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Holocaust Museums and Memorials Around the World

Thursday, May 26, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EDT

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Classrooms Without Borders, in coordination with Tali Nates, Founder and Director of the Johannesburg Genocide & Holocaust Centre, and in partnership with the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Liberation75,  and the USC Shoah Foundation is pleased to embark on this new innovative Museums and Memorial series where we will highlight different angles of complex memory; grappling with the the challenges faced in defining representation of both Lived Memory and Historical Memory.

Alongside CWB Scholars we will travel with Museum historians, experts, and contemporary witnesses to 10 different regions. We will explore the history behind the exhibits, discuss the nature of memory and memorials, and discover how the world remembers the Shoah and honors the lives we lost. We will also explore how that memory is interconnected to genocides, both past and present. Our experts will challenge us to grapple with issues of cultural identity, responsibility to community, and decision-making, as well as ways in which individuals and nations responded, or failed to respond, to the crisis through close examination of the Museum’s artifacts and memorials.

Our May Event in this Series: ‘Remembering the Holocaust in Austria’. will feature Hannah M. Lessing, Dr Albert Lichtblau & Tali Nates.

Tali Nates

Tali Nates is the founder and director of the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre and chair of the South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation. She is a historian who lectures internationally on Holocaust education, genocide prevention, reconciliation and human rights. Tali has presented at numerous international conferences including at the United Nations (2016 & 2020). She published articles and contributed chapters to many books, among them God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes: Reflections of Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors (2015), Remembering The Holocaust in Educational Settings (2018) and Conceptualizing Mass Violence, Representations, Recollections, and Reinterpretations (2021). In 2010, Tali was chosen as one of the top 100 newsworthy and noteworthy women in South Africa, by the Mail & Guardian. She won many awards including the Kia Community Service Award (South Africa, 2015) and the Agit Gratias Award (2020, Czech Republic). Tali serves on the Academic Advisory Group of the School of Social and Health Sciences, Monash University (IIEMSA), South Africa. She was one of the founders of the Holocaust and Tutsi Genocide Survivors groups in Johannesburg. Born to a family of Holocaust survivors, her father and uncle were saved by Oskar Schindler. The rest of the family was murdered.

Hannah Lessing

Hannah Lessing has been Secretary General of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism since 1995. She has also headed the General Settlement Fund since 2001 and the Fund for the Restoration of the Jewish Cemeteries in Austria since 2010 – three Funds carrying out their work in remembrance of the victims.

Hannah Lessing is Co-Head of the Austrian delegation to the “International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance” (IHRA). Since March 2011, she has been Austria’s representative on the International Committee of the Auschwitz Foundation and Member of the Board of the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance.

In 2001, as a member of the Austrian delegation headed by Ambassador Sucharipa, Hannah Lessing participated in the negotiations on compensation issues conducted by Under-Secretary of State Stuart Eizenstat, which led to the signature of the Joint Statement in Washington in 2001. Following this Agreement, the General Settlement Fund for Victims of National Socialism was established in 2001 in order to achieve a comprehensive resolution to open questions of compensation for victims of National Socialism.

Established in order to express the moral responsibility of the Republic of Austria towards victims of National Socialism, the National Fund carries out a range of activities related to matters of restitution and compensation and the conveyance of historical awareness.

Hannah Lessing has lectured extensively on the work of the three Funds, as well as in connection with national and international commemoration activities regarding the Holocaust.

Dr. Albert Lichtblau

Dr. Albert Lichtblau was Professor of History at the University of Salzburg, Austria, where he is chair and vice-chair of the Centre for Jewish Cultural History. His areas of research include contemporary history, holocaust, genocide and migration studies, but also oral history and audio-visual history. Currently, he was working on various projects like the Austrian exhibition at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum or the Austrian Heritage Collection.

Previous Sessions in this Series:

  • September 23, 2021 Holocaust Museums and Memorials: ‘Generation to Generation: The Evolution of Memorialization’ With Dr. Michael Berenbaum and Tali Nates in conversation with Stephen Smith and James Young
  • October 25th, 2021 ‘Remembering the killing sites 80 years later’ Tali Nates alongside, Omer Bartov, Faina Kukliansky, Robert Jan van Pelt.
  • November 18th, 2021 “Memory, Memorials and Museums of the Holocaust and the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda: A view from the African Continent”.Tali Nates alonside Myra Osrin, Mary Kluk, Owen Griffiths, and Freddy Mutanguha 
  • January 20, 2022 “Remembering the Holocaust in Poland” Tali Nates; Featuring: Edyta Gawron (Schindler’s Museum), Jakub Nowakowski (Galicia Jewish Museum), Tomasz Kuncewicz (Director Of The Auschwitz Jewish Center), and Dariusz Popiela (memorials in the smaller town of Western Galicia)
  • February 24, 2022 “Museums in Context – Creating a new Museum and Memorial”: Michael Berenbaum (many new museums), Tali Nates (Johannesburg), Marco Gonzalez (Guatemala), Rabbi Andrew Baker (Belzec). 
  • March 24, 2022 “The Landscape of Memory in Germany”: with Dr. Florian Kemmelmeier, Memorials in Berlin (Topography of Terror, and an overview of the landscape of memorials). Dr. Matthias Hass, Deputy Director House of Wannsee Conference, Dr.  Matthias Heyl, Director of Education, Ravensbruck & Tali Nates (Johannesburg),

Upcoming Events:

  • Join us in September and October for our 2 final sessions.
  • Details coming soon!

Thank you to our partners:

The full inclusion of people of all abilities is a core value of Classrooms Without Borders. For questions or to make requests for special accommodations contact [email protected]

Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre

Maltz Museum
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