Aktuelle Fellows des Zentrums für Holocaust-Studien

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.

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.

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