Former Fellows 2019

Anna Wylegała is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw. Sociologist by training, she works at the intersection of sociology of culture, history and anthropology, with a special focus on memory in Poland and Ukraine. Her current research project, implemented in a Polish-Ukrainian team of researchers, concerns the social history of the early post-war in Galicia.

Her first book, published in 2014 in Polish, was published  in English in 2019 as "Displaced memories. Remembering and Forgetting in Post-War Poland and Ukraine" (Berlin: Peter Lang).  She is also a co-editor (with Małgorzata Głowacka-Grajper) of "The Burden of the Past: History, Memory and Identity in Contemporary Ukraine", an edited volume forthcoming in Indiana University Press in 2020.

Anna Corsten is a PhD candidate at the University of Leipzig. She holds a stipend of the Gerda Henkel Stiftung. In her project, "In the Margins of ‘Zeitgeschichte’", she examines how Jewish refugee historians contributed to the study of Jewish history, National Socialism and the Holocaust. Among others, she looks at the life and work of Adolf Leschnitzer, George L. Mosse, Henry Friedlander and Raul Hilberg. She received fellowships from the GHI in Washington D.C. and the GCSC in Gießen. Prior to her doctoral studies, she studied history and sociology at the University of Jena and the Université de Lausanne. She also did internships at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York and London.

Paula Oppermann is a PhD candidate in Central and East European Studies at the University of Glasgow. Her research with the working title "Changing Contexts, One Agenda. Ideologies and Activities of Latvia's Fascist Pērkonkrusts Party" focuses on the Latvian Fascist Pērkonkrusts (Thunder Cross) Organisation, how it developed its ultra-nationalist, antisemitic ideology in the 1930s, and how this influenced its members’ actions during WWII. The level of Pērkonkrusts’ involvement in the German occupation and annihilation apparatus has not yet been systematically investigated, while more attention has been paid to their anti-German activity after the organisation was closed in August 1941.

At the Institute for Contemporary History Paula examines the documents of the Office of Military Government for Germany, US (OMGUS), the collected reports of trials held against perpetrators in Germany after the war, the Wiener Library Press Cuttings and interviews of the USC Shoah Foundation. These sources shed light on the (dis-)continuities in Pērkonkrusts’ relationship to the German National Socialists.

Paula previously studied History and Baltic Languages at the University of Greifswald and completed an M.A in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Uppsala University. Her research interests are antisemitism in interwar Latvia and the Holocaust, as well as its commemoration in the country. She has published articles on the history of the Rumbula and Salaspils Memorials. She has worked as a research assistant at Berlin’s Topography of Terror Documentation Centre curating a special exhibition entitled ‘Mass Shootings. The Holocaust Between the Baltic and the Black Sea 1941–1944’, and as a sub-editor for the online-project ‘Pogrom: November 1938. Testimonies from “Kristallnacht”,’ developed by the Wiener Library, London.

Lukas Meissel is a PhD candidate in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa, his doctoral project analyses photographs taken by SS men at concentration camps. His Master thesis at the University of Vienna about photos from Mauthausen was awarded the Herbert-Steiner-Anerkennungspreis. Prior to his doctoral studies he worked as a historian in the Jewish community of Vienna, alongside serving as deputy chairperson for GEDENKDIENST, a Vienna-based NGO dealing with contemporary history. He had also worked on projects on behalf of Yad Vashem and since 2008 he had guided numerous study trips.

Meissel received fellowships from the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University, the USC Shoah Foundation, the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, Yad Vashem, the Centre of Jewish Studies at the University of Graz and the University of Haifa.

