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Yad Vashem International Research Conference Opens Monday

The End of 1942: A Turning Point in World War II and in the Comprehension of the Final Solution?

13 December 2012

On Monday, December 17, 2012, Yad Vashem’s International Institute for Holocaust Research will open an international conference on The End of 1942: A Turning Point in World War II and in the Comprehension of the Final Solution? The 4-day, 15-session conference takes place in partnership with the Documentation Center of North African Jewry during WWII of the Ben-Zvi Institute and includes lecturers from Israel, the United States, Great Britain, France, Russia, Poland, Australia, among others.

The conference will take place at the Yad Vashem Auditorium in Hebrew and English.

“At the end of 1942, the offensive efforts of the Allies in their war against Nazi Germany and its partners began to bear their first fruit, and the North African theater was the harbinger of this turn of events. It was enough to cautiously plant, for the first time, optimistic feelings about the future of the war,” said Prof. Dan Michman, Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research of Yad Vashem. “Yet at the same time, it began to dawn in the free world and in occupied Europe that a comprehensive and systematic war of annihilation was being conducted against the Jews – which was expressed in official statements and a number of declarations. What was the relationship and to what extent was the interaction between these two developments? How much did the awareness of the unprecedented fate of the Jews change – among non-Jews and Jews? At this conference, researchers from around the world will try clarify these issues from different perspectives, giving special attention to North Africa and its Jewish communities.”

The opening session will take place on Monday, December 17 at 10:00, with a keynote lecture by Prof. Antony James Beevor, Visiting Professor at University of London; University of Kent, on The World War in the Second Half of 1942 – The Eastern Front and the Mediterranean. Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Ben-Zvi Institute Yom Tov Assis, Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research and Incumbent of the John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem Prof. Dan Michman, and Director of the International Institute for Holocaust Research Dr. Bella Guterman, will offer remarks.

The concluding session will take place on Thursday, December 20 at 14:15, and features a keynote address by Prof. Gerhard Weinberg, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, on From Allied Defeat to Allied Victory; From World-Wide Holocaust to a Limited Holocaust. Prof. Dina Porat, Chief Historian, Yad Vashem, and Dr. Haim Saadoun, Director, Documentation Center of North African Jewry During WWII, The Ben-Zvi Institute will offer concluding remarks.

The full program is here.

The conference is taking place with the generous support of the Gertner Center for International Holocaust Conferences, the Gutwirth Family Fund, The Ben-Zvi Institute, the Documentation Center of North African Jewry During WWII (supported by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.)