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Past Tenenbaum Lectures




2009 Tenenbaum Lecture

Saul Friedlander
"The Voices of the Witness in the History of the Shoah."

Monday, February 9, 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Reception Hall of the Michael C. Carlos Museum
Free and open to the public, with a light reception to follow

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Saul Friedlander was born in Prague in 1932. His parents were gassed at the Auschwitz death camp. In 1963 he received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Institute of International Studies where he taught until 1988. Simultaneously Friedlander taught at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at Tel Aviv University. Since 1988 he has been Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles where he became the first recipient of the 1939 Club Chair in Holocaust Studies. In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945.

Contrary to most historical writing on the Holocaust, Saul Friedlander considers the victims' voices as an essential element of the overall interpretation. These individual voices are the most immediate testimonies about dimensions of ongoing events usually not perceived in other sources. Like flashes that illuminate parts of a landscape, they confirm intuitions, they warn us against easy generalizations, they tear through the smugness of scholarly detachment.

In his talk Dr. Friedlander will explore these often unheard voices in Holocaust history and offer us his insight into how – in order to try to understand this tragedy – we must weave together the perspectives of both the historian and the witness.


Graduate Seminar:
"Writing an Integrated History of the Holocaust: Methodological Reflections"

The discussion will center on the article “Martin Broszat and Saul Friedlander:  A controversy about the historicization of National Socialism,” in Peter Baldwin, ed., Reworking the Past: Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Historians' Debate, Boston 1990, and will address writing histories in a way that takes into account participant voices.

Monday, February 9, 2009, 3:30 p.m.
Major Room, Bowden Hall 323

Article to be discussed at the seminar


This lecture is sponsored by:

The Rabbi Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies

With generous cosponsorship from:

The Hightower Fund
The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Center for Ethics
Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry
Department of History
Department of German Studies
Department of Comparative Literature
History-Memory-Narrative Working Group (ILA)
Graduate Division of Religion
The Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum

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Last updated: January 27, 2009



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