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November 20-22
Sixth Holocaust Studies Conference
Middle Tennessee State University
“The Holocaust and Perspectives of Gender, Class & Race”

Contact Information


Thursday, November 20
“Identity and Race”
2:00 -3:15 PM  Film – “From Swastika to Jim Crow”
3:30 – 4:30 PM  Vandana Joshi, Independent Scholar, New Delhi, India, “Women Denouncers and their Jewish Victims in Nazi Germany”
Anna Dempsey, Independent Scholar, Bexley, Ohio, “The Fate of African Germans during the National Socialist Period”

7:00 PM  Keynote speaker: Andrea Dworkin, author of Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation, “Death, Torture, and Gender: The Holocaust”

Friday, November 21
“Resistance and Reality”
8:30 – 9:30 AM  Joseph Rudavsky, Rabbi, Hackensack, New Jersey,  “Kiddush Hahayyim – Spiritual Resistance in the Ghettos and Camps”
Brenda Gaydosh, American University, Washington,D.C ., “Jewish Resistance and Gender Roles in the Warsaw Ghetto: Who wore the pants?”

“Coping With the Unthinkable”
9:45 – 10:45 AM   Susan Pentlin & Maureen Wilt, Central Missouri State University, “'You must be Strong:' Bronia's Story
Judy Cohen, Women and the Holocaust , Toronto, Canada, “Reflections of a Survivor”

“Poetic Choice: Imagining a Response to the Shoah”
11:00 AM – 12:00   
Talila Kosh, Kibbutzim College of Education & Tel Aviv University, Israel,   “Gendered Op/positions: Remembering and Forgetting in Israeli Literature of Second, Post-Holocaust Generation”
Iris Bruce, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, “The Unspoken Truths of Children: Nancy Huston's The Mark of the Angel and Rachel Seiffert's The Dark Room

 “Indifference and Prejudice: Learning From the Holocaust”
1:00 – 1:45 PM Film - “Deaf Heaven”

2:00 – 3:00 PM William E. Engel, Independent Scholar, Nashville, Tennessee “Teaching Marginality”
William L. Hewitt, West Chester University, Pennsylvania, “Class versus Race as Catalysts in Genocide”

“Leaving Her Legacy: Art and the Holocaust”
3:15 – 4:15 PM  Claudia Barnett, Middle Tennessee State University,“The Personal and the Political: Charlotte Salomon's Life? or Theatre?"
Yan Schubert, University of Geneva, Switzerland, “Gendered Memory? Female Artists and Holocaust Remembrance”

Saturday, November 22

“Class as a Denominator”

9:00 – 10:00 AM Severin Hochberg, U. S. Holocaust Museum, Washington, D.C. , “Class and Refugee Admissions Policy 1933-45: The ‘intellectual' migration”
Rachel Jagoda, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, CA, “M'mizrach u M'maarav: Why Class Remains a Question Between Survivor Communities from Eastern and Western Europe”

“Nazi Definitions of Society: Lives Unworthy of Life?”
10:15 –11:15 AM   Anna Rosmus, Author, Silver Spring, Maryland, “Useless Consumers of Food”
Johnpeter Horst Grill, Mississippi State University, “Teaching the Allgemeine SS Antisemitism?”

“Redemption and Reflection in Writing after the Shoah”
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM  Donna L. Coffey, Reinhardt College, Georgia, "Post-Holocaust Elegy in Anne Michael's Fugitive Pieces ” Ralph M. Leck, National University, California,“ "The Trial of God: The Holocaust and Negative Theology"

“Having the Courage to Care”
1:30 – 3:30 PM Film - “The Nasty Girl,” followed by discussion with Anna Rosmus.

23rd Annual Holocaust Education Week, October 30 - November 11

Features this year include Women in the Holocaust: Faces of Resistance, a comprehensive educational exhibition on the unique roles of Jewish Women during the Holocaust. The exhibit was shown at the Koffler Centre for the Arts, November 2 - 11. The exhibit is a project of the Moreshet Holocaust Research and Study Center, Givat Haviva, Israel.
For more information, see Toronto Holocaust Education Week.


