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Noah Benninga

Gerda Henkel – Research Fellow (03/2022-08/2022)


Rachel Auerbach: An Intellectual Biography


BenningaRachel Auerbach (1899, Lanowitz – 1976, Jerusalem) was one of only three survivors from the Warsaw Ghetto Oyneg Shabes Archive. A writer, journalist, and Yiddish activist, Auerbach was a public intellectual and activist, who played a central role both in the history of the Holocaust and its postwar historiography. Yet Auerbach has still to receive serious academic attention. This project will aim to collect, review, and treat all of Auerbach’s texts, including her correspondence and unpublished writings, with a view to better understanding her major works, the development of her thought, and its place within the historical context in which it took shape, as well as her intellectual relationships, and her personal life. Her work, attentive to the common people, to the everyday, to gender, language, and memory, can impart important insights about prewar Yiddish culture, the Holocaust, and the emergence of the postwar figure of the survivor.


Noah Benninga is a postdoctoral fellow at the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University. His Ph.D., The Material Culture of Prisoners in Auschwitz (Hebrew University), uses witness testimony to study the material culture and everyday life of prisoners in the ‘Metropolis of Death’. He is the author of a number of scholarly publications, and the co-editor of a volume on Personal Engagement and the Study of the Holocaust (Vallentine Mitchell, 2015) includes contributions from Hayden White, Otto Dov Kulka and Aleida Assmann, among others.


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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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