Auschwitz and Holocaust Memory Today

January 27, 2020

January 27, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration and death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. With 1.1 million victims, overwhelmingly Jewish, the complex was one of the largest sites of murder, and soon became the preeminent symbol of Nazi crimes against humanity. In 2005, the UN deemed the date of the camp’s liberation International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Memory of Auschwitz and of the Holocaust more generally is entering a new stage. Survivors and witnesses are passing from the historical stage. Current events and other memories are competing for the public’s attention. Anti-Semitism and right-wing radicalism are on the rise across Germany, Europe, and the world.

To mark this anniversary and to address these issues, AICGS is pleased to host a panel with leading scholars of history and memory:

“The Federal Republic’s Political and Societal Responses to Auschwitz”
Lily Gardner Feldman, Senior Fellow, AICGS

Lily Gardner Feldman is a Senior Fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University, where she directed the Institute’s Society, Culture & Politics Program until March 2019. From 1978 until 1991, Dr. Gardner Feldman was an Associate Professor of political science at Tufts University in Boston. She has held research positions at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies and Center for International Affairs, and at Georgetown University’s BMW Center for German and European Studies. Dr. Gardner Feldman has published widely in the U.S. and Europe on international reconciliation, German foreign policy, German-Jewish relations, non-state entities as foreign policy players, and the EU as an international actor. Her latest book is Germany’s Foreign Policy of Reconciliation: From Enmity to Amity (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).

“The Awkwardness of Remembering ‘January 27, 1945’: Holocaust Memory during and after the Cold War”
Jeffrey Herf, Distinguished University Professor, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park

Jeffrey Herf is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland, College Park where he specializes in the history of Modern Europe and Germany.  He received his doctorate from Brandeis University in 1981 and taught at Harvard and at Ohio University before coming to College Park in 2000. His recent publications include Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Radical Left, 1967-1989  (Cambridge University Press, 2016), published in Germany in Fall 2019 as Unerklaerte Kriege gegen Israel (Wallstein Verlag);  Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (Yale University  Press, 2009), Sybil Milton Prize of the German Studies Association, 2011; The Jewish Enemy:  Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust (Harvard University Press, 2006), National Jewish Book Award, 2007;  and Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys (Harvard University Press, 1997), George Louis Beer Award, American Historical Association, 1997.).  He has published essays on contemporary history and politics, most recently in The American Interest, The Washington Post,  and The National Interest. He is currently working on a book with the working title: “Israel’s Moment:  Support and Opposition in the United States and Europe, 1944-1949.”

“Auschwitz: History and Icon”
Nathan Stoltzfus, Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies, Department of History, Florida State University

Nathan Stoltzfus is Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University and is author or editor of seven books including Resistance of the Heart: Intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Nazi Germany (W.W. Norton 1996), and Hitler’s Compromises (Yale University 2016).  He has published widely including in academic journals as well as in The Atlantic Monthly, Der Spiegel, The Daily Beast, and Die Zeit.



1776 Massachusetts Avenue NW | Suite 600 | Washington, DC

January 27, 2020

1776 Massachusetts Avenue NW | Suite 600 | Washington, DC