Women and the Holocaust, The Second International Conference

The Family during the Holocaust: Gender-Perspectives
October 13th—15th, 2003, Israel
Featured in Haaretz Newspaper Front Page
Text of Haaretz story on Gender and Holocaust Conference
Women and Holocaust conference participants


The conference took place in Israel in Beit Berl College, Beit Terezin, and Beit Lohamei HaGhetaot. The conference focused on the question of how women and families dealt with the events of the Holocaust and the social and familial break-up resulting from those events. It examined gender-related aspects with regard to the changes in family structure during the Holocaust.  The conference was organized by Dr. Esther Hertzog, Head of the Social Department of Beit Berl College and Batya Brutin, Head of the Holocaust Teaching Program at the college, with Anita Tarsi, Director of Beit Terezin and Naomi Shimshi, Director of the Education Section of Beit Lochamei Hageaot. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Israel provided financial support.

Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel presented a paper entitled “Jewish Women in Ravensbrück Concentration Camp: Gender and Bodily Functions,” based on her forthcoming book The Jewish Women of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, University of Wisconsin Press, March 2004. Prof. Dalia Ofer, the Max and Rita Haber Professor of Holocaust and East European Studies at Hebrew University and a member of the Advisory Board of Remember the Women Institute presented a paper entitled "Motherhood Under Siege."

Other particpants from abroad included Dr. Barbara Distel, Dr. Susanne Urban, and Dr. Irmgard Kloenne of Germany, Dr. Vandana Joshi of India, Prof. Lenore Weitzman and Prof. Esther Fuchs of the United States; and from Israel: Batya Brutin, Aiala Wengrowicz-Feller, Dr. Judith Buber Agassi, Susan Nashman Fraiman, Margalit Shlian, Miriam Akavia, Yehudit Inbar, Frumi Schori, Shai Hervitz, Dr. Irith Dublon-Knebel, Yonat Klar, Dr. Boaz Neuman, Dr. Bracha Rivlin, Yael Nidam-Orvietto, Dr. Sara Shalev, Nama Shick-Eitan, Grace Shushner, Irit Laufer, Ron Cohen.

Goals of the Conference

To advance critical and feminist analysis of the family situation during the Holocaust and formulate new questions which could influence research, education and remembrance.

To present works of research on how parents perceived the role and functioning of the family unit during different periods of the Holocaust—starting with the Nazi occupation, then life in the Ghetto, the beginning of the transports to the East and the annihilation. This gender-oriented research will describe and analyze perceptions, patterns of behaviour, decision-taking processes under changing circumstances.

To encourage research on the status of women and their different roles during the Holocaust within the family in particular and society in general.

To emphasize research on womens’ sexual, individual and collective identity as mothers, wives, daughters, during the Holocaust.

To encourage comparative gender-oriented research dealing with every-day life, personal and familial relationships within different social groups. In this context, factors such as age, origin, religion, family situation, status, education, etc… will be the basis for a comparative gender analysis.  For more information, contact:
Dr. Esther Hertzog
Beit Berl College
[email protected]

The lectures and discussions, which were held in Hebrew and English, included the following subjects:

Mothers in the Ghettos, the Camps and in hiding
Mothers before, during and after the Holocaust
Women with profession in the Ghettos and the Camps - their influence on family life
From house-wives to providers - the transition of the family to the Ghetto
Literature and images of women during the Holocaust
Pregnancy , birth-giving and child-rearing
Hidden labor in the Concentration Camps
Women and medical experiments
Comparison between diaries, poems and letters of mothers and fathers during the Holocaust
Love-relationships in the Ghettoes and the Camps
The trauma of rape during the Holocaust
Grief processes and suicide
Figures of women and their reflection Holocaust remembrance and commemoration
The body and chances of survival - dilemmas
Artistic expression of motherhood during the Holocaust
Sexual identity during the Holocaust
Artistic expression of motherhood during the Holocaust
Mothers and adolescents in the Camps
Sexual identity during the Holocaust
Critical research on family histories
The disintegration of the family and its influence on the changes in parents’ and childrens’ roles
Adolescence and adolescents facing family disintegration
Adolescent identity during the Holocaust
Literature and images of fathers during the Holocaust
The reflection of parenthood in texts of children and youth in the Ghettos
Elderly people and their place/status within the family
The creation of alternative families
Fathers and adolescents in the Camps
Family Camps in the Forest

Photo credit: Ha-Aretz. Left to right at conference: Dr. Irmgard Kloenne, Prof. Esther Fuchs, Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel


Lecture: Women and Ravensbrück” by Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel
at the Holocaust Museum Houston
Tuesday, September 9, 2003, 7:00 PM

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