Former Fellows 2022

Viorel Achim, PhD, is a Senior Researcher at the Nicolae Iorga Institute of History at the Romanian Academy, in Bucharest. His research fields include the history of the Roma, ethnic minorities in Romania between 1918-1948, population policies in Romania during World War II, and the Holocaust. He published intensively about the deportations of Jews and Roma to Transnistria by the Antonescu government in 1941-1944. Viorel Achim was a member of the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania, chaired by Elie Wiesel, in 2003-2004.

During his fellowship at the Center for the Holocaust Studies at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, Viorel Achim studies the participation of the ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche) in Transnistria in the destruction of the local Jews and of the Jewish and Roma deported from Romania in the years 1941-1944. The investigation focuses on the killings of Jews and Roma in the German villages in southern Transnistria, in other localities in this territory where the “German police” (Volksdeutsche) was called in by the Romanian occupation authorities, but also on the construction sites in southeastern part of Transnistria opened by the German army and operated by Organization Todt. The complicity of the Romanian occupation authorities in Transnistria in these killings will also be pursued. The research is based on documents produced by the Romanian occupation authorities, journals from that period, post-war investigations and oral history interviews. The project, which will incorporate some previous research on this topic by other historians, will provide a comprehensive picture of the killings and massacres committed by ethnic Germans in Transnistria, which are part of the Holocaust in Romania’s area of domination.


Michał Grochowski, historian, has recently submitted the PhD dissertation titled “Economic history of the Warsaw Ghetto” at the Historical Institute of the University of Wrocław. In his research he focuses on the social and economic issues of the life in the Warsaw Ghetto.
In the current project he is investigating the issue of the Jewish collaboration with Germans in Warsaw during the occupation. In this undertaking he is using modified system level analysis and examines the goals of organizations, their management, and individual agents as partially independent from one another. Such approach will, hopefully, allow him to explain better how collaborators (including the infamous “Thirteen” group) operated in the Warsaw Ghetto.

 


Jonathan Lanz is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University Bloomington in the United States. His dissertation is entitled “The Ghetto Next to the Gas Chamber: Social Networks and Daily Life in the Theresienstadt Family Camp.” Given the relative lack of archival documentation surrounding Jewish daily life in Birkenau, Jonathan’s research seeks to probe how the postwar testimony of Family Camp child survivors provides a pathway to write social histories of the Holocaust which lack contemporaneous accounts. Drawing on recent work in Holocaust memory, Jonathan’s dissertation project returns the historians’ gaze to victim-based approaches to life in the Nazi camp system. Historians of the Holocaust have yet to write social histories of the Birkenau death camp, a perplexing fact given the large emphasis on the camp in American and European Holocaust memory. His project remedies this absence by explicitly centering Jewish victim testimony of the Family Camp in a history of prisoner society. This methodological approach will allow Holocaust historians to gain a clearer picture of everyday live within the Nazis’ largest death camp.

During his ZfHS-USHMM Junior Fellowship, Jonathan will examine testimony given by Family Camp survivors at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials between 1963 and 1965.


Paweł Machcewicz, historian, professor at the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw; 2008-2017 – founding director of the  Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk; he has taught at the Warsaw University and the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and was a co-founder of the Institute of National Remembrance, in 2000-2006 he was director of its research and education branch. The goal of his project “Poland in the 1950s and 1960s: Communism, Nationalism, Antisemitism, and Political Uses of History” is to analyze the ideological evolution of the Communist system in Poland from the peak of the Stalinist regime in the early 1950s until the end of Władysław Gomułka`s era in 1970, against the background of other Communist countries. The most significant ideological trend in this period was a strong and almost steady shift towards seeking nationalist legitimization, exploitation of themes from the national past and, in the 1960s, antisemitism, which eventually became one of the crucial elements of the language and imaginarium of the Polish communists. In 1967-1968 this process led to the antisemitic campaign organized by the ruling party, but supported by a significant part of the population. A parallel phenomenon – after 1956 – was the growing importance of the anti-German rhetoric.


Nataliia Ivchyk is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Sciences at Rivne State University of Humanities in Ukraine. Since May 2022, she has been supported by the Endowment Fund at the Department of Russian and East European Studies of the Institute of Intranational Studies (Prague, Czech Republic.)

