„Holocaust Memory in the 21st century“ – How does the Holocaust Memory change in Israel and in Germany and how will the future of memory look like? These and further questions were approached by international students of the MA Program in Holocaust Studies on Wednesday 28th October in the University of Haifa. The fifth researchers seminar is part of a series of seminars, that was was established in the aim of fostering an Israeli-German academic dialogue and providing a platform for new research in Holocaust Studies. The series of seminars is organized in cooperation between the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel, Strochlitz Institute for Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa, the Ghetto Fighters House Museum and Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies.
Within this framework relevant scientists are brought together in order to discuss pertinent topics. This time Prof. Norbert Frei was invited to give a lecture on “The Future of Holocaust Memory in Germany”. Prof. Frei holds the chair for Modern History at Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena and is the Director of the Jena Center 20th Century History. In his lecture Frei criticized the “Memory-Boom” in science. He pointed out that dealing with the Holocaust Memory as a scientific discipline becomes more and more popular and warned to neglect the research about the actual historic event of the Holocaust. This is especially important in light of the German immigrant society, since also migrants need to learn facts about the German past and need to develop a historic consciousness.
A further input was given by Dr. Kobi Kabalek from the Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies. He had spoken with young Germans about “The Future of the Memory” and presented the outcome of his study.
In the following discussion, the international audience also addressed the Israeli culture of remembrance. Students asked about the instrumentalization of memory and about Holocaust Memory without contemporary witnesses.
Program of the Seminar: Holocaust Memory in the 21st Century