Remembering and Dismembering the Holocaust: Implications for Today

The Center for Jewish Civilization invites you to attend our 2022 Yom HaShoah lecture with Professor Alvin H. Rosenfeld.

27 April 2022Register for the online event here.

“Dismembering” is a term that Primo Levi used to describe the various ways in which the facts of the Holocaust get denied, distorted, erased. Throughout our annual Yom HaShoah lecture, Professor Alvin H. Rosenfeld will refer to Levi’s strong stand against such abuse and argue for the imperatives of retaining and transmitting an accurate and truthful record of the past. Its opposite (“dismembering”) and the harm it causes will be exhibited through citing numerous examples of assaults on historical truth, including, most recently, Putin’s goals of “denazifying” Ukraine. The weaponization of Holocaust memory will be shown to tie in to prominent aspects of today’s antisemitism.

About the Speaker

Alvin H. Rosenfeld is a Professor of English and Jewish Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1967 and has taught at Indiana University since 1968. He holds the Irving M. Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies and is Director of the university’s Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism. He founded Indiana University’s well-regarded Borns Jewish Studies Program and served as its director for 30 years. He has been honored with Indiana University’s Distinguished Service Award, as well as the Provost’s Medal “in recognition of sustained academic excellence, vision, and leadership resulting in lasting and widespread impact.” In 2019, he received the President’s Medal, Indiana University’s highest award, “in recognition of sustained excellence in service, achievement, and leadership.”

The editor of William Blake: Essays (1969) and the Collected Poetry of John Wheelwright (1972), he is also the author of numerous scholarly and critical articles on American poetry, Jewish writers, and the literature of the Holocaust. Indiana University Press published his Confronting the Holocaust: The Impact of Elie Wiesel (co-edited with Irving Greenberg) in 1979 and, in 1980, published his A Double Dying: Reflections on Holocaust Literature (the book has since appeared in German, Polish, and Hungarian translations). With his wife, Erna Rosenfeld, he translated Gunther Schwarberg’s The Murders at Bullenhuser Damm, a book on Nazi medical atrocities published by the Indiana University Press in 1984. His Imagining Hitler was published by Indiana University Press in 1985. Professor Rosenfeld edited Thinking About the Holocaust: After Half a Century (Indiana University Press, 1997), a collection of articles by 13 scholars, which includes his essay, “The Americanization of the Holocaust.” His The Writer Uprooted: Contemporary Jewish Exile Literature appeared with Indiana University Press in 2009. His most recent study of Holocaust literature and memory, The End of the Holocaust, was published in April 2011 with Indiana University Press. The book has been published in German, Hebrew, Hungarian, and Polish translations.

About the Moderator

Ms. Marie Harf presently serves as Executive Director of External Relations and Marketing at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is a national security policy and communications strategist who has held a variety of senior roles in government and politics. Most recently, she has served as a Fox News contributor focused on national security and political analysis. Ms. Harf was a key member of Secretary John Kerry’s team during his tenure leading the State Department. From 2015 until January 2017, she was Secretary Kerry’s Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications, where she ran his overall public strategy, legacy, and media planning. She previously served as the State Department’s Deputy Spokesperson from 2013 to 2015, where she was responsible for conducting the on-camera Daily Press Briefings; representing the Department and the Administration in media appearances; and traveling overseas with Secretary Kerry and other senior officials to over 30 countries on five continents.

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