The University of Haifa School of History, Strochlitz Institute for Holocaust Research and The Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies cordially invite you to a seminar with Professor Tony Kushner and Dr. Aimee Bunting, of the Parkes Institute University of Southampton on Thursday, October 29th 2015, 13:00-15:00 in the Rabin Observatory, Rabin Building at the University of Haifa.
Greetings and Opening Remarks:
Professor Gur Alroey, School of History, University of Haifa
Chair: Professor Matthew Silver, University of Haifa
Lecture 1: Co-Presents to the Holocaust: Allied Soldiers in Auschwitz and Belsen,
Tony Kushner and Aimee Bunting
Lecture 2: The Holocaust, Slavery and the Contested Memory of Exodus 1947, Tony Kushner
The event is open to faculty and students. For further information, please contact Carolina: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Kushner is Professor in the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations and History Department at the University of Southampton and co-editor of the journal Patterns of Prejudice and deputy editor of Jewish Culture and History. His most recent book is The Battle of Britishness: Migrant Journeys since 1685 (Manchester University Press, 2012).
Dr. Aimee Bunting is Teacher of History and Sixth Form Tutor at The Godolphin and Latymer School in London. She was lecturer in Jewish history and culture at the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish and non-Jewish Relations at the University of Southampton where taught a wide variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses on Jewish history and on the Holocaust. She is now an active Honorary Research Fellow at the Parkes Institute. Her research interests focus on the Holocaust and especially Allied responses and issues of representation. She has published articles on the liberation of Bergen Belsen and on British responses to the Holocaust both during the 1930 and 1940s and today.
Abstracts of lectures
Lecture 1: Co-Presents to the Holocaust: Allied Soldiers in Auschwitz and Belsen
With the minor exception of the Channel Islands, the British Isles were not occupied. Indeed, the myth of ‘Britain alone’ has provided it with a unique and untarnished memory of the Second World War as the nation that defeated the evils of Nazism through military victory. For many years after 1945, the memory of the war in Britain was not linked to the fate of European Jewry even though there were moments of intimate connection which this paper explores. The first, and better known, was the military and medical liberation of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp by British soldiers, doctors and nurses in April 1945. The second, and more marginalised in memory work, were the 1400 British prisoners of war who were housed in a sub-camp of Auschwitz III from 1943 to 1945 and who worked alongside the Jewish victims.
This seminar will explore how these British liberators and prisoners of war wrote and re-wrote their experiences from 1945 through to the twenty first century. They responded not only to changes in their own life cycle but also to shifts in memory in relation to the Second World War as they constructed a usable past. How they juxtaposed Britishness (including within a colonial perspective), Jewishness, universality and particularism through the autobiographical process is at the heart of this presentation.
Dr Aimee Bunting, Godolphin and Latymer School, London and Professor Tony Kushner, Parkes Institute, University of Southampton
Lecture 2: The Holocaust, Slavery and the Contested Memory of Exodus 1947
Exodus 1947 was the most famous/infamous of the ships carrying ‘illegal’ Jewish immigrants to Palestine after the Second World War. This presentation will explore the contemporary rhetoric used by both ‘sides’ and especially that related to slavery and the Holocaust. Alongside the naval/military battle was a struggle over the memory of history – both ancient and recent – in which Britain and the Jewish world attempted to win the moral argument. It will also briefly consider later processes of memory and forgetting in Israel, America and Britain of the remarkable journeys of Exodus 1947.
Tony Kushner, University of Southampton