A lecture by Julia Werner (Humboldt University, Berlin)
2015-2016 Margee and Douglas Greenberg Fellow
USC, Social Sciences Building, Room 250
The photograph above was taken on June 15, 1940 by a German Wehrmacht soldier named Wilhelm Hansen during the ghettoization of the Jews from Kutno, a small town in Western Poland (Warthegau). Within one day the Jews were ordered to leave their homes in the city center and were forced to move to an abandoned sugar factory outside the city. The photograph gives an idea of the blatancy of the situation. In this talk, Julia Werner attempts to tell the story of the ghettoization of the Jewish population in Poland through the lenses of several photographic collections combined with interviews from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive. The use of the interviews allows the viewer to look beyond the pictorial frame and get a more nuanced idea of what happened outside the pictures. Oral history was from the beginning closely connected to photography – not on a methodological level, “but in the historians’ belief that without oral history, as without photography 'history was dead'” (Alexander Freund and Alistair Thomson). The combination of photographic sources with interviews from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive is also an attempt to put the photographed people, the Jews being ghettoized, in the center of the analysis.
(Photo is from Jewish Museum Rendsburg, Collection Harck, no signature, 6,4 x 8,7 cm, b/w print, no caption, photographer: Wilhelm Hansen, Kutno, 15.06.1940.)
Julia Werner is the 2015-2016 USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research Margee and Douglas Greenberg Fellow. She is an advanced PhD candidate in History at Humboldt University in Berlin, where she is working with Dr. Michael Wildt and Dr. Amos Morris-Reich (University of Haifa). She is also currently a Research Assistant to the Chair of German History at the university, in which capacity she works on the DFG-funded project "Photography During National Socialism: Visualizations of Everyday Inclusions and Exclusions, 1933-1945." She has previously served as a Research Fellow at the Bucerius Institute at the University of Haifa, Assistant for Collections and Exhibition Development at the Museum and Archive of the Cold War in Los Angeles, and German Communications Coordinator for the Wende Museum.
Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Julia Werner here.