In July 2022, Dr. Ivchyk is a Fellow of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure. Research project “Disgraced Worlds: Jewish Families during the Holocaust.” She has held a few international fellowships. She has been a Fellow of the Initiative on Ukrainian-Jewish Shared History and the Holocaust in Ukraine at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USA, 2017-2018.) She has conducted her research project, “Ghettos in the General District of Volhynia-Podolia in Memories of Jewish Victims and Neighbors,” at the Moshe Mirilashvili Center for Research on the Holocaust in the Soviet Union, Yad Vashem (Israel, 2018.) Research project: “Life and Agony of the Jews in the Rivne Ghetto: Reconstructing Women’s Experiences,” at the Institute of International Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences (Prague Civil Society Center and Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.) Research Project: “Holocaust in Volhynia and Podolia General District,” and at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (Germany, 2021), she has worked on the research project “Gender and Everyday Life in Volhynia and Podolia Jewish Ghettos.” 


Suzanne Brown-Fleming is Director of the Division of International Academic Programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and a former Mandel Center Fellow (2000). She received her Ph.D. in modern German history from the University of Maryland-College Park in 2002.

Project:

This project, Opa war ein Nazi: Eduard Geist and the Crimes of the Third Reich, is Dr. Brown-Fleming’s first attempt to research and write as both a decades-long scholar of the Holocaust and as the biological granddaughter of a devout and locally prominent Nazi. Inspired by local SA men and the speeches and writings of Adolf Hitler, Eduard Geist joined the SA in 1926 and the NSDAP in 1927. He became a senior administrator in the German Labor Front’s Koblenz headquarters, where he was involved with the Organization Todt-run Westwall labor camps. Initially the accounting inspector for over 120 camps with 125,000 conscripted workers, his duties would come to include confiscation of physical property (including Jewish properties) for the Westwall effort, and, by 1940, bank-held assets in Luxembourg. Also a soldier in the Wehrmacht, he fought in the infamous “Wolchow Kessel” on the Russian front. After the war, he was initially tried by a Spruchkammer as a Category 1 (“most guilty”) Nazi.


Kathrin Janzen is a historian and doctoral candidate at the Institute for Contemporary History at Vienna University. She holds a Bachelor degree in History from Humboldt-University in Berlin and a Master degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

In her dissertation project titled “Soziale Verflechtungen innerhalb eines Täterkollektivs – Familiäre und private Beziehungen zwischen Tatbeteiligten der nationalsozialistischen ‚Euthanasie‘-Morde“ (working title) she examines social structures and networks within the collective of male and female perpetrators of the National Socialist murder of people with disabilities. The project emphasises the overlapping of professional, institutional and private social relationships between the perpetrators. In her work, Kathrin Janzen analyses how those relationships have affected the organisation and execution of the mass murder, how it influenced the perpetrators’ participation in the killing and how it shaped professional and structural continuities after 1945. Furthermore, her dissertation aims to contribute to the general research of perpetrators of mass crimes


Yurii Kaparulin Director of Raphael Lemkin Center for Genocide Studies, Associate Professor in Department of National, International Law and Law Enforcement of Faculty of Business and Law of Kherson State University.

He studies the history and law of Eastern Europe, in particular, he is interested in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Human Rights and Crimes against Humanity, Political repression in the Soviet Union and World War II. The results of his research have been published in such publications as the The Ideology and Politics Journal, Colloquia Humanistica, City History, Culture, Society, as well as the popular media BBC News Ukraine. In 2018-2019 he was on research fellowship at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Initiative on Ukrainian-Jewish Shared History and the Holocaust in Ukraine), and later in 2019 in Yahad-In Unum (Paris, French Republic). Dr. Kaparulin is currently working on a monograph "Between Soviet Modernization and the Holocaust: Jewish Agrarian Settlements in the Kherson Region, 1924-1947." In 2021, he continued his research work during an fellowship in Bucharest, Romania (New Europe College). Also, Yurii Kaparulin together with Les Kasyanov (photographer, director, member of the Yahad-in Unum expeditions) is a co-author of the documentary films "Kalinindorf" (2020) and "Unknown Holocaust" (2021).


Tamar Aizenberg is a PhD student in Jewish Studies at Brandeis University. Previously, through a Fulbright grant, Tamar worked at Centropa: Central Europe Center for Research and Documentation in Vienna and studied Jewish history at the University of Vienna. She holds a BA in History and Jewish Studies from Williams College.

