Yiddish in the Aftermath: Reading Archival Sources on the Holocaust, Public Lecture by Karen Auerbach (Semester 1 Series,Thursday 21 March, 7.30pm H116)

Yiddish vocabulary that developed during the Holocaust reflected the experiences and preoccupations of East European Jews in conditions of persecution and genocide. This talk will use a postwar Yiddish dictionary of wartime vocabulary as a guide to testimonies and diaries, shedding light on everyday life during the Holocaust.

Karen Auerbach is the Jacob Kronhill Lecturer in East European Jewish History in the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation in the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies. She completed her Ph.D. at Brandeis University in 2009. Most recently she was a fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan and at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

She has also held teaching positions at the University of Southampton in England and at Brown and Virginia Tech universities in the United States as well as research positions at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.

Karen’s research expertise is in Polish Jewish history and the history of the Holocaust. She is completing a book titled “A Window on Warsaw: The Jewish Families of 16 Ujazdowskie Avenue after the Holocaust,” which is a microhistory of Jewish integration in postwar Poland focusing on ten families who were neighbors in an apartment building in Warsaw.

Her current research focuses on Jewish booksellers and publishers of Polish literature in nineteenth-century Warsaw.

She is also completing a secondary project examining the spread of information among Jews within Nazi-occupied Europe during the earliest stages of the Holocaust in 1941 and 1942. Previous to her doctoral studies, Karen published numerous articles in the New York-based Forward newspaper about Jewish life in contemporary Poland.

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