Concentration Camps–The Limits of Representing History

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Date(s) - Thursday, November 2, 2017
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


2017 Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Annual Lecture:

“It was clear to each and every one of us that the things we had seen needed to be told,” wrote the Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi; but how should historians tell the story of Auschwitz and other Nazi camps? How should they write about crimes that seem to defy explanation and defeat language? In this lecture, Dr. Nikolaus Wachsmann reflects on these questions, discussing the challenges of capturing the voices of Nazi victims, perpetrators, and onlookers.


Dr. Nikolaus Wachsmann, Professor of Modern European History, Birkbeck College, University of London

The program will be followed by a dessert reception in the Museum’s Hall of Witness.

The Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Annual Lecture honors excellence in research on the Holocaust and fosters dissemination of important, new Holocaust scholarship. Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff of Baltimore, Maryland, were active philanthropists in the United States and abroad, focusing especially on Jewish learning and scholarship, music, the arts, and humanitarian causes. Their children, Eleanor Katz and Harvey M. Meyerhoff, member and Chairman Emeritus, United States Holocaust Memorial Council, have endowed this lecture.

Image: The ruins of Crematorium II at Auschwitz photographed in February 1945. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Instytut Pamiȩci Narodowej