Jean-Marc Dreyfus is a Reader in Holocaust Studies in the History department at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom) and former Director of the European Research Council’s Corpses of Mass Genocide and Violence Program. He has written about the anthropology of genocide, the history of the Jews in 19th-20th century France, the politics of memory and forensic Holocaust studies. He has received research fellowships from many institutions, including the Harvard University Center for European Studies, the Centre Marc-Bloch in Berlin, the Vashem Center for International Holocaust Studies, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
During his residency, Dreyfus explored how Holocaust survivors and liberators discuss corpses and exhumations in 63 testimonies in the Visual History Archive. He argued that while much scholarship about mass violence and genocide has focused on trauma and memory as being products of genocide, there is another direct product of genocide that has not received as much scholarly attention: the bodies of those who were killed. In concluding his lecture, Dreyfus left open the question about the reasons for the lack of discussion of this topic, pointing to several possibilities, including the lack of collective memory framework for such stories to be told.
His book Looting by Decrees. The Despoilment of Jewish-Owned Banks in France and their Restitution, 1940-1953(2003) examined the process by which Jewish-owned banks in France were seized during WII, while Nazi Labor Camps in Paris: Austerlitz, Levitan, Bassano, July 1943-August 1944 (2003) unearthed the history of three forgotten Parisian satellite camps, furniture stores that became sites of forced labor during the Holocaust. These works were followed by Friend, if you fall... Deported Resistance Fighters, From Camps to Memory, 1945-2005 (2005), He Called Me . A Companion of Primo Levi Tells His Story (2015), and The Impossible Reparation. Deportees, Looted Properties, Nazi Gold, War Criminals (2015). Professor Dreyfus then published The Goering Catalogue (2015) and Pour en avec Mein . Et la sur Internet (2016).