Participants

Felix Berge studied History and Philosophy at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, and the National University of Ireland in Maynooth. He completed his studies with a Master’s degree in History from Bielefeld University. Since 2019, he is working as a Doctoral Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History in Munich. As part of the INFOCOM project, Felix Berge examines the role of informal communication in the German majority society during the Second World War.

Paula Chan is a Ph.D. candidate in Russian and Eastern European History at Georgetown University. Her dissertation, “Eyes on the Ground: Soviet Investigations of the Nazi Occupation,” examines the work of the Extraordinary State Commission in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic region during World War II. Her research has been supported by a Claims Conference Saul Kagan Fellowship in Advanced Shoah Studies and a Robert A. Savitt Fellowship at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum), among other awards. Her article “Red Stars and Yellow Stars: The Soviet Investigation of Klooga Concentration Camp” was published in the fall 2019 issue of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and an article entitled “Documents Accuse: The Post-Soviet Memory Politics of Genocide” appeared in The Journal of Illiberalism Studies in 2021. She holds master’s degrees in Russian Studies and Library Science. Prior to Georgetown, she worked as an archivist.

Ella Falldorf is a PhD candidate at the Art History Department at Jena University, funded by the Ernst-Abbe Foundation. Her dissertation is about the interpretation of camp experiences, articulated in artworks that were created in Buchenwald and other NS camps. From 2018-2020 she worked as a freelancer at the Art Collection of the Buchenwald Memorial. She is a graduate of the MA program in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa and earned her BA in Art History, Film Studies, and Sociology at the University of Jena. Her article “The Many Faces of the Inmate as a Worker: Artworks of Political Prisoners in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp” recently appeared in The Journal of Holocaust Research (2021).

Tamara Gleason Freidberg is a historian (MPhil by UNAM, Mexico) and a gerontologist (MSc by King’s College London). Author of Di Shvue, los bundistas en México y su participación en la comunidad judía. Her work includes publications on Mexican Yiddish literature and the Jewish Left in Mexico. Tamara facilitates Yiddish sessions at the Holocaust Survivor’s Centre, is an active organiser of the Yiddish Open Mic (London) and Yiddish House London. As a PhD candidate at UCL London, she currently studies the Yiddish press in Mexico, its’ sources and its’ unique role in the communication of news about the Holocaust as it developed.

Laura Hilton is a Professor of History at Muskingum University, where she has taught since 2001. She earned her PhD in Modern European History from The Ohio State University. She has published on Jewish, Latvian, and Polish Displaced Persons, the black market in postwar Germany, and stateless persons in postwar Europe. Recent publications include: “Memorialization, Reconciliation, & Reflection: Teaching the Aftermaths of Genocide in Postwar Europe and Rwanda,” The History Teacher, 2021; Co-Editor, Understanding and Teaching the Holocaust, (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2020); “Postwar Food Rumors: Security, Victimhood, and Fear,” in Food, Culture, and Identity in Germany’s Century of War, Heather Benbow and Heather Perry (eds.), Palgrave Macmillan, December, 2019; and “Who Was ‘Worthy’? How Empathy Drove Policy Decisions about the Uprooted in Occupied Germany, 1945–1948,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies. She is currently writing a book-length examination of the culture of rumors in postwar Germany.

Heléna Huhák is an assistant research fellow in the Institute of History of the Research Centre for the Humanities (Budapest) and got a Ph.D. degree at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest) in 2021. She had been working as a museologist in the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest between 2010 and 2017. She is currently working on a monograph on the history of the Hungarian Jewish deportees of Bergen-Belsen (with András Szécsényi). Moreover, she researches the Hungarian Jewish camp diaries and early post-War memoirs..

Dr Jan Láníček is Associate Professor in Modern European and Jewish History at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He is currently completing a study of post-Holocaust judicial retribution in Czechoslovakia, and also researches Jewish migration to Australia before World War 2 and Australia’s responses to the Holocaust. In 2021 he is the Australian Religious History Fellow at the State Library of NSW.

Jonathan Lanz is a Ph.D. candidate in History and Jewish Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. His dissertation examines the history and memory of the so-called Theresienstadt Family Camp in Auschwitz II-Birkenau. With a focus on the construction of postwar memory debates within survivor communities, Jonathan is especially interested in how questions of gender, childhood, and family intersect with everyday violence in the Nazi camp system. His research seeks to follow the trajectories of Family Camp survivors by examining how survivors constructed their memories of the camp decades after its destruction. Jonathan’s work has been supported by funds from Indiana University and by the Auschwitz Jewish Center. His forthcoming article in Memory Studies examines the Polish and Israeli ‘National Exhibitions’ at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Jonathan has also written on the Holocaust and colonial violence in Open Democracy. You can find him on Twitter @JonathanLanz3.

