Jewish 'Headships' and Nazi Anti-Jewish Policies
Thursday, 24 January 2013 from 18:30 to 20:00 (GMT)
London, United Kingdom
How to Deal with the Jews - as Individuals or as Communities?: Jewish 'Headships' and Nazi Anti-Jewish Policies
Prof Dan Michman joins us for this lecture to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
In 1937 the Jewish Department of the SD (SS Security Service) started to develop a concept of conducting anti-Jewish policies through dealing with 'heads', or authoritative representatives, of the Jews as a collective. As the SS was eager to become the dominant force in shaping and implementing anti-Jewish policies, it wanted to both implement the headship idea and be the German agency controlling them. The concept was indeed implemented, step-by-step, and resulted in the establishment of an enormous number of Judenvereinigungen (Associations of Jews) and Judenraete (Jewish Councils), usually initiated and often controlled by SS agencies, throughout Europe and North Africa. These headships were neither part of the 'ghettoization' process, nor an inherent part of the Final Solution, although they played a role in both.
In this lecture the emergence of the 'headship' concept in the Nazi bureaucracy and its complicated implementation process in the varying settings will be depicted and analysed, thus shedding light on the ways in which administrative concepts and fervent antisemitism created effective tools for the persecution of the Jewish communities during the Holocaust.
Dan Michman is Professor of Modern Jewish History and Chair of the Arnold and Leona Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan and serves as Head of the International Institute of Holocaust Research and Incumbent of the John Najmann Chair in Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. He has published extensively on a broad variety of general issues of the Holocaust as well as on Western European Jewry in Modern Times and on the impact of the Shoah on the Jewish world and particularly on Israeli society.