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Event
Symposium

Holocaust Remembrance: “The Unfit”: Disability under Nazism and Fascism

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Welcoming remarks:
Barbara Faedda
Italian Academy for Advanced Studies, Columbia University

Speakers:
Patricia Heberer
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Giving a Face to Faceless Victims: Profiles of Disabled Victims of the Nazi “Euthanasia” Program

Susan Bachrach
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race

David Forgacs
New York University
Photographing Places of Social Exclusion


Europe and the United Nations commemorate the victims of the Shoah each winter on the date of Auschwitz's liberation in 1945, and the Italian Academy marks Holocaust Remembrance Day with an annual academic event exploring issues of discrimination and crimes against humanity. In past years, the Academy has broadened its focus to explore other minority groups that were targeted by the Nazi and Fascist regimes, and that suffered and died along with the millions of Jews: the Roma and Sinti (or Gypsies) in one case, and homosexuals in another. Persons with disabilities were subject to persecution as part of radical public health policy aimed at excluding hereditarily “unfit” Germans from the national community. According to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, “these strategies began with forced sterilization and escalated toward mass murder. The most extreme measure, the Euthanasia Program, was in itself a rehearsal for Nazi Germany’s broader genocidal policies.”

Susan Bachrach is Curator of Special Exhibitions at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, she is involved in all phases of select special exhibitions at the Museum, including the historic research, identification of artifacts, design, and creation of accompanying publications. She is currently working on a new exhibition, Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity in the Holocaust, that will open at the museum this April. Her last exhibition, Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, is presently traveling to universities and other venues across the country. Since joining the Museum in 1992, Dr. Bachrach has worked on many exhibitions, including Liberation 1945 and NAZI OLYMPICS Berlin 1936. She has written or co-edited a number of exhibition catalogues, including Deadly Medicine, NAZI OLYMPICS Berlin 1936, and most recently, Nazi Propaganda.

Patricia Heberer has served as an historian with the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington since 1994. There she serves as a Museum specialist on medical crimes and eugenics policies in Nazi Germany. Dr. Heberer earned her baccalaureate and master’s degrees from Southern Illinois University; she pursued doctoral studies at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Maryland, receiving her Ph.D. from the latter institution. In addition to contributions to several USHMM publications, she has recently authored a source edition, Children during the Holocaust, a volume in the Center’s series, Documenting Life and Destruction, appearing in 2011. A further publication, Atrocities on Trial: The Politics of Prosecuting War Crimes in Historical Perspective, co-edited with Juergen Matthäus, appeared in 2008 with the University of Nebraska Press.

David Forgacs holds the Guido and Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò Chair of Contemporary Italian Studies at New York University. His publications include Mass Culture and Italian Society from Fascism to the Cold War (with Stephen Gundle, Indiana University Press, 2007) and Italian Culture in the Industrial Era (Manchester University Press, 1990). His latest book, Italy's Margins: Photography, Writing and Social Exclusion since 1861, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.

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Remembrance Symposia at the Academy since 2008

(Talks marked with an
* appear in the Academy's 2016 book, Present and Future Memory: Holocaust Studies at the Italian Academy, 2008–2016)

2008 Law and Science in the Service of Racism: the “Leggi Razziali”
Speakers:
Ruth Ben-Ghiat
New York University
The Italian Racial Laws: Pretexts, Subtexts, Aftermaths
Lidia Santarelli
New York University
The Righteous Enemy?
Fascist Italy and the Jews in Axis-Occupied Europe

Alexander Stille
Columbia University
The Holocaust and the Case of Italy

2009 Anti-Semitism at Home and Abroad
Speakers:
Ira Katznelson
Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University
The Liberal Alternative: Jews in the United States during the Decades of Italian Fascism *
Claudio Lomnitz [originally scheduled]
Director, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity; Professor, Anthropology Department, Columbia University
Dreyfus in Latin America: Anti-Semitism and the Ideology of the Mexican Revolution

2010 Rome’s Jewish Ghetto
Speakers:
Kenneth Stow
Professor of Jewish History Emeritus, University of Haifa
“Doing as the Romans Do” . . . But Also Staying Jewish.
The Challenge of Life in the Roman Ghetto, 1555–1870
*
Irina Oryshkevich
Society of Fellows, Columbia University
Accommodating the Jews in the “New Jerusalem” *

2011 “Racially Inferior”: Roma, Sinti, and Other Holocaust Victims
Speakers:
Krista Hegburg
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
“Unknown Holocaust”: Roma and Sinti in Hitler’s Europe
Robert Kushen
Executive Director, European Roma Rights Centre
Roma in Today’s Europe: Contemporary Patterns of Prejudice and Discrimination *

2012 “Unnatural Indecency”: Sexuality and Homosexuality during
Nazism and Fascism

Speakers:
Ted Phillips
Director, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945 *
Elizabeth Leake
Department of Italian, Columbia University
Fascism and Sexuality in Italian Literature and Film

2013 “The Unfit”: Disability under Nazism and Fascism
Speakers:
Patricia Heberer Rice
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Giving a Face to Faceless Victims: Profiles of Disabled Victims of the Nazi “Euthanasia” Program *
Susan Bachrach
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race *
David Forgacs
New York University
Photographing Places of Social Exclusion

2014 Gender and Anti-Semitism: Women’s Rights Yesterday and Today
Speakers:
Victoria de Grazia
Columbia University
Fascist Men and Jewish Women
Yasmine Ergas
Columbia University
Women’s Rights and Women’s Freedoms: A View from the Present *
Elissa Bemporad
Queens College of the City University of New York
Female Voices of the Holocaust

2015 Music, Fascism, and the Holocaust
Speakers:
Michael Beckerman
New York University
Moravia and the Wild Goose: Terezin, Summer 1944
Harvey Sachs
Curtis Institute of Music
Jewish and Anti-Fascist Musicians in Mussolini’s Italy *

2016 To Be a Child during the Holocaust
Speakers:
Patricia Heberer Rice
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
In Their Own Words: The World of the Child during the Holocaust *
Emily Langer
The Washington Post
“We Are Very Lucky”: Two Young Italian Sisters Who Survived Auschwitz

2017 Looted Art, Nazism, and Fascism
Speakers:
Monica Dugot
Senior Vice President/International Director of Restitution, Christie's;
formerly Deputy Director, Holocaust Claims Processing Office, NY State Banking Department
Jasmin Hartmann
Department for Provenance Research, City of Düsseldorf
"Non signalés par les Anglais." Provenance research on French drawings acquired in France in 1944
Ilaria Pavan
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa; Italian Academy Fellow 2017
Jewish persecution and looted art in Italy: evidence and denial, 1938–2015
Moderator:
Lynn Rother
Senior Provenance Specialist, The Museum of Modern Art

2018 Spaces and Geographies of Concentration Camps: How to Preserve the Memory of Discrimination
Speakers:
Lisa Ackerman
Executive Vice President, World Monuments Fund
Remembering a Difficult Past
Alberto Giordano
Chair, Geography Dept., Texas State University
From the National to the Individual: Narratives of the Holocaust in Italy