Paul A. Levine

By Elena Medvedev
Oct. 28, 2020.

Paul A. Levine, Associate Professor, Historian. 2018, Graz, Foto: Afro-Asiatisches Insti­tut, Graz*.

Paul A. Levine (31.12.1956 – 28.10.2019), who was born in New York and raised in Covina CA, was an American-Swedish Holocaust and Genocide Historian, an associate professor and Docent of Holocaust and modern European political history. He was a Co-founder of Uppsala University’s Hugo Valentin Centre for Holocaust & Genocide Studies[1], and the author of many publications on Holocaust history and memory. After receiving his doctorate in 1996 with the monograph From Indifference to Activism; Swedish Diplomacy and the Holocaust, 1938- 1944[2], Levine pursued his work in Uppsala, Sweden. His main preoccupation was writing and teaching about the Holocaust. Working on his book, Raoul Wallenberg and Swedish diplomacy in Budapest in 1944-1945, Levine helped to understand Raoul Wallenberg in his real context, destroying existing myths about the Swedish hero; that should have made him even unpopular for some Swedes.[3]

* 05.-08.11.2018. In der Woche des Gedenkens an die Novemberpogrome 1938 hat ComUnitySpirit Paul A. Levine nach Graz.
[1] Uppsala University’s Hugo Valentin Centre, Uppsala historian Paul A. Levine awarded Raoul Wallenberg Foundation Medal.
[2] Levine, P. A., From Indifference to Activism: Swedish Diplomacy and the Holocaust, 1938-1944, 1998.
[3] Levine, Paul A., in: Proposal to one of Levine’s projects on the Armenian Genocide, March 2019, Archive Paul A. Levine Library.

Associate professor Paul A. Levine, historian and senior lecturer at Uppsala University, has been awarded the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Medal commemorating the 100th anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg’s birth. Levine received the medal together with four other candidates at a ceremony in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 23 October 2012. Foto: Archive Paul A. Levine.

Tell Ye Your Children, by Stéphane Bruchfeld and Paul A. Levine[4], remains the second most printed book in Sweden, after The Bible. The authors were able to distill large historical, historiographical, biographical, and graphic elements into a format and language which has appealed to both diplomats and middle-school students. The book has been used in university courses, in public and private school classrooms, for adult education and by union-organizations. First published in 1998 by the Swedish government, the book was commissioned as part of a national educational campaign to educate Swedish citizens about the Holocaust. The esteemed Holocaust historian Prof. Yehuda Bauer called it “The best book on the Holocaust for its length and goals”. Most significantly, that book led directly to the formation, in 1999, of what was initially the International Task Force on Holocaust Research, Remembrance and Education. That unprecedented international diplomatic body evolved into the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Today, that international diplomatic and educational body consists of 31 member countries, two liaison and eight observer countries.[5]

[4] Stéphane Bruchfeld, Levine, Paul A.,Tell Ye Your Children, 2009.
[5] Levine, Paul A., in: Proposal to one of Levine’s projects on the Armenian Genocide, March 2019, Archive Paul A. Levine Library.

Closing Keynote/Conference Summation”, IHRA Conference—Bystanders, Rescuers or Perpetrators, Madrid, Spain. November 2014. – with Holocaust historian Prof. Yehuda Bauer. Foto: Archive Paul A. Levine.

Paul Levine was an American historian and Holocaust scholar; he was Jewish-American by birth, but lived more than half his life in Europe where he examined and researched, over several decades, European bureaucratic indifference and activism in WW2.

After a long career as an associate professor of Holocaust History and Genocide Studies, Paul lived the final six years of his life in Berlin, his favorite city, working as a freelance historian.

Professor Levine always said that he wants to die and be buried in Berlin, the city most close to his heart and to his research; “The Belle & The Beast”, as he called it, with love and sympathy.

At the time of his death, Levine was working on a memoir and teacher’s guide, hoping to instruct educators how to think and teach about the Holocaust and about genocide in a progressive and humanistic manner. His work also made significant contribution to the study and explanation of the Armenian Genocide.

Paul A. Levine, BBC Radio, Berlin, 2014, Foto: Archive Paul A. Levine.

Single author

Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest; Myth, History & Holocaust (Valentine Mitchell, London, UK & Portland, USA, 2010.

From Indifference to Activism; Swedish Diplomacy and the Holocaust, 1938-1944,
(Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Historica Upsaliensia), 1996.
[In Sweden, doctoral dissertations are published. Quite unusually, this study was re-published in 1998 with an afterword added].


