Aktuelle Fellows

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.

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