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Simon Wiesenthal Lectures

 

The Simon Wiesenthal Lecture series has been held in collaboration with the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DÖW) and the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna since 2007, when the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) was still being established. As an important aspect of the task of education on recent academic insights in the fields of Holocaust research and genocide studies, the lecture series has developed into the VWI's education flagship.

 

The lectures take place every six to eight weeks, with renowned scholars presenting the most recent research insights on the Holocaust to a professional audience as well as a broader public. They showcase the impressive spectrum of this discipline, its numerous questions and issues ranging from empirical-analytical historiography to topics of cultural scholarship, and involve young scholars as well as established academics.

 

The Austrian State Archive as our co-operation partner has since June 2010 provided us with the perfect location for our lectures: the rooftop foyer of the “Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv” at Minoritenplatz in Vienna. This location at the rear façade of the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria is symbolic of the reappraisal of the Holocaust in Austria: After all, this history had been marginalised for decades, just like its immediate historical antecedent, Austrian antisemitism, was cut out of history, its appraisal shoved aside for victims and their descendants to deal with. This has only changed in recent times. The Shoah has simultaneously been moving ever closer to the centre of Austrian historical awareness. It has slowly emerged from the repressed periphery and out of the realm of taboo and silence and into the focus of understanding of Austria’s most recent history. Thus, the Simon Wiesenthal Lectures are held at a place that represents the symbolic and real centre of the Republic and is at the same time also an instance of this turn in the Austrian perception of its own history.

 

 

Simon Wiesenthal Lecture
Dan Michman: Shoah, Churbn, Cataclysm, Judeocide, Holocaust, Genocide (and more). On Terminology and Interpretation
   

Thursday, 23. October 2014, 18:30 - 20:00

Dachfoyer des Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchivs 1010 Wien, Minoritenplatz 1

 

Why do we nowadays use the terms ‚Holocaust‘ and ‚Shoah‘, although a host of other terms were used or proposed both initially and later on? What do these terms mean, where did they originate, and what do they designate? Are they synonyms or do their semantic fields differ? Are they legitimate or not? Why is there a competition between them (and with others)? And what have literature and the film industry to do with their dissemination? In short: do we indeed know what we mean when we speak about ‚the Holocaust‘? In this talk an attempt will be made to understand the complicated links between discourses of survivors and scholars, semantic changes, the impact of historical processes, ideological stances on the use of terminology – and the consequences regarding historical interpretation.


Dan Michmanis Professor of Modern Jewish History and Chair of the Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan and also serves as Head of the International Institute of Holocaust Research and Incumbent of the John Najmann Chair in Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. Born in Amsterdam, he emigrated to Israel and studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, from where he received his PhD in 1978 with a thesis titled The Jewish Refugees from Germany in The Netherlands, 1933-1940. His numerable publications in many languages include Die Historiographie der Shoah aus jüdischer Sicht: Konzeptualisierungen, Terminologie, Anschauungen, Grundfragen (2002) and The Emergence of Jewish Ghettos During the Holocaust (2011).

 

141001 Einladung Lecture 35 Michman WEB

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:

 

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