Caroline Mezger is a historian at the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ) in Munich, where she is leading the Leibniz Junior Research Group project “‘Man hört, man spricht’: Informal Communication and Information ‘From Below’ in Nazi Europe” (INFOCOM). She holds degrees in history from Yale University and Central European University (Budapest), and completed her PhD in History and Civilization at the European University Institute (Florence). Between 2017 and 2019, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Holocaust Studies at the IfZ, where she helped found the international, peer-reviewed journal European Holocaust Studies. Since 2020, she has been an affiliated lecturer at the University of the German Federal Armed Forces, and in 2022, she will complete a term as substitute Assistant Professor in Contemporary History at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Mezger’s publications include the co-edited volume “The Holocaust in the Borderlands: Interethnic Relations and the Dynamics of Violence in Occupied Eastern Europe,” European Holocaust Studies, Vol. 2 (2019), and Forging Germans: Youth, Nation, and the National Socialist Mobilization of Ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia (1918-1944) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).

Anindita Mukherjee is pursuing a PhD in English from Ashoka University. She got her BA in English Literature from Presidency University, Kolkata and her Masters in English from Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her papers have appeared in many peer-reviewed journals as well as book chapters. In 2021, she was a fellow at the Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway, London. She is also a published bi-lingual poet and a member of the Memory Studies Association and Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform. Presently, she is preparing to present her work on Jews in India at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC in May 2022.

Izabela Paszko is a PhD student and a doctoral researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, where she works in the research group ‘Informal Communication and Information „From Below“ in Nazi Europe (INFOCOM)’. Her research focuses on the informal communication during the Second World War in occupied Poland (Upper Silesia region). Ms Paszko is also a participant of the International PhD Programme: Transformations in European Societies. Trained as social anthropologist, she implements anthropological approach to historical study. Ms Paszko is a recipient of German Historical Institute and Institute for Western Affairs Stipends.

Katarzyna Person received her PhD from the University of London and her habilitacja from the Polish Academy of Science. She works in the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, where she leads the Ringelblum Archive publishing project. She has published on the Holocaust and its aftermath in occupied Poland. Her most recent book is Warsaw Ghetto Police. The Jewish Order Service during the Nazi Occupation (Cornell University Press 2021)

Photo: Adam Soller Photography

Christine Schmidt is Deputy Director and Head of Research at The Wiener Holocaust Library, London, where she oversees academic programming and outreach. Her research has focused on the history of postwar tracing and documentation efforts, the concentration camp system in Nazi Germany, and comparative studies of collaboration and resistance in France and Hungary. She completed her PhD at Clark University, has been an adjunct lecturer at Gratz College in the US, and previously worked for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous in New York. Her recent publications include “Those Left Behind: Early Search Efforts in Wartime and Postwar Britain,” in Tracing and Documentation Victims of Nazi Persecution (de Gruyter, 2020); “’We are all Witnesses’: Eva Reichmann and the Wiener Holocaust Library’s eyewitness Accounts Collection” in Agency and the Holocaust: Essays in Honor of Deborah Dwork (Palgrave, 2020); and “’Privilege’ and Trauma: Sieg Maandag’s Climb Upwards,” forthcoming in American Imago in 2022.

Dan Stone is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL). He is a historian of ideas who works primarily on twentieth-century European history. His research interests include: the history and interpretation of the Holocaust, comparative genocide, history of anthropology, history of fascism, the cultural history of the British Right and theory of history. He is the author or editor of twenty books and over eighty scholarly articles. He chaired the academic advisory board for the Imperial War Museum’s Holocaust Galleries redesign, which opened in October 2021, and is a member of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s Experts Reference Group and the UK Oversight Committee for the International Tracing Service Archive.

András Szécsényi is a research fellow in the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security (Budapest, Hungary) and got a Ph.D. degree at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) in 2015. He had been working as Head of Collections in the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest between 2005 and 2017. He is currently working on a monograph on the history of the Hungarian Jewish deportees of Bergen-Belsen (with Heléna Huhák). He is the author or co-author of three books, co-editor of four books, as well as 130 studies, articles, and online exhibitions on the Holocaust in Hungary and on the the Horthy-era.

Laurien Vastenhout is researcher and lecturer at NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam. She is also coordinator of the MA programme “Holocaust and Genocide Studies” at the NIOD / University of Amsterdam. Her main fields of interest are 20th century (comparative and transnational) European History, the Holocaust, and other Genocides. In recent years, she has focused on the responses of Jews to Nazi persecution, and more specifically on the form and function of ‘Jewish Councils’ in Western Europe. She is currently investigating transnational exchanges of information between Jewish representative organisations across Nazi occupied Europe. Vastenhout has received numerous grants and prizes for her research, including the Sir Ian Kershaw Award and the Claims Conference Saul Kagan research Fellowship in Advanced Shoah Studies. Her monograph on “Jewish Councils” in Western Europe is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press (CUP).

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