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Elisabeth Gallas
Research Fellow (10/2012 – 09/2013)

Contemporary diagnoses from New York: Jewish interpretations of the Holocaust during the 1940s


GallasThis research project focusses on the attempts at documentation and interpretation of the catastrophic events in Europe made by European emigrants as well as American-Jewish persons during the 1940s in New York. Using publications from the surroundings of the Institute of Jewish Affairs, the Jewish Social Studies, the American Jewish Committee and more, which have hitherto hardly been regarded, it can be demonstrated that especially the dense Jewish organisation landscape of New York housed countless initiatives to report and comment on the developments in Europe. These provide not only valuable contemporary sources that cast a new light on the extra-European Jewish perception of the Holocaust and the resultant plans for the reconstruction of Jewish existence after the end of the war. The texts produced here also provide a hitherto unknown basis for axes of interpretation and horizons of understanding, which developed in the later decades of historical approaches to the fact of the Holocaust and thus question the current periodisation of the history of coming to terms with the Holocaust.


Elisabeth Gallas studied Cultural Sciences and German Studies at the University Leipzig as well as Sociology at the University of Copenhagen; 2005 M.A. at the University Leipzig with a thesis on the reception of literary text by Holocaust survivors in Germany. Since autumn 2005 research assistant at the Simon-Dubnow-Institute for Jewish History and Culture e.V. at the University Leipzig, since November 2012 as the deputy director of the section on Law, Institutions, Politics; 2011 doctoral degree at the University Leipzig with the topic: ‘Saving books. From the Offenbach depot to Jewish thought on history after the Holocaust’.


List of Publications Elisabeth Gallas


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


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