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Spring 2022 Gross Center Lecture Series


MAUS Read-In for Students

The Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the School of Humanities and Global Studies sponsored a MAUS read-in for 35 students on Wednesday April 27 from 3-5 PM in the York Room. Refreshments were served, and together we read MAUS and then had a brief discussion. The students were able to lounge around or curl up with their own brand new copies of MAUS for about an hour after some opening remarks by faculty and before our discussion led by our student representative to the Gross Center Board.


Avinoam Patt Discusses His New Book on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Avinoam PattOn April 25 at 7 PM, ET, Avinoam Patt, the Doris and Simon Konover Chair of Judaic Studies and Director, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at the University of Connecticut, discussed his new book, The Jewish Heroes of Warsaw: The Afterlife of the Revolt, published last year by Wayne State University Press.

Dr. Patt was in conversation with Dr. Mihaela Serban, Professor of Law and Society at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Avinoam Patt is the author of Finding Home and Homeland: Jewish Youth and Zionism in the Aftermath of the Holocaust (Wayne State University Press, 2009) and co-editor of a new volume Laughter After: Humor and the Holocaust (Wayne State University Press, 2020). Until July 2019, he served as the Philip D. Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford, where he was also director of the Museum of Jewish Civilization.  Previously, he worked as the Miles Lerman Applied Research Scholar for Jewish Life and Culture at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). He received his PhD in Modern European History and Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University.


The Holocaust Diary of an Orthodox Jew from Alsace

On March 23 at 7 PM, ET, Alexandra Garbarini, Professor of History and Jewish studies at Williams College, discussed A Terrible and Terribly Interesting Epoch: The Holocaust Diary of Lucien Dreyfus.

A Terrible and Terribly Interesting Epoch was published last year by Rowman & Littlefield. Dr. Garbarini co-edited the diary with Jean-Marc Dreyfus, reader in Holocaust Studies at the University of Manchester and associate researcher at the Centre of History, Sciences-Po Paris.  The program took place under the auspices of The Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and was delivered remotely via Webex.

The extraordinary wartime diary of Lucien Dreyfus provides a rare glimpse into the daily life of French and foreign-born Jewish refugees under the Vichy regime during World War II. Long hidden, the diary was written by Lucien Dreyfus, a native of Alsace who was a teacher at the most prestigious high school in Strasbourg and the editor of the leading Jewish newspaper of Alsace and Lorraine.


Jews Hiding and Passing as Gentiles in Eastern Galicia during the Holocaust

Natalia AleksiunOn February 9 at 7 PM, ET, Natalia Aleksiun, currently a scholar at the Warsaw Institute of Advanced Study and soon-to-be the Henry Rich Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Florida, discussed the research she has conducted about “Jews Hiding and Passing as Gentiles in Eastern Galicia.”  During the Nazi occupation of Eastern Galicia, Jewish men, women and children struggled to survive by hiding, often thanks to the aid of non-Jewish protectors. Dr. Aleksiun examined their daily experiences, how people passed the time together and cared for one another. Jewish written and oral testimonies suggest that traditional roles persisted, shaping survival strategies and relations among Jews in hiding. Then Nazi occupied Poland, after World War II the area was given to Soviet Union and became part of Ukraine, which it is to this day.

Dr. Aleksiun was in conversation with Dr. Maya Poran, Associate Professor of Psychology at Ramapo College of New Jersey.


Genealogy in Researching Holocaust History

Avraham GrollOn February 2 at 7 PM, ET, Avraham Groll, executive director of JewishGen-The Global Home for Jewish Genealogy and Ramapo alum, discussed “Using JewishGen to Research Your Roots – Including Holocaust Related Information” with Jerry Zaks, a retired technology expert, who has done just that.