Institute News

Marion Kaplan Named the 2018-2019 Shapiro Scholar in Residence

Professor Marion Kaplan, world-renowned scholar of German-Jewish history, will serve as the 2018-2019 Sara and Asa Shapiro Scholar in Residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research after being awarded its most esteemed fellowship. Professor Kaplan will deliver a public lecture and spend one week in residence at the Center this Spring.

“We are excited to welcome Marion Kaplan, an internationally renowned scholar of the history of the Jews and the Holocaust, to the Center this Spring,” said Center Director Wolf Gruner. “With her widely acclaimed book Between Dignity and Despair, she opened our eyes to how Nazi persecution affected German Jewish families, and especially how women reacted to it. Her important contributions investigate how gender has played an important role in Jewish history in general, and during the Holocaust more specifically. Most recently, her work has broadened and deepened our understanding of Jewish emigration to unfamiliar places during the Holocaust.”

Educated at Rutgers University and Columbia University, Marion Kaplan is the Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at New York University. She previously taught at Queens College, the City University of New York, and has served as visiting lecturer at Columbia University and Princeton University. She is a three-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award for her research on German Jewish life in The Making of the Jewish Middle Class: Women, Family and Identity in Imperial Germany (1991); Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany (1998); and Gender and Jewish History, co-edited with Deborah Dash Moore (2011).

Professor Kaplan has written about the role of women in Weimar and Nazi Germany in her earlier books The Jewish Feminist Movement in Germany: The Campaigns of the Jüdischer Frauenbund, 19041938 (1979) and The Marriage Bargain: Women and Dowries in European History, and the co-edited volume When Biology became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany (1984). She is also the author of Dominican Haven: The Jewish Refugee Settlement in Sosua, 1940-1945 (2008), which tells the story of Jewish refugees’ settlement in the Dominican Republic following Nazi persecution. Her newest book, Jewish Refugees Fleeing Hitler: Hope and Anxiety in Portugal, 1940-45, will be published by Yale University Press in 2019. She is the author of over five dozen articles and over a dozen book reviews.

Professor Kaplan has won numerous awards and accolades, including the 1998 Fraenkel Prize, the 1991 AHA Central European History Book Prize, the 2012 NYU Golden Dozen Teaching Award, the 2014 J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence fellowship at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the 2018 Distinguished Achievement Award in Holocaust Studies from the Holocaust Educational Foundation.

She served as the director of the Leo Baeck Institute from 1983 to 185 and currently sits on its Academic Advisory Committee. Professor Kaplan has also served on the advisory committee of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the academic council of the New York Center for Jewish History, and the editorial board of the Jewish Women’s Archive.

Intended to inspire prominent scholars, the Sara and Asa Shapiro Annual Holocaust Testimony Scholar and Lecture Fund enables one senior scholar to spend time in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research.  This prestigious fellowship is only available through an invitation by staff at the Center.

The fellowship, which replaces the USC Shoah Foundation Yom Hashoah Scholar in Residency, offers fellows the opportunity to use the Holocaust and genocide resources at USC, including the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive, which contains more than 55,000 testimonies of witnesses and survivors of the Holocaust, including the testimony of Sara Shapiro.

Professor Kaplan is the fourth Shapiro Scholar in Residence, following 2017-2018 Shapiro Scholar Christopher R. Browning, 2016-2017 Shapiro Scholar Omer Bartov and inaugural Shapiro Scholar David Cesarani, who passed away just weeks after being awarded the fellowship and for whom the USC Shoah Foundation hosted a symposium honoring his life and work in lieu of the lecture.

Details concerning Professor Kaplan’s lecture will be announced soon.