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Visiting Faculty Spotlight

Nikolaus Wachsmann

Nikolaus Wachsmann with Lauren StokesThe History Department was delighted to host Professor Nik Wachsmann (Birkbeck, University of London) this spring as the Theodore Zev and Alice R. Weiss - Holocaust Educational Foundation Chair in Holocaust Studies. Professor Wachsmann’s most recent book, the award-winning KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps (2015) is a powerful, original account of the camp system lauded for its integration of the perspectives both of camp inmates and of perpetrators. In addition to his public lecture on April 9 (which attracted an audience of fifty or so), Professor Wachsmann also met with undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members in smaller groups. He spoke about his new research on Auschwitz with undergraduates in a conversation moderated by Professor Lauren Stokes (pictured). Together with Professors Ben Frommer and Doug Kiel, he also held a well-attended session for graduate students on the role of historians as expert witnesses in trials. (Wachsmann served on the team that dissected the research of the Holocaust denier David Irving for the defense in the 2000 Irving v Penguin Books Ltd trial in London.) Wachsmann met individually with a number of graduate students working in the fields of central Europe, eastern Europe and the Holocaust. Faculty members had an opportunity to meet with him in a variety of settings, from individual conversations about work to an organized session about narrative and history.

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