Tamar’s doctoral research focuses on the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and the grandchildren of Nazi perpetrators, the so-called “third generations.” She examines how these sets of grandchildren have been taught to talk about and remember this history by their families and how they do so themselves as they grow older. In particular, Tamar analyzes how this memory was transmitted, compares the methods of transmission between the sets of grandchildren, and assesses the significance of the similarities and differences in the transmission. 

During her research stay at the Center for Holocaust Studies, she will examine family history documents written by Holocaust survivors and their descendants and by Nazi perpetrators and their descendants. During her research stay at the Memorial House of the Wannsee Conference, Tamar will analyze contemporary materials produced by and about both sets of grandchildren, including film and radio interviews.


Johannes Meerwald ist Doktorand am Fritz Bauer Institut in Frankfurt am Main. Seine Masterarbeit über die spanische Häftlingsgruppe im KZ Dachau ist mit dem Stanislav Zámečník-Studienpreis des Comité International de Dachau prämiert. Nach dem Studium arbeitete Meerwald für die KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau an der Erforschung des KZ-Außenlagerkomplexes Allach. Sein laufendes Projekt wird von der Stiftung Ökohaus finanziert.

In seiner Arbeit untersucht Johannes Meerwald die Charakteristika der späten Phase des Holocaust in Südbayern. Das Ziel der Arbeit ist es, den Zeitraum zwischen Mai 1944 und Mai 1945 als einen radikalisierten Abschnitt innerhalb der Entwicklungsgeschichte des Holocaust darzustellen. Diese Radikalisierung machte sich nicht zuletzt dadurch bemerkbar, dass an der „Heimatfront“, anders als im Besatzungskontext, die Grenzen zwischen den jüdischen Verfolgten und der „Volksgemeinschaft“ zunehmend verschwommen. In seinem Projekt untersucht Meerwald daher insbesondere die Beziehungsgeflechte zwischen den nichtjüdischen Deutschen und den „Judenlagern“, sowie den dort inhaftierten Häftlingen. Des Weiteren fragt er danach, inwiefern sich die nahende deutsche Kriegsniederlage auf die Verhaltensweisen der klassischen Tätergruppen, sowie der Zivilisten und damit auch auf die Erfahrungen und Handlungsspielräume der Jüdinnen und Juden in Südbayern auswirkte. Meerwald verfolgt in seiner Arbeit Saul Friedländers Vorschlag einer „integrierten Geschichte“ und hinterfragt starre Täter-Opfer-Zuschauer Kategorisierungen. Aufgrund dieses multiperspektivischen Ansatzes wertet er neben Häftlingserinnerungen und Dokumenten aus den Beständen der SS, der Organisation Todt und den Rüstungsunternehmen auch Quellen zivilgesellschaftlicher Provenienz aus.

Während seines Aufenthaltes in München untersucht Johannes Meerwald hauptsächlich die im Institutsarchiv verwahrten Bestände zu den Reichsbehörden, den Konzentrationslagern, sowie den Dachauer Prozessen. Ebenso beschäftigt er sich mit den Nachlässen einzelner NS-Täter und Akteure.


Benet Lehmann is a PhD student at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) of the Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen. He studied in Hamburg, Berlin and Jerusalem and holds a M. A. in History. Next to the topics of his current Phd project, his further research areas are the transformation of German memory culture, public history and the far right. He is also writing a biography of a German Holocaust Witness, which will be published in 2022.

During his research stay as a Junior Fellow at the ZfHS, Benet Lehmann will be conducting research for his PhD project with the title “Visual Power. Wehrmacht Photographs from "the East" and their biographies (1939-2021)”. The aim is to investigate the phenomenon of Wehrmacht soldiers posing with dead bodies. The study is divided into two parts, an investigation of the performative practices leading to and within the pictures as well as practices with the images after 1945, i.e., the subsequent cultures of knowledge and identity. Overall, the study will contain 20 exemplified biographies of pictures from the moment they were taken until present times. At the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History, Benet Lehmann will research at the IfZ archive, at different archives in Munich and institutions such as museums, publishing companies or the judiciary.


