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The International Institute for Holocaust Research

The John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies

The John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies was endowed by his wife and children in memory of Isaak John Najmann who believed that every generation should know and remember The John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies was endowed by his wife and children in memory of Isaak John Najmann who believed that every generation should know and remember
The Annual Lecture of the John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies, December 2007 The Annual Lecture of the John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies, December 2007

Isaak (John) Najmann was born in Breslau, then Germany, in 1924. The son of Blima and Chuno, he was the eldest of four children, and the product of, in his words, an “intensely Jewish and Zionist family.” In 1939, he was sent to England on the Kindertransport, as were his siblings. John Najmann had a fervent interest in the Holocaust.  A cornerstone of his life was a determination to give meaning to the Holocaust through study, research and preservation of the memory of the victims.  John Najmann passed away in 1998.  In 2003, his wife and children established the John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies, whose purpose is to support the activities of the International Institute for Holocaust Research – Yad Vashem.  The Head of the Institute and incumbent of the John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies is Prof. Dan Michman.  Each year the Institute hosts an annual lecture in John Najmann’s memory.

Activities of the John Najmann Chair

The John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies provides gracious support to the International Institute for Holocaust Research – Yad Vashem so that the Head of the Institute may carry out his important and varied tasks such as the supervision of the numerous research projects on the Holocaust being conducted in the Institute and scholarly guidance offered to the Institute’s postdoctoral research fellows each semester.  The Chair provides the means for the incumbent to present lectures on the Holocaust both in Israel and abroad, to plan international symposia, workshops, and conferences, and to participate in international commissions. All research and activities conducted by the Institute are carried out under the guidance of the Chair’s incumbent.  Prof. Dan Michman is the current incumbent of the Chair and Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research – Yad Vashem.

Past Annual Lectures of the John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies

15 December 2011
Speaker: Dr. Katarzyna Person, Research Fellow
Lecture: The “Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst” in the Warsaw Ghetto: The Creation of the Jewish Police

30 December 2010
Speaker: Dr. Joel Zisenwine, Director of the Deportation Data Base Project
Lecture: Public Mood in Nazi Germany as Reflected in Britiish Intelligence Reports

22 December 2009
Speaker:  Dr. Bella Gutterman, Director of the International Institute for Holocaust Research
Lecture:  A Poignant Account:  The Life Story of Zivia Lubetkin

19 June 2008
Speaker:  Prof. David Bankier, Incumbent of the John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies and Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research
Lecture: The Jewish Question in the anti-Nazi Political Discourse:  New Findings on the Attitudes Toward Antisemitism and Zionism
(This lecture took place at the Imperial War Museum, London, England)

3 May 2007
Speaker:  Prof. Dan Michman, Chief Historian of Yad Vashem
Lecture:  The Ghetto Phenomenon During the Shoah: An Attempt at a New Explanation

13 February 2006
Speaker:  Prof. David Bankier, Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research and Incumbent of the John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies
Lecture:  Shaping the Memory of the Holocaust:  Germany 1945-1947

11 October 2004
Speaker:  Mr. Leonid Rein, University of Haifa
Lecture:  Collaboration in Byelorussia and Its Place in German Occupation Policies

18 September 2003
Ceremony marking the establishment of the Chair