Christina Wirth Awarded 2023-2024 Robert J. Katz Research Fellowship in Antisemitism Studies

Fri, 07/07/2023 - 12:33pm

Christina Wirth, a Ph.D. student at the Leibniz Institute for European History in Mainz, Germany, is to be the USC Shoah Foundation’s first Robert J. Katz Research Fellow in Antisemitism Studies. She will be in residence at the Institute in April 2024.

As part of the fellowship, Wirth will conduct research on Jewish survivors’ experiences of antisemitism in the immediate years after the Holocaust. This research is part of her broader dissertation project, entitled From ‘Displaced Persons’ to ‘Refugee’: Categorizing and Representing People in Transit (1944-1951), which is part of the CRC project "Human Differentiation" in Mainz.

At the Institute, Wirth will examine what the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive (VHA) testimonies and related institutional records reveal about how thousands of Jews were threatened by antisemitic pogroms, hostile governments, and the antisemitic tendencies of some of the administrators of Displaced Persons (DPs) camps in the aftermath of World War Two. By doing so, Wirth will offer valuable insights into the continuity of antisemitism beyond the predominant focus on its relationship to the Holocaust, and by using oral history testimonies will demonstrate how neither Jewish life nor antisemitism vanished after 1945.

As part of the fellowship, Wirth will produce a research report based on her findings and give a public presentation—currently slated for April 18, 2024—about her work.

Wirth earned a Master of Education with honors in History, German Philology and Educational Studies at Georg-August-University Goettingen, Germany, and a Bachelor of Arts in History, German Philology and Educational Studies at Georg-August- University Goettingen, Germany and Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel. She is currently a member of the academic staff at Leibniz Institute for European History, Mainz, Germany. Her work has been published in several journals in Germany.

The USC Shoah Foundation bestows the Robert J. Katz Research Fellowship in Antisemitism Studies annually to advanced-level Ph.D. students from any university in the world and from any discipline who will use the VHA to advance their innovative research on antisemitism, both historic and contemporary. The fellowship enables the recipient to spend one month in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation. The fellowship is named after long-time volunteer and former USC Shoah Foundation Board of Councilors Chair Robert J. Katz in recognition of his service to the USC Shoah Foundation.


Philip Wood
Pip Wood has worked as a journalist for outlets including ABC and CNN and in communications for the United Nations, multinational development banks, and non-governmental organizations.