He has published articles with a focus on Holocaust Studies/ Education, visual history, and antisemitism, his three latest publications are: Perpetrator Photography. The Pictures of the Erkennungsdienst at Mauthausen Concentration Camp, in: Hildegard Frübis, Clara Oberle, Agnieszka Pufelska (ed.), Fotografien aus den Lagern des NS-Regimes. Beweissicherung und ästhetische Praxis, Schriften des Centrums für jüdische Studien, Band 31 (Graz 2018); Not “How Was It Possible,” but “Who Made It Possible”: The Topic of Perpetrators in Holocaust Education in Austria, in: Wendy Lower, Lauren Faulkner Rossi (ed.), Lessons and Legacies of the Holocaust XII. New Directions in Holocaust Research and Education (Evanston 2017); seven articles in the USHMM’s Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos.

Maris Rowe-McCulloch is pursuing a post-doctoral research project called: “Encountering the ‘Other’ at Sachsenhausen: From Nazi Concentration Camp to Soviet Prison Camp, 1941-1950.” It examines the history of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, first as a Nazi German camp during World War II (which held Soviet Prisoners of War, among other groups), and then as a Soviet-run Prisoner of War camp from 1945-1950. The project engages with issues of space and place, violence committed against a variety of different victim groups—including Jews and Soviet POWs—within the history of the Holocaust, and the role of revenge in post-war Soviet-German interactions.

She is currently completing her PhD at the University of Toronto in History and Jewish Studies. The dissertation is entitled: “The Holocaust in a City under Siege: Occupation, Mass Violence and Genocide in the Southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, 1941-1943”. She also has an MPhil from the University of Oxford, and a B.A. from University of Toronto. Her research has been supported by the Association of Jewish Studies Dissertation Completion Grant, the Saul Kagan Fellowship in Advanced Shoah Studies, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Holocaust Education Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada, among other organizations. 

Roni Mikel Arieli wrote her Ph.D. dissertation at the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, under the supervision of Prof. Louise Bethlehem and Dr. Amos Goldberg. Her dissertation entitled “Remembering the Holocaust in a Racial State: Cultural and Discursive Aspects of Holocaust Memory in South Africa from Apartheid to Democracy (1948-1994).” She is a member of the 2014 class of the Hoffman Leadership and Responsibility Fellowship program and held a Ph.D. fellowship in the European Research Council (ERC) project “Apartheid - The Global Itinerary: South African Cultural Formations in Transnational Circulation 1948-1990” under the direction of Prof. Louise Bethlehem. At the Present, she is a Scholion postdoctoral fellow, as a member of the research group “In Someone Else's Shoes - An Interdisciplinary Research Group for the Study of Empathy in History, Society, and Culture.”

Her current post-doctoral project title is “Memories of Migration and Migration of Memory: The Transnational History of the Jewish Refugees Deportation to Mauritius (1940-1945).” The project aim is to explore the transnational and local layers of memories of the European Jews deportation to Mauritius in December 1940. It seeks to reappraise the memories of this forgotten episode, and to explore its discursive and cultural formations over the last eight decades in five locales: Palestine/Israel, Mauritius, Great Britain, the US and South Africa. Furthermore, it seeks to reflect on the construction, evolution and circulation of memories of migration. Contemplating recent global immigration crises, it attempts to provide a theoretical framework for exploring the role of local memories and narratives in shaping the treatment of refugees in contemporary societies.

Saskia Millmann is a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow. Her interdisciplinary project in Law and History analyses the relationship of non-member states to the League of Nations. A particular focus lies on an until now lesser looked-at field of League engagements and collaboration: minority protection in the form of efforts to ease the German-Jewish refugee crisis.

She has previously received scholarships and research grants from the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and the Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Scholarship.

Millmann holds an MA in History with a focus on Jewish History from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich and an LLM in International Law from the University of Edinburgh. Her dissertation in History analysed the 34 racially persecuted researcher of the LMU Munich, their migration, re-migration and rehabilitation post-1945. Research interests of hers include contemporary jewish history, legal history (in particular regarding questions of legal rehabilitation of Nazi crimes), and general public international law.

Beate Meyer, Dr. phil., war wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin des Instituts für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden (IGdJ) und bleibt diesem als assoziierte Wissenschaftlerin verbunden. Ihre Forschungsinteressen beziehen sich auf deutsch-jüdische Geschichte, Zeitgeschichte (Nationalsozialismus), Oral History, Gender History und Erinnerungskultur.

