is the author of the following books: Brothers and Strangers: The East European Jew in German and German-Jewish Consciousness, 1800-1923; The Nietzsche Legacy in Germany, 1890-1990; Culture and Catastrophe: German and Jewish Confrontations with National Socialism and Other Crises; In Times of Crisis: Essays on European Culture, Germans and Jews; Scholem, Arendt, Klemperer: Intimate Chronicles in Turbulent Times; and Beyond the Border: The German-Jewish Legacy Abroad.

Miller Symposium, 2009

The Law in Nazi Germany


  • Konrad H. Jarausch, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Douglas G. Morris, Federal Defenders of New York
  • Harry Reicher, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Touro Law School
  • Raphael Gross, Juedisches Museum/Frankfurt am Main, Leo Baeck Institute/London
  • Kenneth F. Ledford, Case Western Reserve University


The Evolving Study of Antisemitism

Robert Chazan
New York University


The Darfur Genocide: How We Can End It

John Prendergast
Co-Chair, ENOUGH Project

Hilberg Lecture, 2008

The Failure(s) of Ethics: The Holocaust and Its Reverberations

John Roth
Claremont McKenna College


Pope Pius XII and World War II

Gerhard L. Weinberg
Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


The Netherlands and the German Occupation: Myth and Reality

David Barnouw
War Documentation Center (Amsterdam)


Comradeship and Sex in Hitler's Military

Geoffrey Giles
University of Florida


Remembering Raul Hilberg

Saul Friedlaender, University of California, Los Angeles
Christopher R. Browning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Hilberg Lecture, 2007

Feigning Resistance to Nazism: The Case of Singer Lotte Lehmann

Michael Kater, York University


Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany

Peter Fritzsche, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Hilberg Lecture, 2006

‘Oneself as Another’: Identification  and Mourning in Writing about Victims of the Holocaust

Susan Suleiman, Harvard University


Germany and the Jewish World: History as a Trap

Michael Wolffsohn, University of the Bundeswehr, Munich,


Nuremberg's Secret Legacy: The Alllied Prison at Spandau

Norman Goda, Ohio University

Miller Symposium, 2006

Jewish Life in Nazi Germany


  • Michael Brenner, University of Munich
  • Avraham Barkai, Leo Baeck Institute and Yad Vashem
  • Marion Kaplan, New York University
  • Konrad Kwiet, University of Macquarie
  • Jurgen Matthaus, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Beate Meyer, Institute for the History of German Jews, Hamburg

Hilberg Lecture 2005

Jewry in Nazi Historical Scholarship"

Claudia Koonz, Duke University

Hilberg Lecture 2004

Two Sides of a Coin: 'Aryan' Health and Racial Persecution

Jill Stephenson, University of Edinburgh

Miller Symposium 2004

The Arts in Nazi Germany


  • Michael Kater, York University
  • Pamela Potter, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Jonathan Petropoulos, Claremont-Mckenna College
  • Eric Rentschler, Harvard University
  • Alan E. Steinweis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Frank Trommler, University of Pennsylvania


A Blind Eye and Dirty Hands: The Wehrmacht’s Crimes in the East, 1941-1945

Geoffrey Megargee, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Forgotten Places of Persecution:  German Municipalities and the Holocaust

Wolf Gruner, Webster University

Hilberg Lecture, 2002

Two Popes and the Holocaust: An Examination of the Controversy

Susan Zuccotti

Miller Symposium, 2002

Business and Industry in Nazi Germany


  • Michael Thad Allen, Georgia Tech
  • Gerald Feldman, University of California, Berkeley
  • Peter Hayes, Northwestern University
  • Harold James, Princeton University
  • Simon Reich, University of Pittsburgh

Hilberg Lecture, 2001

Hitler's 'Prophecy' and the 'Final Solution'

Ian Kershaw, University of Sheffield

Hilberg Lecture, 2000

The Holocaust: From Event and Experience to Memory and Representation

Omer Bartov, Brown University

Miller Symposium, 2000

Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany


  • Garland E. Allen, Washington University
  • Henry Friedlander, Brooklyn College
  • William Seidelman, Univ of Toronto
  • Robert Proctor, Pennsylvania State University
  • Michael Burleigh, University of Cardiff
  • Michael Kater , York University

Hilberg Lecture, 1999

The German Resistance Movement and the Holocaust

Hans Mommsen, University of Bochum

Hilberg Lecture, 1998

Culture and Context: The Shoah, The Germans and Us

Peter Hayes, Northwestern Univeristy

Hilberg Lecture, 1997

Investigating and Prosecuting Nazi War Criminals

Allan Ryan, Jr.

Hilberg Lecture, 1996

Crossing the Line in Nazi Genocide: On Becoming and Being a Professional Killer

Gerhard L. Weinberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Hilberg Lecture, 1995

The Demise of the German Mandarins: The German University and the Jews (1933-1939)

Saul Friedlander, UCLA

Hilberg Lecture, 1994

The Tower of Life at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: Restoring a Vanished Shtetl

Yaffa Eliach, Brooklyn College.

Hilberg Lecture, 1993

Is the Holocaust Explicable?

Yehuda Bauer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Hilberg Lecture, 1992

The Face of the Perpetrators

Christopher R. Browning, Pacific Lutheran University

Last modified April 08 2014 10:07 AM