With the conference Forward and don’t forget: writing & teaching about the holocaust today on 7 Dec 2020, our Initiative marked the first year of its existence.
P R O G R A M
“Writers as Witnesses: The Fate of Holocaust Memory.”
- Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Professor of English and Jewish Studies, Irving. M. Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies, and Director of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, Indiana University, Bloomington.
Alvin Rosenfeld offered reflections on such figures as Chaim Kaplan, Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi, and Imre Kertesz. It was literary in nature, although within a historical context. And the emphasis was on the moral dimensions of Holocaust testimony.
“A View from Below, a View from Within: The Holocaust as First-Person History.”
- Omer Bartov, Brown University, John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History, Professor of German Studies.
Omer Bartov spoke on the benefits, and limitations, of exploring the Holocaust as it transpired on the local level, and as it was recounted by its protagonists. What can we learn from perceiving extreme violence through this prism that escapes us when reconstructing its “grand” narrative? How does this method help in teaching the Holocaust and in relating it to other cases of genocide and mass violence?
“Paul A. Levine`s Scholarly Heritage: Working on the Ukrainian Version of “Tell Ye Your Children” Book and Its Meaning for Holocaust Studies in Ukraine.”
- Iryna Radchenko, Head of Research Department, Tkuma Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies, Dnipro, Ukraine.
Irina Radchenko proposed a vision for one of the most famous books by Professor Paul A. Levine workflow and also problems, and issues raised during its preparation and publishing in Ukraine. Special attention was paid to the importance of this book for the Holocaust studies in Ukraine, primarily in secondary and higher educational institutions of the Ukrainian state. History of the Jewish genocide in Ukraine as part of Ukrainian and European history is a key topic for understanding the problems of modern society development, necessity of the formation an atmosphere of humanism and tolerance.
“Working with Paul A. Levine: Some personal reminiscences about writing together & more.”
- Stephane Bruchfeld, a doctoral candidate at The Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University. S. Bruchfeld is the co-Author of “Tell Ye Your Children…”.
Paul Levine and Stephane Bruchfeld had a very close working and personal relationship over more than two decades, which resulted among many other things in the book “Tell Ye Your Children…”. In his presentation he had related some personal reminiscences and talked about Paul’s importance for Holocaust research and education in Sweden.
- Günter Jikeli, Erna B. Rosenfeld Associate Professor, Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, Indiana University.
“The Initiative Paul A. Levine Library: Why Libraries Matter?“
- Elena Medvedev, Head of The Initiative „Paul A. Levine Library”;
Institute für Jüdaistik, Department of History and Cultural Studies, Frei University Berlin.
Q & A
Two questions that were of interest to the Speakers and Participants are suggested:
1) How can we deal with the fact that not only is the number of Holocaust survivors diminishing but also that of scholars who have worked directly with Holocaust survivors. How can their insights and deep knowledge about the Holocaust be preserved?
2) What was your experience of working with professor Paul Levine? What were his hopes of preserving a meaningful commemoration of the Holocaust and transmitting meaningful knowledge about the Holocaust?