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The University of Southampton

Responses to the Holocaust Study Day Event

10:00 - 16:00
11 March 2012
Avenue Campus, University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Kirsty McLean on 02380 59 4514 or email .

Event details

We will be holding a one-day cultural event in March 2012, consisting of a series of short talks led by experts from within Jewish Studies, English and History at the University of Southampton.

This thought provoking and inspiring conference will consist of a series of talks by experts from the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations which includes academics from History, English and Modern Languages, and will provide you with the opportunity to learn and engage in discussion about the Holocaust from academics of international distinction. The talks will cover a variety of responses to the Holocaust as portrayed on television, in literature and through music. The event will present the opportunity to learn about the impact of the Holocaust and examine responses within Jewish and non-Jewish circles. There will be plenty of opportunities to talk with members of the Parkes Institute, and asking questions after each talk is very much welcomed.


Talks include:


Jewish Survivors and the Archive (Prof Tony Kushner, History)

This talk will explore how Holocaust survivors responded after the war to the world that had been destroyed. Losing in many cases all trace of the past, how did they respond to and remember a place they used to call home?

None Shall Escape: Early Cinematic Responses to the Holocaust (Dr James Jordan, English)

This illustrated talk will consider some of the first American and British films to represent the Holocaust. Covering the years 1940 to 1955, it will focus on Andre de Toth's 1944 B-movie None Shall Escape, a wonderful film (although you may disagree) which predicts the International Military Tribunal and post-war justice.

Music in the Nazi ghettos and camps (Dr Shirli Gilbert, History)

This talk will explore the rich and diverse body of songs that was created and performed in the Nazi ghettos and camps. Across Nazi-occupied Europe, countless victims used music as a means through which to interpret, understand, and respond to what was happening to them. The talk will be illustrated by historic archival recordings.

Food in the Holocaust - deprivation and fantasy (Dr Jane Gerson, History)

Responses to food deprivation are central to the testimony of Holocaust victims. Starvation was one of the primary Nazi strategies in the implementation of the ‘final solution'. This session will look at victims' responses to hunger and the degraded conditions of eating imposed upon them in the concentration camps. One response adopted by some victims was the imaginary recreation of rituals of eating and food preparation based on pre-war memories. The session will study this reaction looking at the role of food and food rituals not only in sustaining life, but in sustaining identity and community as well.

Holocaust as Temptation: The Case of the Jewish American Writer (Dr Devorah Baum, English)

Looking at a number of post-war Jewish American writers this talk will examine the legacy of the Shoah in Jewish American fiction. It will look at the impact of the European genocide on American Jews and consider the emergence of a kind of sacred discourse surrounding the Holocaust that has threatened the freedom of the artist to create and to tell the truth as he or she sees it. Noting some surprisingly comic turns in the treatment of the Shoah by various authors, we will concentrate in particular on the scandalous use of the figure of Anne Frank by that famously scabrous novelist, Philip Roth.

Places are limited, so book your place early to avoid disappointment.

Charges are:

£25 including lunch and refreshments
£20 concessions (UoS students, staff, alumni; over 65's; friends of Parkes)


To book your place, please log into our new secure Online Store to complete the application form and make payment.

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Speaker information

Prof Tony Kushner,Marcus Sieff Professor of the History of Jewish/non Jewish Relations

Dr James Jordan,Research Fellow (Parkes)

Dr Shirli Gilbert,Lecturer in History

Dr Jane Gerson,Part-time History lecturer

Dr Devorah Baum,Lecturer in English

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