Holocaust historian to speak at FGCU on Sunday
Florida Gulf Coast University Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Human Rights Studies hosts a talk by world-renowned Holocaust historian Christopher Browning at 2 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 1 in Academic Building V, Room 112.
The talk, “Remembering Survival: The Starachowice Factory Slave Labor Camps,” is free and open to the public, and no RSVP is required.
Browning is the Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). He is best known for his book “Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland,” a pioneering work that is widely regarded as the most insightful analysis of the motivations of the Nazi murderers on the Eastern Front.
Other major works by Browning include “Fateful Months: Essays on the Emergence of the Final Solution” (1985), “The Path to Genocide” (1992), and “The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy,” (2004). Both “Ordinary Men” and “The Origins of the Final Solution” have received the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category.
Browning has been an expert witness at various trials of accused Nazi criminals in Australia, Canada, and the U.K. as well as in the Holocaust denial trials of Ernst Zndel in Toronto (1988) and Irving v. Lipstadt in London (2000). In 2006, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
FGCU history professor John Cox, director of the Holocaust studies center, studied with Browning at UNC.
“In addition to his marvelous scholarship,” Cox said, “Chris is a great speaker, and we are delighted to host this event.”
Browning is currently working on a case study of the slave labor camps in Starachowice in central Poland, using the testimony of some 260 survivors. Browning’s lecture will address:
What can we learn about the dynamics and survival strategies of a prisoner community?
What can we learn about the relatively understudied phenomenon of the factory slave labor camp?
How can post-war survivor testimonies, despite all the problems of traumatized memory, be used to understand history?
What do we learn about German policies and personnel from survivor perceptions and memories (particularly those that stand in contrast to what we learn through contemporary German documents and post-war German testimonies)?
The lecture is organized by the FGCU Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Human Rights Studies, and underwritten by the Jewish Federation of Collier County and the Ann Jacobson Fund.
For more information, visit www.fgcu.edu/hc