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Historian to Provide Revised Landscape of Jewish Persecution and Survival During and After World War II

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)August 18, 2016

MAHWAH, N.J. – Dr. Atina Grossmann, Professor of History in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Cooper Union in New York City, will discuss her recent work on “Remapping Survival: Jewish Refugees and Lost Memories of Displacement, Trauma, and Rescue in the Soviet Union, Iran, and India” on Friday, September 23 at 2 p.m. in Friends Hall (SC219) of the Robert A. Scott Student Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey. The Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies will sponsor this event.

Dr. Grossmann will address a transnational Holocaust story that has remained marginalized in both historiography and commemoration. She will map Jewish death, survival, and displacement via what she calls the geographical margins – the colonial and semi-colonial regions including the Soviet interior, Central Asia, Iran, and British India – before returning to Poland and Germany after the war.

Approximately 3.3 million Jews resided in pre-war Poland. Perhaps 10 percent survived (around 330,000 people). Grossmann explained that between two-thirds and 80 percent of all Polish Jews who survived the Nazi occupation escaped to the Soviet Union. Stalin’s Soviet Union provided a refuge in the Soviet interior (Siberia) and then in Central Asia. The refuge may have been inadvertent and involuntary, and conditions were extremely harsh for those who endured them, but they survived.

Atina Grossmann teaches Modern European and German history, and Women’s and Gender Studies. A graduate of the City College of New York (B.A.) and Rutgers University (MA, Ph.D.), she has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, German Marshall Fund, American Council of Learned Societies, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the American Academy in Berlin, as well as Guest Professorships at the Humboldt University Berlin and the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena in Germany.

Dr. Grossmann is author of Jews, Germans, and Allies: Close Encounters in Occupied Germany 1945–1949 (2007), which won the George L. Mosse Prize in 2007 from the American Historical Association for the best book on European intellectual and cultural history and was one of five HSKult ListServ Best Books of the Year in 2008. The manuscript for the book won the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History from the Wiener Library in London in 2006.

She is also author of Reforming Sex: The German Movement For Birth Control and Abortion Reform 1920–1950 (1995) and co-author of After the Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe with Rita Chin, Heide Fehrenbach, and Geoff Eley (2009). She co-edited Crimes of War: Guilt and Denial in the Twentieth Century with Omer Bartov and Mary Nolan (2002), as well as When Biology Became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany, with Renate Bridenthal and Marion Kaplan (1984).


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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