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The Holocaust as an Interdisciplinary Tapestry

Thursday, June 15, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EDT

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An 8 Part Series exploring the multifaceted discipline of Holocaust Studies through unique and previously unexplored lenses

Classrooms Without Borders, in coordination with Tali Nates, Founder and Director of the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre, Madene Shachar, Director, “Talking Memory” online lecture series & International Educational Programs the Ghetto Fighters’ House, Esther Toporek Finder, member of the GSI Coordinating Council, Generations of the Shoah and in partnership with Liberation75 is pleased to embark on this new innovative series “The Holocaust as an Interdisciplinary Tapestry”.

This 8 part series will engage with scholars and experts who grapple with themes related to Holocaust studies. The series will explore the multifaceted discipline of Holocaust Studies through different lenses. The series will include scholars whose research and publications shed new light in this field of study that continues to grow and develop. Our experts will challenge us to understand the causes, impacts, and legacies of the Holocaust.

Our 5th Session will feature

Dr. William Frederick Meinecke Jr. 

German Professionals and the Holocaust


The most significant perpetrators of the crimes committed during the Holocaust are well known: Hitler, Himmler, and Heydrich, as well as the SS, among others. But less known are the contributions of “ordinary” people—doctors, lawyers, teachers, civil servants, officers, and other professionals throughout German society—whose individual actions, when taken together, resulted in dire consequences. Put simply, the Holocaust could not have happened without them. This program will explore the motives and contribution of ordinary German professionals and their contribution to the Nazi racial agenda and to Nazi crimes.

William Frederick Meinecke Jr.

29 May 2012, Historian, William Meinecke, stands for a staff portrait

William Frederick Meinecke Jr.: Born May 16, 1961 in Baltimore Maryland. He received his undergraduate degree in German and History from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 1983. He attended the University of Bonn and Berlin in Germany and received his MA (1988) and also his Ph.D. (1998) in history from the University of Maryland at College Park. The title of his dissertation was Conflicting Loyalties: The Supreme Court in Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1945. In 1992 William joined the staff of the Wexner Learning Center of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.  He was on the design team of the center’s multi-media program on the Holocaust, the Historical Atlas of the Holocaust (Book and CD-ROM) and the Student Learning web site on the Holocaust. His book, Nazi Ideology and the Holocaust was published by the Museum in December 2007. In June 2000 William joined the staff of Museum’s Education Division. For the last twenty years William has worked with law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors and attorneys in the Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust training program. He is currently working in the Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education on programming for the Initiative on the Holocaust and Professional Leadership.

Tali Nates

Tali Nates is the founder and director of the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre (JHGC) and Chair of the South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation (SAHGF). She is a historian who lectures internationally on Holocaust and genocide education, memory, reconciliation, and human rights. Born to a family of Holocaust survivors, her father and uncle were saved by Oskar Schindler. Tali has been involved in the creation and production of dozens of documentary films, published many articles and contributed chapters to different 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), Conceptualizing Mass Violence, Representations, Recollections, and Reinterpretations (2021) and The Routledge Handbook of Memory Activism (2023).

In 2021 she was part of the 12-member Expert Group of the Malmö Forum, serving in an advisory capacity to the Secretariat of the Malmö Forum on their programme on Holocaust remembrance, education and actions to combat antisemitism. Tali serves on many Advisory and Academic Boards including that of the Contested Histories Initiative, the Interdisciplinary Academic Journal of Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center and the Academic Advisory Group of the School of Social and Health Sciences, Monash University (IIEMSA), South Africa.

In 2010, Tali was chosen as one of the top 100 newsworthy and noteworthy women in

South Africa by the Mail & Guardian newspaper and won many awards including the Kia Community Service Award (South Africa, 2015), the Gratias Agit Award (2020, Czech Republic), the Austrian Holocaust Memorial Award (2021) and the Goethe Medal (2022, Germany).

Thank you to our Partners


Future Events in this Series: 

  • September 21 2023 Judaic Studies
  • October 26 2023 Gender Studies
  • November 16 2023 TBC 

Past Events in this Series:

  • February 23 2023 Psychiatry and the Holocaust
  • March 23 2023  Ethics and Law
  • April 27 2023 Education
  • May 18 2023 Film
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