(with Bruchfeld, Stéphane): Om detta må ni berätta; en bok om Förintelsen i Europa 1933-1945. (published by the office of the Prime Minister, Sweden), 1998. As the centerpiece of the government’s “Levande historia” [Living History] information campaign, the book was simultaneously translated into English, Finnish, Turkish, Arabic, Persian, Spanish and “Serbo-Croatian”. Since then our book, Tell ye Your Children; A book about the Holocaust in Europe 1933- 1945, has been published in additional educational and commercial editions. In Russia, Finland, France, Portugal, Norway, Denmark and Estonia in cooperation with those nations’ ministries of education. Published in Germany, 2000, by Bertlesmann in cooperation with the ministries of education in five federal länder. In Japan by Motovun Publishers, Tokyo, 2002. In Ukrainian, Summer 20167, by Tkuma Holocaust Research Institute, Dnepropetrovsk, and in Croatian, March 2018, by Snedja Europa— Zagreb. 

(with D. Gaunt): Collaboration and Resistance during the Holocaust; Belarus, Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania, (Peter Lang AG, Bern), 2004. 

(with David Gaunt), Introduction to, Collaboration and Resistance during the Holocaust; Belarus, Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania, (Peter Lang AG, Bern), 2004 

(with David Cesarani): Bystanders to the Holocaust; A Re-Evaluation, (Frank Cass, London), 2002. Co-author, introduction and conclusion .

(with David Cesarani): Bystanders to the Holocaust; A Re-Evaluation, special edition of the Journal of Holocaust Education, vol. 9, autumn/winter 2001/2002, 2 & 3. [6]

[6] Levine, Paul A., 2019.

Prizes and Stipends Received

  • The Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Medal 2012, Awarded in Buenos Aires for the book: “Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest; Myth, History & Holocaust” (2010), by the Raoul Wallenberg International Foundation; Buenos Aires, November 2012. This prize was supported by the Swedish Embassy, Bueno Aires.
  • The Martin Hason Holmdahl Award, with Stéphane Bruchfeld, for service to Uppsala University and to Holocaust education and research in Sweden. Jan 2010.
  • Föreningen Förintelsens Överlevande i Sverige”, Års pris,. (The Holocaust Survivors Organization of Sweden’s “Annual Prize for Contributions to Holocaust Education”. January 2010.
  • Erasmus Teaching Exchange Stipend; Teaching, Course in Genocide Studies, with seminars & advising students during a two-week exchange. Charles University, Institute of Political Science, March 2013.
  • Erasmus Teaching Exchange Stipend; Teaching of Holocaust History, conducting seminars & advising students during a two-week exchange. Magnus Vytutas University & Vilnius Yiddish Institute, Kaunas & Vilnius, Lithuania, Sept. 2010.
  • Book of the Year Award, Ord och Bild academi, for “Tell Ye Your Children…”, Stockholm, 1999.
  • Erzählt es euren Kindern; Der Holocaust in Europa, Short Listed for, “Deutschen Jugenliteraturpries, Arbetskreis für Jugendliteratur e. V. (sachbuch), Frankfurt Book Fair, 2001. [7]

[7] Levine, Paul A., 2019.

Paul A. Levine Library, fragment, Berlin 2019.

Further sources:

„Raoul Wallenberg-stiftelsens medalj till uppsalahistorikern Paul A. Levine“, 19.10.2012.

„Raoul Wallenberg i nytt ljus“, 17.03.2010.

The Hugo Valentin Lectures, VIII–IX“, 2013.

Hugo Valentin-föreläsningen 2014: Professor Dan Michman“, 06.03.2014.

Uppsala University Publications, Levine, Paul A., 01.01.2016.

Dagens Nyheter, Om detta ville Paul A Levine berätta, 17.11.2019.

Andersson, Lars M., „Paul A. Levine In memoriam“, 17.11.2019.

Read last news about the project “A Traveling Tombstone” dedicated to
the Holocaust historian Paul A. Levine

A Traveling Tombstone “BEYAHAD LO NI-PAUL”

A Traveling Tombstone – the sculpture “BEYAHAD LO NI-PAUL” in memory of Paul A. Levine — a project in collaboration with sculptor Robert Schmidt-Matt and Elena Medvedev, the initiative “Paul A. Levine Library”…


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