Blog

HEF Statement after Charlottesville

As an organization that advances education about the Holocaust, the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University strongly condemns the recent white supremacist terrorist attack in Charlottesville. We call out the lack of leadership from the highest levels, which has fostered an environment that continues to embolden antisemitic, racial, ethnic, and gender-based hatred and discrimination. As part of the hard work of rooting out bigotry in our daily lives, we encourage all to speak out against racist extremism, oppose policies that strip recent civil rights gains, and examine the incipient bias that permeates our society.

Jews and Justice in Communist Poland in the Immediate Aftermath of the Holocaust

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 2:00 PM, Rock Room (Norris University Center 207)

Jewish honor courtsIn the aftermath of the Holocaust, survivors and Jews the world over were anxious to see Nazis and their accomplices put on trial for their crimes. Poland’s surviving Jewish remnant played a particularly active role in the effort to bring Nazis and Nazi collaborators before the bar of justice. This lecture by Prof. Gabriel Finder (University of Virginia), examines various ways in which Polish Jews participated in the pursuit of justice for the victims of Nazi-era crimes. (more…)

Theodore Zev Weiss Annual Lecture: The Ravine: Researching the Holocaust

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 4:00 PM, McCormick Tribune Forum

Lower Wendy 2014 (H7)

The Holocaust is one of the most well documented events in history. Official records number hundreds of millions. Victims and survivors wrote in ghettos, camps, and in hiding, and in every decade since. Photographs, films, and artifacts fill archives at national and regional repositories. Much of this material is digitized and available on the web. Global archives change the ways in which history is researched, written, and remembered. How does a researcher navigate all this and what stories offer new insights? Explaining how and why Holocaust Studies pioneered interdisciplinary methods, Professor Wendy Lower demonstrates how one photograph can open a path of discovery in archives, in survivors’ homes, and at killing sites in Ukraine. (more…)

Trial by Documentary: The Harlans, from Jud Süss (1940) to Notre Nazi (1984)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 2:00 PM, Hagstrum Room (University Hall 201)

Prager photoIn availing themselves of unconventional strategies and appealing to non-legal discourses, documentary films have exceptional latitude in critiquing the legal and judicial spheres. Professor Brad Prager (University of Missouri) will examine the 1984 documentary Notre Nazi, which was produced by Thomas Harlan, the son of the notorious Nazi filmmaker Veit Harlan, who was best known for directing the propaganda film Jud Süss (1940). In Thomas Harlan’s film Alfred Filbert, a former SS perpetrator, stands in for the elder Harlan, and the proceedings that take place in the film’s makeshift courtroom work through the German past by foregrounding all manner of affects, including filial ambivalence, shame, and rage. (more…)

HEF of NU Statement on Antisemitism

The Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University calls for the White House, Congress, Governors, and leaders in all political parties, individually and collectively, to condemn and investigate thoroughly the recent rash of antisemitic and other racially charged attacks. Over 100 bomb threats to JCCs around the nation, the desecration of three Jewish cemeteries, the firing of a gun into a synagogue, and multiple instances of hate speech characterized by the use of Nazi symbolism no longer may be dismissed as isolated events carried out by a fringe minority. (more…)

Confessional Performance and the Holocaust Perpetrator: Gitta Sereny’s 1971 Interview with Treblinka Commandant Franz Stangl

Gitta Sereny interviews Commandant Franz Stangl.

Gitta Sereny interviews Commandant Franz Stangl.

In this talk, Professor Erin McGlothlin (Washington University in St. Louis) will investigate the ethical implications of Gitta Sereny’s journalistic biography Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience (1974).  The book is based on Sereny’s extensive interviews with Franz Stangl, who was then serving a life sentence for his role in the Holocaust. (more…)

Apply for the 2017 Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization

The Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University (HEF of NU) is pleased to invite applications for fellowships to participate in the 22nd annual Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization from 18-30 June 2017 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The renowned program is an intensive two-week course of study designed to broaden and deepen the background of current and prospective Holocaust educators. Over the past two decades the Summer Institute at Northwestern has graduated more than 500 scholars who have gone on to teach about the Holocaust at universities around the world. The program is open to faculty and graduate students who are planning to teach Holocaust-related courses at institutions of higher education. (more…)

HEF Response to Holocaust Remembrance Day Statement

The Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University joins the chorus of voices protesting the purposeful omission of Jews and antisemitism from the official White House statement for Holocaust Remembrance Day. The choice to obscure the Nazis’ primary motivation and their specific target for genocide is indeed not a remembrance at all. It is the deliberate elision of history that Holocaust education and remembrance are meant to combat. A spokesperson defended the exclusion claiming a wish to recognize all who suffered. We find this idea of inclusion is not merited by this historical example and is countered by the executive order on the same day to selectively limit admission of refugees and immigrants based on ethnicity and nationality. This is an egregious misuse of the Holocaust, and it underscores the ongoing need for Holocaust education and remembrance.