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Apply for the 2020 Lessons and Legacies Conference

Applications for the 2020 Lessons and Legacies conference are now open. The Call for Papers can be found at this link. All applications should be submitted using the online form. The application deadline is December 1, 2019.

Lessons and Legacies XVI, The Holocaust: Rethinking Paradigms in Research and Representation, will be held in Ottawa, Canada, November 7-10, 2020. The conference will be co-hosted by University of Ottawa and Carleton University. More information about the conference can be found here.

Congratulations to the 2019 Recipients of the Certificate of Achievement in Holocaust Studies

The Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University congratulates the inaugural recipients of the Certificate of Achievement in Holocaust Studies. Courtney N. Chatteron and Benjamin Shapiro, both graduates of Northwestern’s Class of 2019, demonstrated their commitment to the field through the completion of the Certificate’s requirements.

Courtney graduates with a B.A. in Communication Studies and German, and Benjamin receives his in B.A. History with a European concentration. We congratulate them on their completion of the certificate and graduation, and wish them both the best of luck in their future endeavors!

Writing History, Writing Biography: Capturing H.G. Adler’s Many World’s

Peter Filkins | Bard College
Wednesday, April 24 | 4:00pm | Harris Hall 108

H.G. Adler

H.G. Adler (1910 – 1988) lived at the center of his times and on their margin. A survivor of Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and two other concentration camps, he chronicled his experience and the loss of others in two dozen books of seminal history, modernist fiction, formally intricate poems, and insightful essays. Yet, despite close friendships with Leo Baeck, Elias Canetti, and Heinrich Böll, he remained a writer’s writer, largely unknown and neglected. Thus, unlike with better known figures, the story of his life must be told through the times in which he lived, as well as how the same lived through him. On the publication of H.G. Adler: A Life in Many Worlds, biographer and translator Peter Filkins discusses the intersection of biography and history in shaping the story of Adler’s life and work.

Peter Filkins, the Richard B. Fisher Professor of Literature and the Division Head of Languages and Literature at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, is an award-winning poet and translator, as well as the author of the recently published biography on H.G. Adler: H.G. Adler: A Life in Many Worlds (Oxford UP, 2019).

This lecture is presented by the German Department, and co-sponsored by the Chabraja Center for Historical Studies, the Comparative Literary Studies Program, the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies, the Weinberg College Office of the Dean, and the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University.

Theodore Zev Weiss Annual Lecture – Being in Auschwitz: Space, Sense and Sensibility

Photo of women arriving at Auschwitz

US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection

Tuesday, April 9, 7:30 PM
Harris Hall 108

‘I pass on to you merely a small part of what took place in the hell of Birkenau-Auschwitz’, Zalmen Gradowski, a Polish Jew, tells readers in a secret manuscript, buried in 1944 near the gas chambers. ‘It is for you to imagine the reality’. But how can we imagine Auschwitz? What did it mean to be in Auschwitz?

This lecture examines elements of lived experience in Auschwitz that often remain hidden on the edges of historical visibility. It moves the spotlight from Auschwitz as a symbol of death to the historical reality of living and dying in the camp. Focusing on physical objects, the environment and human bodies, it examines a succession of spaces – buildings, boundaries, landscapes – that reveal subjective dimensions of perception and emotion in Auschwitz.

Professor Nikolaus Wachsmann headshotProfessor Nikolaus Wachsmann teaches modern European History at Birkbeck College (University of London). He has written widely on Nazi terror, most recently KL: A history of the Nazi concentration camps (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), winner of the Wolfson Prize, the Mark Lynton History Prize, and the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate literary prize. He serves on the advisory boards of memorials in Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück, Belsen and Mauthausen, and has devised an AHRC-supported educational website on the concentration camps.


Now Available – Lessons and Legacies Volume XIII

Lessons and Legacies Volume XIII, New Approaches to an Integrated History of the Holocaust: Social History, Representation, Theory, edited by Alexandra Garbarini and Paul B. Jaskot, is now available from Northwestern University Press. For more information, or to order the volume, click here.