Sie leitete von 1990-1995 das Projekt "Hamburger Lebensläufe – Werkstatt der Erinnerung" (lebensgeschichtliche Interviews mit NS-Verfolgten) an der heutigen Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg, arbeitete 1995-1998 als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am IGdJ, wurde 1998 an der Universität Hamburg mit einer Arbeit über die Verfolgung "jüdischer Mischlinge" in der NS-Zeit promoviert, arbeitete 1999/2000 als Kuratorin für das Ausstellungsprojekt "Juden in Berlin 1938-1945" an der Stiftung Neue Synagoge – Centrum Judaicum in Berlin, bevor sie zum IGdJ zurück kehrte und bis 2018 dort arbeitete. Ihre Publikationsliste kann unter eingesehen werden.

Sie untersucht derzeit die Situation ausländischer Juden, die im nationalsozialistischen Deutschland lebten. Übergeordnet geht es um die Frage, in welchem Verhältnis "Rasse" und Nationalität zueinander standen bzw. welchen Einfluss die staatlichen Beziehungen NS-Deutschlands zu den Herkunftsländern der in Deutschland lebenden ausländischen Juden in der Vorkriegs- und Kriegszeit auf deren (Verfolgungs-)Schicksal ausübten Während des Fellowships will sie sich vor allem mit der (retrospektiven) Perspektive der überlebenden Betroffenen befassen, wie sie in den Interviews des Visual History Archives festgehalten ist.

Carmel Heeley, prospective PhD student in history at the Leo Baeck Institute, Queen Mary University London. Project: The Germans, the Jews and the Alps: How Moral Values, Bavarian Traditions and Sport Formed the Personal and Professional Relationships between German-Gentiles and German-Jews in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 1920-1950.

This project aims to arrive at an understanding of how moral sentiments, moral values and fantasies formed the self-understanding of German society between 1920-1950, especially during the Third Reich. Further, how these sentiments, values and fantasies legitimised the inclusion and exclusion of minorities in German society, particularly Jewish minorities.

The focus will be on the Bavarian town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, owing to its belonging to a region that claims a particular relationship to Nazism and more poignantly due its long-standing self-identification with quintessential ‘German’ traditions, landscape and history. It is my intention to engage with the neglected debate surrounding the relationship between Jewry and the concepts integral to this self-identification – notably Heimat and Alpinismus – which, from a Gentile point of view, served to legitimise or delegitimise the place of Jews in German society, particularly during the Third Reich.

Analysing the sentiments, values and fantasies that were inextricably bound to such concepts and more widely populated the shared consciousness of Garmisch-Partenkirchen’s (Gentile and Jewish) residents will thus lead to an understanding of how these, as specifically ‘German’ conceptions, played a fundamental role in regional Jewish-Gentile relations and to a certain extent more broadly, in Third Reich society.

Darren O’ Byrne is a historian of twentieth century Germany. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from University College Dublin and his PhD from the University of Cambridge. He has also held research positions at the Humboldt and Technical Universities in Berlin. His PhD examined both how and why senior ministerial bureaucrats assisted the Nazi regime, up to and including mass murder, using sociological and political science models to argue that ideology was neither the only nor the most important determinant of bureaucratic action under National Socialism. He has published a number of essays on this topic and is in the process of turning the dissertation into a book. He has received scholarships and fellowships from, among others, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Historical Institute (London), the German History Society, and the National University of Ireland.


His current project is a scholarly biography of Wilhelm Kube, Generalkommissar and head of the German civilian occupation administration in wartime Belarus. Focusing on Kube’s contradictory and often conflicting occupation policies, the project seeks to highlight the limits of the “Perpetrator” paradigm, and argue that singular definitions such as “Perpetrator”, “Bystander”, even “Resister”, fail to capture the complexity of historical actors’ behaviour. The lines between these categories were blurred and constantly in flux. And as Kube’s example clearly demonstrates, it was possible to be many or all of these things at different times and in different contexts.


