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

Protectors of Pluralism: Religious Rescue Networks during the Holocaust

The Berger Family Holocaust Lecture

Robert Braun, University of California (Berkeley)

Wednesday, March 30, 2022 / 7:00 pm / Diamond 141

Why did some religious groups protect Jews during the Holocaust while others did not? This talk argues that local religious minorities were more likely to protect for two reasons. First, religious minorities were better equipped to set up clandestine organizations because their members were more committed and insular. Second, religious minorities empathized with targets of purification campaigns. A wide range of sources from across Occupied Europe reveal that Protestants were more likely to rescue Jews in Catholic regions while Catholics facilitated evasion in Protestant areas, underlining that it is the local position of church communities – and not something inherent to any religion itself – that produces networks of assistance to threatened neighbors.

Prior Berger Lecturers

2020-21 — Michael Brenner, “Jewish Responses to the Rise of Hitler”

2018-19 — Natasha Goldman, “Holocaust Memory in East and West Germany”

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”