DISPLACEMENT, MIGRATION, AND THE HOLOCAUST
The 2019 Curt C. and Else Silberman Faculty Seminar will explore the disparate meanings and experiences of migration that preceded, accompanied, and/or followed the Holocaust. Professors Judith Gerson and Robin Judd will co-lead the Seminar and introduce participants to the policies, practices, and experiences of migration(s) and consider diverging and complementary narratives of forced emigration, displacement, population transfers, and resettlement. Drawing on USHMM’s rich collections to tell the stories of movement and migration, the Seminar seeks to complicate our understanding of survival and annihilation, and the legacies of each. In what ways did emigration afford people opportunities to escape death and destruction? In what ways were those attempts unsuccessful? While the Seminar devotes considerable attention to United States' immigration experiences and policies, the seminar leaders aim to articulate a transnational understanding of migration and the Holocaust and consider how several different national powers navigated competing pressures to permit the entry of refugees while concomitantly seeking to severely restrict admission. The Seminar concludes with an analysis of the lessons of the Holocaust for a more general understanding of genocide, displacement, and resettlement.
The 2019 Curt C. and Else Silberman Seminar for college and university faculty is designed to help faculty who are teaching, or preparing to teach, Holocaust or Holocaust-related courses in all academic disciplines. Through lectures, readings, and primary source examination, participants will be introduced to ways of situating persecution, displacement, and migration, forced or otherwise, in Nazi Germany and across Europe into larger historical contexts of the period. While the focus will be on the specific cases related to targeted oppression and racial violence that led hundreds of thousands of individuals to flee Nazi occupied Europe, the themes, approaches, and methods covered in the Seminar are thus also applicable for the broad range of educators who engage the perspectives of refugees, migration, and displacement in other geographic regions and/or time periods.
Seminar participants will be introduced to Holocaust-related sources in the Museum’s unique film, oral history, testimony, recorded sound, archival, and photography collections, and the International Tracing Service Digital Archive. Additionally, participants will tour the Museum’s permanent exhibit and the special exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust. They will also meet staff scholars with expertise in various Holocaust-related topics with whom they can discuss their work.
In addition to lecture and discussion, the Seminar will devote time to specific pedagogical strategies used by the two Seminar leaders and participants to examine the abovementioned victim groups and topics in the classroom.
The Seminar will be held at the United States Holocaust Museum from June 3–14, 2019. Dr. Judith Gerson, Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and Dr. Robin Judd, Associate Professor of History, The Ohio State University (OSU), will lead this year’s Seminar.
Professor Gerson is the co-editor of Sociology Confronts the Holocaust: Memories and Identities in Jewish Diasporas (Duke University Press, 2007). She currently has several manuscripts under review including, By Thanksgiving We Were Americans: German Jewish Refugees Remember the Holocaust(forthcoming). Dr. Gerson is also the author of several articles and book chapters in Jewish studies and gender studies. She was the 2017-2018 Ina Levine Invitational Scholar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Professor Gerson received the Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences 2012 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education.
Professor Judd is the author of Contested Rituals: Circumcision, Kosher Butchering, and German-Jewish Political Life in Germany, 1843-1933. She has also published a number of articles concerning Jewish history, gender history, and ritual behavior. Her current project is tentatively entitled, Love, Liberation, and Loss: Jewish Brides, Military Husbands, and Jewish Community Building after the Holocaust. Dr. Judd was the 2017 Monna and Otto Weinmann Annual Lecturer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum where she presented, Loss, Liberation, and Love: Jewish Brides and Soldier Husbands, 1943-1946. She has won four teaching awards at OSU: the Clio Award (History Department), the Rodica Botoman Award for Excellence in Teaching (College of Humanities), the Jewish Studies Students Teaching Award (Melton Center for Jewish Studies), and the University’s Alumni Teaching Award, which is OSU's most prestigious teaching award.