Endowed by Drs. Robert and Patricia (’62, P’96) Berger

Holocaust Memory in East and West Germany

The Berger Family Holocaust Lecture

Natasha Goldman, Bowdoin College

Tuesday, February 26 / 7:00 pm / Colby: Diamond 122

East and West Germany worked through Holocaust memory, in the form of public memorials, in different ways. While East Germany favored socialist realist public sculptures, some artists, by the late 1950s, incorporated elements of the prewar avant-garde in their work–but not without controversy. Meanwhile, in the West, a “safe” approach to public sculpture meant turning to an acceptable modern aesthetic that tended to avoid direct reference to Jews–or to the Holocaust. An investigation of the commissions of two memorials, Will Lammert’s 1957 design for the Ravensbrück memorial, and Gerson Fehrenbach’s 1963 memorial to a destroyed synagogue in West Berlin, reveal complexities that enrich our understanding of post-war Holocaust memory in both countries.

Prior Berger Lecturers

2017-18 — Hilary Earl, “From Perpetrators of Genocide to Ordinary Germans: The Transformation of Nazi War Criminals in Postwar Germany”

2016-17 — Eric Weitz, “The Holocaust and Other Twentieth-Century Genocides: A Comparative Approach”

2015-16 — Marianne Hirsch, “Improbable Images: School Photos in Holocaust Europe”

2014-15 — Olivier Wieviorka, “The French and the Jews during the Holocaust: Persecution, Resistance, and Rescue”

2013-14 — Jeffrey Herf, “Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World during the Holocaust–and Its Aftereffects and Echoes in Recent Years”

2012-13 — Gerhard Weinberg, “Pope Pius XII in World War II”

2011-12 — Robert O. Paxton, “Vichy France and the Jews: Shield or Traitor?” audio file

2010-11 — Hasia Diner, “Not a Silent Generation: Post-War American Jews and the Memory of the Holocaust”

2009-10 — Joanna Michlic, “The Memory of the Holocaust in Poland”

2008-09 — Peter Hayes, “The Holocaust: Myths and Misunderstandings”

2007-08 — Doris Bergen, “The Challenges of Studying the Holocaust”

2006-07 — Christopher Browning, “Remembering Survival: The Factory Slave Labor Camps of Starachowice, Poland”

2005-06 — Phillip Silver, “Hitler’s ‘Model Camp’: Jews, Music, and Resistance at Terezin, 1941-1944”