CFP: Memory Maps: Early postwar efforts to identify, locate, document and memorialize former sites of Jewish life and death (1944-1955)

Sharon Kangisser Cohen's picture

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Call for Papers
January 3, 2024 to January 4, 2024
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, European History / Studies, Historic Preservation, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Jewish History / Studies


CFP Research Seminar

Memory Maps: Early postwar efforts to identify, locate, document and memorialize former sites of Jewish life and death (1944-1955)

Eli and Diana Zborowski Centre for the Study of the Aftermath of the Holocaust, The International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem

The Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at the University of Connecticut

January 3-4, 2024

Jerusalem. Yad Vashem


The Nazi persecution of European Jewry resulted in large scale devastation; the murder of millions of innocent Jews, the physical destruction of their communities and homes as well as the destructions of the sites of persecution. In some places, there were no signs of physical destruction as sites were used and adapted by the Nazis for their murderous plans, yet the people had gone. On the foot heels of liberation many initiatives across Europe to identify, document and memorialize the formers sites of Nazi persecution began. These efforts were initiated by governmental commissions, organizations, local and international, survivors of individual Jewish communities and individuals themselves. The purpose was manifold; collecting evidence of the crimes in the pursuit of postwar justice, to identify the dead and their remains, to assist in location of relatives and friends, to locate and create an inventory of property and economic life that had been plundered, to provide evidence for the historical record, and to commemorate and memorialize the victims. The aim of this workshop is to examine issues of identification, materiality and commemoration, in the early post-war period. The workshop invites scholars from different disciplines and aims to gives scholars working on these topics the opportunity to present their work.



Suggested topics include:

  1. Initiatives in locating sites of Nazi persecution and mass killing
  2. Mapping destroyed sites and areas
  3. Reconstruction work on destroyed Jewish communal properties
  4. Reconstruction work on former sites of Nazi persecution
  5. Collecting evidence of persecution
  6. Creating memorials
  7. Documenting material losses
  8. Documenting language used in reference to sites of persecution and mass violence
  9. Identification and restoration of Jewish cemeteries
  10. The role of the local population in these initiatives
  11. Survivors’ attempts to locate lost loved ones



Application process:

Abstracts of no more than 500 words and a short bio of no more than 200 words indicating your academic affiliation and research in the field should be sent to: and


Proposal due date: June 1, 2023

Travel and accommodation expenses (for the duration of the workshop) will be covered by the host institutions.


Academic Committee:

Dr. Eliyana Adler, Penn State University

Dr. Natalia Aleksiun, University of Florida

Dr. Laura Jockusch, Brandeis University

Dr. Sharon Kangisser Cohen, Yad Vashem

Dr. Avinoam Patt, University of Connecticut