Previous volumes in the series can be found here.

Apply for the 24th Annual Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization

The application period for the 2019 Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization is now closed. Questions about the Institute can be directed to

The Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University (HEF of NU) is pleased to invite applications for fellowships to participate in the 24th Annual Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization from June 23 – July 5, 2019 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. HEF of NU’s renowned Summer Institute is an intensive two-week course of study designed to broaden and deepen the background knowledge 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.  We welcome applications from those who are new to the field and experienced scholars looking to broaden their interdisciplinary perspective. Every year, HEF of NU accepts approximately 25 Fellows. Fellowships cover the costs of room, board, and tuition. Fellowships do not cover travel or assigned books.

All applications must be received by February 15, 2019.

The Institute is taught by leading scholars in the field. Topics include: the religious history of European Jewry; the history of the Holocaust; the Holocaust in art, film and literature; gender during and after the Holocaust; Jewish responses to persecution; recent methodological and historiographical approaches to the Holocaust; and Holocaust pedagogy.

By February 15, 2019, applicants should submit electronically: (1) a letter explaining their interest and experience in Holocaust studies and their plans for teaching a Holocaust course, (2) a curriculum vitae, and, (3) in the case of graduate students and recent PhDs, a letter of recommendation.  Applications should be submitted using the online form; letters of recommendation should be emailed with the subject line “Summer Institute 2018 Recommendation for Name of Student″ to:

Apply for a 2019 Sharon Abramson Research Grant

The application period for the 2019 Sharon Abramson Research Grant is now closed. Questions about the grant can be directed to

The Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University (HEF) is pleased to announce the 2019 Sharon Abramson Research Grant competition.  HEF will award five grants of up to $4,000 to support research related to the Holocaust of European Jewry. Graduate students in PhD programs who have completed their qualifying exams and university/college faculty at all levels whose research centers on the Holocaust are eligible for this grant. We encourage applications in all disciplines. Grants are for support of activities to be conducted between September 2019 and August 2020.  All applications must be received by February 1, 2019.

To apply please upload the following application materials using this online form:

  • A project statement (1500 word max.)
  • The applicant’s CV (4 pages max.)
  • A budget or indication of how the funds would be spent
  • Two letters of recommendation (emailed separately by recommenders to with the subject line “Sharon Abramson Research Grant Recommendation for Name of Applicant”)

HEF will notify awardees in March 2019. Applicants can contact with questions about their application status.

Click here for a list of past recipients.

Saints and Liars: American Relief and Rescue Workers during the Nazi Era

Thursday, October 18, 5:00 PM

Harris Hall 108

A number of Americans — Quakers, Unitarians, Jews, secular people — traveled around the globe to offer relief and to rescue victims of Nazi Germany and its allies. Who were these intrepid souls who perceived possibilities for action where so many of their fellow citizens saw none? What did they accomplish and how? Exploring the experiences of Americans who undertook these initiatives and the imperiled people they helped, Professor Debórah Dwork (Senior Research Scholar and Founding Director, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University) opens a window on the derring-do and the daily grind of desperate rescue operations.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Chabraja Center for Historical Studies; for additional information, visit their website.

Did Gender Matter during the Holocaust?

Theodore Zev Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation Annual Lecture

Thursday, May 3, 2018, 4:00 PM

Marion Kaplan is the Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at New York University and author of Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany. One of three books by Kaplan to have won the National Jewish Book Award, this volume, published in 1998, was among the first to explore how gender influenced individual and collective Jewish responses to Nazi policy. Since then, research on gender and the Holocaust has proliferated. Join us as Kaplan discusses the state of the field before and since the release of her pivotal and seminal work. The lecture will be followed by a reception.

Americans and the Holocaust: An Exhibition at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Tuesday, March 6, 5:00 PM, Harris Hall 108 (1881 Sheridan Road)

The Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University, along with the Department of History, is pleased to celebrate the work of our colleague Daniel Greene, who is curating a new exhibition on Americans’ responses to the Holocaust at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Greene will discuss the exhibition and his contributions to it.

This lecture is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a reception.