Andrea Pető is Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary and a Doctor of Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She has written five monographs, edited thirty-one volumes and her works on gender, politics, Holocaust and war have been translated into 19 languages. In 2018 she was awarded the 2018 All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values.

Invisible perpetrators: memory of Hungarian female perpetrators of WWII in Hungary

The project examines women’s participation in far right political movements, how they became perpetrators during WWII and how their memory was shaped in the post war period. The project conceptualizes invisibility on different levels: women’s absence from historiography, collective and from individual memory. The aim is to analyze motivations, forms of own in far right politics through life story of major personalities. 

Ulrich Wyrwa, Professor für Neuere Geschichte an der Universität Potsdam. 1988 Promotion an der Universität Hamburg über den Alkoholkonsum der Arbeiter Hamburgs im 19. Jahrhundert, 2003 Habilitation an der Universität Potsdam mit einer vergleichenden Studie über die Emanzipation der Juden in der Toskana und in Preußen.  Von 2005 bis 2015 wissenschaftlicher Leiter internationaler Doktorandenkollegs zur Entstehung und Entwicklung des Antisemitismus in Europa (1879–1914 / 1914–1923) am Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung der Technischen Universität Berlin.

Gastprofessuren am Fritz-Bauer-Institut an der Universität Frankfurt am Main; am Centrum für Jüdische Studien an der Universität Graz; am Richard Koebner Minerva Zentrum für Deutsche Geschichte an der Hebräischen Universität Jerusalem. Seine aktuellen Forschungen konzentrieren sich auf die Geschichte des Antisemitismus in Europa im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert mit besonderem Schwerpunkt auf Italien und Deutschland. Zahlreiche Publikationen zur Geschichte des Antisemitismus, u. a.: Gesellschaftliche Konfliktfelder und die Entstehung des Antisemitismus. Das Deutsche Kaiserreich und das Liberale Italien im Vergleich (Studien zum Antisemitismus in Europa Bd. 9), Berlin: Metropol Verlag, 2015.

In seinem neuen Forschungsprojekt geht es um die politischen und sozialpsychologischen Folgen der Weltwirtschaftskrise von 1929 und deren Folgen für den Antisemitismus in europäisch und transatlantisch vergleichender Perspektive. Gefragt wird, ob und wenn ja, in welchen Ländern die ökonomische Katastrophe der frühen 1930er Jahre zu einer neuen Verschärfung des Antisemitismus geführt hat. Das die Forschung leitende Interesse richtet sich darauf, ob die Entwicklung des Antisemitismus in Deutschland in dieser Phase einen besonderen Weg genommen hat.

Cornelia Wilhelm ist Professorin für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte in der Abteilung für Jüdische Geschichte und Kultur der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München. Ihre Arbeit konzentriert sich auf komparative und transnationale Fragestellungen Jüdischer Geschichte und behandelt Fragen im Kontext von Migration, Minderheiten, Ethnizität und Religion.

Sie ist Autorin der Monographien Bewegung oder Verein? Nationalsozialistische Volkstumspolitik in den USA (1998); Pioneers of a New Jewish Identity: The Independent Orders of B’nai B’rith and True Sisters (2011) und arbeitet momentan an einem Forschungsprojekt zum emigrierten deutschen Rabbinat in den USA nach 1933.

Vor kurzem veröffentlichte sie zwei Sammelbände: American Jewry: Transcending the European Experience? (2016) mit Christian Wiese, und Migration, Memory and Diversity in Germany: From 1945 to the Present (2017).

Michal Schvarc ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Historischen Institut der Slowakischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Abteilung für Neuere Geschichte sowie im Slowakischen Nationalmuseum-Museum der Kultur der Karpatendeutschen in Bratislava. Er ist Autor von drei Büchern, zwei davon zur Problematik der deutsch-slowakischen Beziehungen während des Zweiten Weltkriegs, eines zur Evakuierung der deutschen Bevölkerungsgruppe aus der Slowakei 1944/1945. Außerdem hat er an mehreren Quelleneditionen zum deutsch-slowakischen Verhältnis 1938 – 1945 mitgewirkt.

