Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture: Recent Holocaust Scholarship in Light of the Work of Raul Hilberg, Dan Michman, Yad Vashem
Annual Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture
“Getting it Right, Getting it Wrong: Recent Holocaust Scholarship in Light of the Work of Raul Hilberg”
Speaker: Dan Michman, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
In this lecture, Professor Michman will reflect on Raul Hilberg's two basic conceptualizations of the Holocaust and its protagonists, and how these might be better understood in view of Michman’s own research on a number of aspects of Holocaust history, e.g, ghettos, Jewish Councils, religious life, and economic persecution. In addition, Michman will examine how some important dimensions of Hilberg’s work, including that about the early phase of Nazi anti-Jewish policy and about the German railroad during the war, have been ignored by scholars such as Timothy Snyder, Mark Mazower, and Donald Bloxham, leading them to miss essential aspects of the Holocaust.
Dan Michman is Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research and Incumbent of the John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studiesat Yad Vashem. He is also Emeritus Professor of Modern Jewish History, Chair of the Arnold and Leona Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research and Incumbent of the Abraham and Edita Spiegel Family Chair in Holocaust Research at Bar-Ilan University. He was born in Amsterdam in 1947 and came to Israel as a child in 1957, when his father, Joseph Michman (then: Melkman) was appointed General Director of Yad Vashem. After his military service, he studied Jewish history and Hebrew linguistics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he earned his doctorate in 1978 by writing a dissertation on “Jewish Refugees from Germany in The Netherlands, 1933–1940.” In 1976 he joined the faculty of the Department of Jewish History at Bar-Ilan University, teaching and researching in the field of modern Jewish history in general and in the Shoah in particular. During the 1980s, he also devised a comprehensive academic course on Shoah history for the Open University of Israel, which was translated later into Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian. Professor Michman has published numerous books and articles in a variety of languages on the history of Dutch and Belgian Jewry, Israeli society, and mostly on various aspects of the Shoah—historiography, ghettos, Jewish Councils, and Jewish leadership, Jewish religious life, problems of Jewish refugees and migration, resistance, Western Europe, the survivors, the impact of the Shoah on Israeli society and religious Jewry, and more. Professor Michman has been involved with Yad Vashem’s scholarly and educational activities since the early 1980s, is on the editorial board of Yad Vashem Studies since the mid 1990s, and served as Chief Historian from 2000 to 2011. He is a member of editorial boards of several scholarly journals and of academic boards of institutionsin Israel and abroad.
The annual Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture is supported by a generous gift from Jerold D. Jacobson, Esquire, of New York CIty, UVM Class of 1962, and his wife Gertraude Holle-Suppa.