Annual Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture
"Alfred Rosenberg: Hitler's Chief Ideologist and the Murder of the Jews"
Lecture by Jurgen Matthaus, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
If the name Alfred Rosenberg evokes any association at all, it is usually one dominated by his role as chief ideologue of Nazism. This perception, undisputed during the Nazi era and disturbingly visible on ultra-right websites to this day, of a tireless, unrepentant propagandist of Nazi ideology tends to underrate Rosenberg's political influence on the shaping of the "final solution of the Jewish question." As this lecture will demonstrate, based on newly contextualized sources, at no time during the Third Reich was Rosenberg?s political influence more crucial than in the fateful transition period from persecution to genocide. From the spring of 1941 until early 1942, Rosenberg played a lead role among Hitler's lieutenants in devising ways to implement their vision of a Europe "free of Jews." In his capacity as "Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories," Rosenberg oversaw a massive radicalization of the regime's anti-Jewish policies as the mass murder of Jewish men, women, and children became standard practice in the German-occupied Soviet Union. Building on Raul Hilberg's insight into the complex nexus of perpetration, the lecture will critically reflect on the interactions among key agents at a critical juncture in Holocaust history.
Jurgen Matthaus received his Ph.D. in history in 1992 from the Ruhr-Universitat in Bochum, Germany. Since 2005 he has been serving as Director for Applied Research at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC. The opinions voiced in this lecture are those of the presenter; they do not represent the opinions of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The Annual Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture is supported by Jerold D. Jacobson, Esquire, of New York City, UVM Class of 1962, and his wife Gertraude Holle-Sup
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