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Schedule of Events
Events for the 2014-2015 Academic Year
Monday, September 15, 2014, 7:00 PM, Waterman Memorial Lounge (Room 338)
The German Resistance to Hitler and the Persecution of the Jews
Peter Hoffmann, McGill University
German Resistance leaders were motivated, in varying degrees of intensity, by all that was wrong with the regime and with the war, the general brutality, contempt for the rule of law, arbitrary arrests, secret courts, abolition of civil liberties, murder of political dissidents, mistreatment of civilians in occupied territories, and mass starvation of Soviet-Russian prisoners of war. Resistance leaders saw the persecution of the Jews as a crime of a different order. A significant number of the anti-Hitler conspirators are on record as having stated, when interrogated by the Gestapo before their execution, that their ultimate motive, from the beginning of the war in 1939, was the violent persecution and mass murder of the European Jews. An important example of this was Carl Goerdeler, before 1936 the mayor of Leipzig and a cabinet-level official, who engaged in active opposition against the persecution of the Jews from 1933 on. He was hanged for “treason” on 2 February 1945.
Peter Hoffmann is William Kingsford Professor of History at McGill University, Montreal. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal of the State of Baden-Württemberg (Germany), the Officer´s Cross of the Order of Merit (Germany), and the Konrad Adenauer Research Award. He is the author of books on the German Resistance including The History of the German Resistance 1933–1945 (1977); Hitler´s Personal Security (1979); German Resistance to Hitler (1988); Stauffenberg. A Family History, 1905-1944 (1995); Carl Goerdeler and the Jewish Question, 1933-1942 (2011); Behind Valkyrie. German Resistance to Hitler. Documents (2011); and Carl Goerdeler gegen die Verfolgung der Juden (2013).
Monday, October 27, 2014, 7:00 PM, Waterman Memorial Lounge (Room 338)
The Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture
The Nazis, their Wars, and the Fate of the Jews, 1938-1945
David Cesarani, Royal Holloway College, London
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
In his ground-breaking work The Destruction of the European Jews, Raul Hilberg barely mentions the fact that for most of the period under examination Germany was engaged in territorial expansion or wars of conquest. In this respect, he was not unusual amongst ‘Holocaust historians’ of his day or those who laboured in his shadow. Few of those who charted the fate of the Jews paid much attention to the course of the war, except at points when it obviously intersected with ‘Jewish policy.’ Conversely, until recently few military historians examined the impact of strategic and operational decisions on the treatment of Jews in Nazi-dominated Europe and North Africa. Gerhard Weinberg was perhaps the first to calibrate the ‘Final Solution’ to regional and global military developments. This lecture will attempt to reinterpret Nazi anti-Jewish policy from the late 1930s in the light of preparations for, and conduct of, the war. The Nazi leadership allowed the alleged role of the Jews in the struggle to exert a powerful influence on their geo-strategic thinking. But it will go further and show how strategic and operational decisions had a decisive influence on the treatment of the Jews and their ultimate fate.
David Cesarani is research professor in History at Royal Holloway, University of London and director of the Holocaust Research Centre. His books include Major Farran’s Hat: Murder, scandal, and Britain’s war against Jewish terrorism, 1945-1948 (2009); Eichmann. His Life and Crimes (2004), winner of the US National Jewish Book Award for history; Arthur Koestler. The Homeless Mind (1998); The 'Jewish Chronicle' and Anglo-Jewry 1841-1991 (1994); and Justice Delayed. How Britain became a refuge for Nazi war criminals (1992). He has also edited or co-edited several collections of essays, including After the Holocaust: Challenging the ‘myth of silence’ with Eric Sudquist (2012), was historical consultant and associate producer for the TV documentary ‘Death Damp Treblinka: Survivors Stories’ BBC4 (2012), and has been involved in the making of other TV, radio and film documentaries. In 2005 he was awarded the OBE for his work with the Home Office unit responsible for the establishment of Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK.
Monday, November 3, 2014, 7:00 PM, Waterman Memorial Lounge (Room 338)
Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields
Wendy Lower, Claremont McKenna College
Wendy Lower will present on her new book, Hitler's Furies, a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Jewish Book Award. Drawing from wartime documents, postwar trials, private letters, diaries and interviews, she will discuss outstanding cases of women who became direct witnesses, accomplices, and perpetrators of the Holocaust. In the colonial outposts of the Nazi East, ordinary German women were an integral part of the ruling elite, and possessed extreme power over the lives of Jews and other victims of the Holocaust. Lower examines what some of these women chose to do with this new-found power during the war and how they distorted their criminal behavior after the war.
Professor Wendy Lower is the John K. Roth Chair of History and Director of the Human Rights Center at Claremont McKenna College. She is a member of the Academic Committee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, serves on the academic advisory board of Yahad-in-Unum (Paris), and is an editor of Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust. Lower is the author of Nazi Empire- Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine (2005), The Diary of Samuel Golfard and the Holocaust in Galicia (2011); and co- editor (with Ray Brandon) of Shoah in Ukraine: History, Testimony, Memorialization (2008). Her book, Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields (2013) was a finalist for the National Book Award.
Monday, March 09, 2015, 7:00 PM, Waterman Memorial Lounge (Room 338)
On the Margins of the Holocaust: Hunting Down the Jews in Poland
Jan Grabowski, University of Ottawa
Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 7:00 PM, Waterman Memorial Loung (Room 338)
Yom HaShoa Lecture
Being Jewish in the New Germany: 25 Years Later
Jeffrey M. Peck, Dean of Weissman School of Arts & Sciences, Baruch College
Twenty-five years ago Germany was reunited. This lecture will consider the circumstances that had led to the remaking of the new Jewish community in post- reunification Germany, as it now seems a timely moment to reassess this historic transformation.
Jeffrey Peck is Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, and Vice Provost for Global Strategies at Baruch College/CUNY. He has held the Walter Benjamin Chair in German Jewish History and Culture at Humboldt University, Berlin, where he directed the Leo Baeck Summer University in Jewish Studies. At Georgetown University, he was a faculty member in the Center for German and European Studies (the School of Foreign Service) and in the Department of German. He was also a Senior Fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington, D.C. From 1999-2002 he was the first Director of the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies at York University (Toronto) and the University of Montreal. Peck's research has focused on questions of national and minority identities, particularly in diaspora (primarily Jewish) communities. His most recent book is Being Jewish in the New Germany, Rutgers University Press, 2006 (paperback 2007).
April 18-19, 2015, Venue and Detailed Schedule TBA
The Seventh Miller Symposium
Responses in the Middle East to National Socialism and the Holocaust, 1933-1945
Contemporary Reactions in the Middle East to Nazism and the Holocaust: Scholarship and the "War of Narratives"
Gilbert Achcar, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Get out of Mosul, Hajj Amin: Iraqi Elites, Iraqi Jews, and Nazism
Orit Bashkin, University of Chicago
Demon and Heretic: Intellectual Representations of Hitler and Nazism in the Egyptian Public Sphere, 1938-1945”
Israel Gershoni, Tel Aviv University
Rescue or Rejection: Facts and Myths about Turkey and the Holocaust
Corry Guttstadt, University of Hamburg
Defining the Nation and its Other: Discussing Nazi Ideology in Syria and Lebanon during the 1930s
Götz Nordbruch, Georg Eckert Institut-Leibnitz Institut, Braunschweig
The Persecution of the Jews in Germany in Egyptian and Palestinian Public Discourses: A Comparative Perspective
Esther Webman, Tel Aviv University
Last modified September 09 2014 09:14 AM