Olga Kartashova is a Ph.D. candidate in Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University. Kartashova specializes in the Holocaust history of Eastern Europe, its aftermath, memory, historiography, and trials. She holds MA degrees in Comparative History from Central European University and Holocaust Studies from Haifa University. She completed internships at Yad Vashem, Ghetto Fighters’ House, and the Open Society Archives in Budapest. In 2020, Olga worked as a researcher at the USHMM on a project broadly devoted to genocides and justice. She currently leads a monthly research seminar “The Forgotten Roots of International Law” in cooperation with the Minerva Center for Human Rights at Tel Aviv University where she was a fellow during 2021-2022. Olga is engaged in Digital Humanities and is exploring ways to incorporate technology into Holocaust research, archives, and museums.

International Networks and Jewish Efforts to Prosecute Nazi Criminals in Poland, 1944-1955

Kartashova’s project explores Jewish voices in the post-war trials of Holocaust perpetrators in Poland. It builds upon existing research on Nazi and collaborator trials (Finder and Prusin 2018, Kornbluth 2021) and contributes with a novel study of what surviving Jews understood as justice, how they approached the Polish government in the search for it, and how they supported investigations and trials. At the center of the project are Jewish national institutions active in Poland in the late 1940s that represented survivors and served as intermediaries between them and the authorities. She claims that in circumstances of antisemitic hatred and developing conflict of victimhood, Polish Jews made efforts towards achieving justice and saw Jewish institutions as legitimate representatives of victims and their families. This and the widespread international networks used for information exchange among survivors, domestic and foreign Jewish communities, and national and international legal bodies developing international criminal law, ensured the abundance of sources and witness accounts for the Holocaust-related trials and increased the chances of sentencing perpetrators.


Hannah Riedler is a doctoral student and research project assistant at the University of Klagenfurt. She obtained a master’s degree with a focus on Eastern European history at the University of Vienna. Her research interests include the occupation of Poland during the Second World War, the deportations in Poland in the Soviet and the German occupation zones and the comparison of dictatorships. In her dissertation project “Different Occupations: Violence in German and Soviet occupied Poland, 1939-1941”, she examines the occupation of Poland in a comparative perspective focusing on the deportations that were commonplace in both zones of occupation. The project aims to explore the various experiences of those persecuted as well as those left behind and therefore to offer a new perspective on the occupation of Poland as well as the historical understanding of the phenomenon of deportations in general.

During her fellowship at the Center for Holocaust Studies she focuses on examining the experiences of Jews in the border town of Przemyśl. As the town was divided into a German and a Soviet Zone of occupation, it offers a picture of the occupation and different forms of deportation policy in miniature. By looking at the border as a defining feature of the population policy in and around Przemyśl, she aims to explore this proximity of the “enemy” as a factor influencing Jewish life in the city in both zones of occupation as well as the various responses to this influence.


Carmel Heeley is a PhD candidate at the Leo Baeck Institute London, Queen Mary University London. Her thesis ‘German Jews, German Gentiles and the Alps: How Conceptions of Heimat, Bavarian Traditions and Moral Values defined ‘German’ Belongings and German-Jewish experience, 1920-1940’ focuses on how German Jews were important in forming and propagating the ways in which ‘belonging’ was imagined in Germany, and how their ideas were later turned on their heads by the Nazis.


Hana Green is a Doctoral Candidate in History at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. She holds a BA in History with a certificate in Holocaust Studies from the University of Florida and an MA in Holocaust studies from the University of Haifa.

Green’s dissertation project examines passing as a Jewish response to persecution and considers the varied experiences of Jewish women who passed across Europe as a wartime survival mechanism. Centering the experiences and identity transformations of Jewish passers, Green’s project considers the broader phenomenon of passing during the Holocaust and explores what it meant to pass under the guise of a false identity in extremis. Drawing on diverse cases and tracing Jewish women’s prewar identities through their adoption of false personas, her dissertation assesses the ways in which individuals adapted to an assumed identity, underscoring factors such as gender, identity, and individual agency. Additionally, Green’s project seeks to highlight passing as a distinct mechanism of survival during the Holocaust. 

Green currently holds a DAAD one-year grant for doctoral candidates and will be in residence in Germany throughout the academic year. During her research stay, Green will investigate pre- and postwar Jewish community records, denunciation and arrest records of the NSDAP, postwar restitution and compensation claims, as well as myriad written and oral testimonies and ego-documents. Green’s doctoral research has been supported by several fellowships and research grants, including a Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) Graduate Studies Fellowship, a Hadassah-Brandeis Institute research award, a Leo Baeck Institute Fritz Halbers Fellowship, and an EHRI Conny Kristel Fellowship.



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