Former Fellows 2014

Sari J. Siegel (USA), PhD student, University of Southern California, "Medicine Behind Barbed Wire: Jewish Prisoner-Physicians in Nazi Labor, Concentration, and Extermination Camps in the Greater German Reich, 1938-1945" (July – November 2014, München und Berlin).

Sari J. Siegel about her project:
My research examines an important yet widely overlooked group in Holocaust history—Jewish inmates who utilized their medical knowledge in Nazi camps. Focusing on the labor, concentration, and extermination camp systems in the Greater German Reich between 1938 and 1945, I draw particular attention to the dynamic natures of camp conditions and the prisoner-physicians’ strategies to save their own lives as they attempted to treat fellow inmates and uphold their Hippocratic promise to “do no harm.” My work combines survivor testimonies and legal documents with contemporary government and organizational records for insight into how contextual variables and individual traits shaped the actions of these doctors in the camps. Since the prisoner-physicians’ medical activities placed them within survivor and memoirist Primo Levi’s “gray zone,” analysis of their behavioral shifts allows me to illuminate a new aspect of this morally ambiguous realm.
During my fellowship at the IfZ – Zentrum für Holocaust-Studien, I will work with, among other sources, the Institut für Zeitgeschichte’s database of all German post-war judicial proceedings regarding Nazi crimes, as prisoner-physicians’ witness statements provide information not only on Nazi medical crimes but also on their own experiences as inmate doctors in the camps.

Yurii Radchenko (Ukraine), Lector, Kharkiv Collegium, “Ukrainian Hilfspolizei, Self-Government, and the Holocaust in Ukraine: The Case of the Military Administration Zone” (August – November 2014).

Yurii Radchenko about his project:
My project focuses on the activity of the Ukrainian Hilfspolizei and self-government in the military administration zone (Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Stalino, Voroshylovhrad oblasts) with regard to the murder of Jews and the plundering of Jewish property. It also investigates the motivations of those who joined the Ukrainian police and self-government in the military administration zone. Ukrainian auxiliary forces took part in the extermination of Jews in many regions of Ukraine. But what was the level of their participation in the persecution, plundering, and murder of Jews in eastern Ukraine? What was the subordination between the bodies of the self government (mis’ka uprava, rayonna uprava, sil’s’kyi starosta) and the local Ukrainian police? Did policemen take part in mass shootings, or did they play an auxiliary role? Who were the members of the Ukrainian police in the Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Stalino, and Voroshylovhrad oblasts? What about their background and collective social portrait? What image of the Ukrainian policeman and members of self-government did the official Nazi propaganda try to create (especially in the local newspapers)? I study how strong was the influence and the degree of infiltration into the Ukrainian police of OUN and NTS-NP in the mostly Russian-speaking regional centers of eastern Ukraine, how deeply did integral nationalistic ideology penetrate the Weltanschauung of Ukrainian policemen and members of self-government in the military administration zone and what were the motivations that led Ukrainian policemen to take part in anti-Jewish actions.

Froukje Demant (Netherlands), PhD student, Deutschlandinstitut der Universität Amsterdam, „The Daily Relations of Jews and Non-Jews in the German-Dutch Border Region, 1925-1955“ (August – November 2014).

Froukje Demant about her project:
My research examines the everyday relations and interpersonal interactions of Jews and non-Jews in the German-Dutch border region (specifically the Westmünsterland, Grafschaft Bentheim and Twente) between 1925 and 1955. By focussing on the micro level of everyday relations between neighbours, classmates, acquaintances and friends, this research analyses the social mechanisms that preceded the physical extinction of the Jews, and the ways in which Jews and non-Jews shaped and negotiated  ways to live together after the Holocaust. In the years under Nazi rule, both Jews and non-Jews experienced a shift in, and later a breakdown of, their normality, but their experiences differ dramatically in terms of extent and intensity. Still, after the war they had to find ways to live together again and rebuild some sort of new normality. During my four-months stay as a Fellow at the IfZ-Zentrum für Holocaust-Studien, I will focus on the Jewish/non-Jewish relations in the immediate post war years. First, I will study the changes and reversals in the power relations between Jews and non-Jews , and how the returned Jews perceived these changes. Second, I will compare the situation of Jews who decided to return and Jews who did not return. Through this comparison, I will explore in the motivations behind the decision to return or not return, and the communication of Jews who did not return with their former, non-Jewish friends and acquaintances.

EHRI Fellows 2014

Katarzyna Person (Poland) holds a PhD in History from Royal Holloway, University of London. She has held has held postdoctoral fellowships from Yad Vashem’s International Institute for Holocaust Research, the Center for Jewish History in New York, and La Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah.
She is currently an assistant professor at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw and the coordinator of the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto publication project. She has written a number of articles on the Holocaust and its aftermath in occupied Europe, and has edited four volumes of documents from the underground archive of the Warsaw Ghetto. Her book, Assimilated Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto 1940–1943, was published in 2014 by Syracuse University Press. As a Humboldt postdoctoral fellow in the IfZ she is currently finishing a book project dealing with Jews from Poland in the displaced persons camps in Germany. B.A., Geschichte, Yale University M.A., Komparative Geschichte Ostmittel- und Südosteuropas, Central European University (Budapest, Ungarn).

Aleksandra Loewenau (United Kingdom), postdoctoral research assistant “Rebuilding Lives of Jewish Survivors of Medical Experiments at Auschwitz: A Comparative Study”.

Loewenau’s project is a continuation of her doctoral research, which produced a monograph that present correlations between three groups of Polish victims of Nazi medical experiments with a particular emphasis on trauma and consequent changing behavior patterns during and after the war.

Matt Lawson (United Kingdom), “Film Music of German Holocaust cinema”.

Lawson’s research focuses on the music used in German depictions of the Holocaust on screen. His research has been disseminated at conferences across the UK, and also at international events in Italy, Poland, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands.

Devra Katz (Israel), “Emotions in Stutthof: An Analysis of the Social Function of Emotions in a Prisoner Society”.

Katz investigated the function of emotions among prisoners in the Stutthof concentration camp. Her research explores various examples of emotions through prisoners’ experiences in friendships, relationships, intimacy, survival, bonding, and shame by dissecting survivor testimonies in both German and Yiddish. She examined the subjective and collective social role of emotions that have largely been overlooked in traditional circles of historiography.

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