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'Jewish criminality' in the Holocaust discussed
Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010
By Sam Jones, College of Liberal Arts intern
PULLMAN - “The Crime of My Very Existence: Nazism and the Myth of Jewish Criminality,” will be addressed at a free public lecture at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8, in Smith CUE 203. Sponsored by the Department of History, the talk by Michael Berkowitz, professor of Jewish history at University College London, is based on his latest book.
The lecture is rescheduled from one last spring that was postponed due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland.
Berkowitz investigates an infrequently considered facet of anti-Semitism that was a critical catalyst in the conception and implementation of the Holocaust: the association of Jews with criminals. From the 18th century to the Nazi assault on the Jews and into postwar Europe, Berkowitz outlines the myths and truths significant to the topic of “Jewish criminality.”
His areas of research include Jewish identity formation and political self-representations, the politics of religion in the British Mandate of Palestine, perceptions of social deviance among Jewry from modern early times to the present, and modes of understanding and misunderstanding the Holocaust.
Berkowitz received his bachelor’s degree from Hobart College and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He has held fellowships at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, the Leo Baeck Institute in New York, the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati and the University of Judaism in Los Angeles.