Holocaust studies

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Holocaust studies, or sometimes Holocaust research, is a scholarly discipline that encompasses the historical research and study of the Holocaust. Institutions dedicated to Holocaust research investigate the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary aspects of Holocaust methodology, demography, sociology, and psychology. It also covers the study of Nazi Germany, World War II, Jewish history, religion, Christian-Jewish relations, Holocaust theology, ethics, social responsibility, and genocide on a global scale. Exploring trauma, memories, and testimonies of the experiences of Holocaust survivors,[1] human rights, international relations, Jewish life, Judaism, and Jewish identity in the post-Holocaust world are also covered in this type of research.[2]

Academic research[edit]

Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum

Among the research institutions and academic programs specializing in Holocaust research are:


Prominent Holocaust scholars include:

  • H. G. Adler (1910–1988), a Czechoslovakian Jew who survived the Holocaust and became one of the early scholars of the Holocaust.
  • Hannah Arendt (1906–1975), a German-American political theorist who is known for the term "banality of evil", used to describe Adolf Eichmann.
  • Yehuda Bauer (born 1926), a Czechoslovak-born Israeli historian and scholar on the Holocaust and antisemitism.
  • Doris Bergen (born 1960), a Canadian academic and Holocaust historian.
  • Michael Berenbaum (born 1945), an American scholar and rabbi who specializes in the study of the memorialization of the Holocaust. He served as Project Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1988–1993.
  • Alan L. Berger (born 1939), the Raddock Family Eminent Scholar Chair for Holocaust Studies at Florida Atlantic University, Professor of Jewish Studies at Florida Atlantic University, Director of the Center for the Study of Values and Violence after Auschwitz,[5] Editor and Author of Interdisciplinary Holocaust Scholarship, Co-Editor of Second Generation Voices: Reflections by Children of Holocaust Survivors and Perpetrators,[6] and Member of the Florida Department of Education Holocaust Education Task Force.[7]
  • Christopher Browning (born 1944), an American historian of the Holocaust who is best known for his work Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, a study of German Reserve Police Battalion 101 that massacred Jews in Poland.
  • Lucy Dawidowicz (1915–1990), among the earliest American historians of the Holocaust, whose work, including her book The War Against the Jews: 1933–1945 (1975), investigated the political and social context of the events.[8]
  • Martin Gilbert (1936–2015), a British historian who has published many historical volumes about the Holocaust.
  • Alena Hájková (1924–2012), Czech Communist resistance fighter who became a chief historian on Jews in the Czechoslovak resistance.
  • Raul Hilberg (1926–2007), an Austrian-born American political scientist and historian who is widely considered to be the world's preeminent Holocaust scholar.
  • Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959), a Polish Jewish lawyer who coined the term genocide, which was later adopted by the United Nations in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
  • Primo Levi (1919–1987), an Italian Jewish chemist who survived Auschwitz, and later published over a dozen works. He committed suicide on April 11, 1987.
  • Franklin Littell (1917–2009), a Protestant scholar who is regarded by some as the founder of the field of Holocaust studies.
  • Peter Longerich (born 1955), a German professor of history, author and director of the Research Centre for the Holocaust and Twentieth-Century History at Royal Holloway, University of London.
  • Léon Poliakov (1910–1997), a French historian who wrote on the Holocaust and antisemitism.
  • Laurence Rees (born 1957), a British historian and documentary filmmaker.
  • Gerald Reitlinger (1900–1978), a British art historian who wrote three works after World War II about Nazi Germany.
  • Carol Rittner (born 1943), Distinguished Professor of Holocaust & Genocide Studies at Stockton University, who co-produced the Academy Award nominated documentary The Courage to Care, and has written a number of important works about the Holocaust and various genocides.
  • Richard L. Rubenstein (1924–2021), an American scholar who is noted for his contributions to Holocaust theology.
  • R.J. Rummel (1932–2014), political scientist and Holocaust & Genocide studies expert that coined the term Democide; professor at the Indiana University, Yale University, and finished his career at the University of Hawaiʻi.

Education about the Holocaust[edit]

Education about the Holocaust or Holocaust education refers to efforts, in formal and non-formal settings, to teach about the Holocaust. Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust (TLH) addresses didactics and learning, under the larger umbrella of education about the Holocaust, which also comprises curricula and textbooks studies. The expression "Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust" is used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.[9]

See also[edit]


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  1. ^ Berger, Alan L., ed. (1991). Bearing Witness to the Holocaust, 1939–1989. Philadelphia: Edwin Mellen Press. p. 20. ISBN 0773496440.
  2. ^ Berger, Alan L. (Spring 2010). "Unclaimed Experience: Trauma and Identity in Third Generation Writing about the Holocaust". Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies. 28 (3): 149–158. doi:10.1353/sho.0.0453. S2CID 170535480.
  3. ^ European Union Commission, European Holocaust Research Infrastructure. "European Holocaust Research Infrastructure". The European Union: European Commission 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  4. ^ "About the Institute". Yad Vashem. The International Institute for Holocaust Research. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  5. ^ Berger, Dr. Alan L. "Dr. Alan Berger Raddock Family Eminent Scholar Chair for Holocaust Studies". Florida Atlantic University. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  6. ^ Berger, Alan L.; Berger, Naomi (2001). Second Generation Voices: Reflections By Children of Holocaust Survivors and Perpetrators. New York: Syracuse University Press. p. 378. ISBN 0815628846.
  7. ^ "Task Force on Holocaust Education: Task Force Members". Florida Department of Education. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  8. ^ Butler, Deidre (1 March 2009). "Holocaust Studies in the United States". Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Jewish Women's Archive. jwa.org. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  9. ^ UNESCO (2017). Education about the Holocaust and preventing genocide (PDF). Paris, UNESCO. p. 18. ISBN 978-92-3-100221-2.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]