Sein neues Forschungsprojekt untersucht die Rolle der deutschsprachigen Minderheit in der Slowakei während des Holocaust. Das Vorhaben fragt dabei nach Interdependenzen zwischen Rassenideologie, antisemitischer Propaganda und alltäglicher Praxis. Unter die Lupe genommen werden u. a. die Teilnahme ihrer Angehörigen an antijüdischen Ausschreitungen, die Verstrickung in die ‚Arisierung‘, die Rolle der paramilitärischen Freiwilligen Schutzstaffel bei der Deportation sowie das Verhalten der Deutschen Partei und ihrer Teilorganisationen nach der militärischen Besetzung der Slowakei durch NS-Deutschland Ende August 1944.

Zuletzt wird der Frage nachgegangen, ob und inwieweit slowakeideutsche Täter in der Nachkriegszeit bzw. später in den 1950er- und 1960er-Jahren, sei es in der Tschechoslowakei oder in Bundesrepublik Deutschland, zur Rechenschaft gezogen wurden. Der Aufenthalt in München ist notwendig, um Quellen in den Archiven des IfZ, der Staatsarchive in München und Ludwigsburg zu sichten.

Kay Schiller ist ein Zeithistoriker mit einer Spezialisierung für deutsch-jüdische und deutsche und internationale Sportgeschichte. Er ist z. Zt. Herausgeber der Zeitschrift Sport in History und ausgewiesen durch eine Reihe von Buchpublikationen, u.a. einer preisgekrönten Monographie (gemeinsam mit Christopher Young) zur Geschichte der Münchner Olympischen Spiele 1972 (2010, dt. Übersetzung 2012), einer Geschichte der Fußballweltmeisterschaft in der Bundesrepublik von 1974 und (gemeinsam mit Stefan Rinke) einer Geschichte der Fußballweltmeisterschaften von 1930 bis 2010 (beide 2014).

Schiller hat den größten Teil seiner akademischen Laufbahn in Großbritannien verbracht, wohin er nach Magisterstudium in München und Promotion an der University of Chicago wechselte. Von 1997 bis 2000 war er DAAD-Fachlektor für Geschichte an der School of Slavonic and East European Studies des University College London. Danach durchlief er an der University of Durham die in Großbritannien üblichen Stationen einer akademischen Laufbahn. Im akademischen Jahr 2012/13 war Kay Schiller Gastprofessor für Zeitgeschichte an der TU Dresden. Seit 2015 hat Schiller eine Professur für neuere europäische Geschichte in Durham, wo er zur Zeit auch ein internationales interdisziplinäres Projekt zur Konstruktion von Männlichkeiten im Sport leitet.

Am Zentrum für Holocauststudien forscht Schiller zur Biographie des jüdisch-deutschen Leichtathleten und Sportschriftstellers Alex Natan, des „schnellsten Juden Deutschlands“ (Alfred Flechtheim) in den 1920er Jahren.

Anna Veronica Pobbe is a PhD Candidate at University of Trento. In her doctoral dissertation, Hans Biebow: the ghetto-manager, she examines the history of Lodz Ghetto in the quadriennium between 1941 to 1944 through the lens of its German administration (with a peculiar interest on its head). Prior to her doctoral studies, Pobbe worked at the ICBSA in Rome, with the interviews of the USCShoah Foundation. She earned a MA in History from University of Rome "Sapienza".

Focusing on the Lodz Ghetto, she wrote her thesis on the trial of Hans Biebow and the perspective of the survivors (especially the younger ones, who were meant to be deported during the Szpera). She received fellowships from European Holocaust Research Infrastructure and Yad Vashem. Her research interests include post-war trials, perpetrator research, experience of children during the war and the management policies of the ghettos.

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