International Conference: Wehrmacht Detention Sites and the Holocaust

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International Conference: Wehrmacht Detention Sites and the Holocaust

For the first time in English, a new United States Holocaust Memorial Museum publication documents the mass murder of Soviet POWs by Nazi Germany's armed forces, the Wehrmacht. The latest volume of the Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945, which also describes the extent of the Wehrmacht camp system, contains testimony not previously published.

Further debunking the myth of the “clean Wehrmacht,” Volume IV: Camps and Other Detention Facilities under the German Armed Forces includes POW camps, military brothels, and military prisons, some never before detailed. 

Join this international conference to learn more about the findings in the recently released volume. What new avenues for research does it open? How can the scholarship help teach about Holocaust history? Expert panels will discuss research on Soviet, Jewish, and French African POWs, military war crimes, sexual violence, and other topics.

The conference will be held digitally on Zoom. Attendance is open to the public.

Register for the conference at


Thursday May 19, 2022, 9:00 a.m.-1:45 p.m.

Zoom (All Times are Eastern Daylight Time, EDT)


9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

Opening Remarks


Sara Bloomfield

Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)

USHMM Welcome and Honoring Geoffrey P. Megargee


Dr. Lisa Leff

Director of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies (MCAHS)

Mandel Center Welcome


Dr. Dan Newman

Program Manager, International Academic Programs, MCAHS

Conference Format, Moderation, and Introduction of Speakers        



9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Camps and Other Detention Facilities Under the German Armed Forces


Dr. Jürgen Matthäus

Director of Applied Research Scholars, MCAHS

The Wehrmacht Volume and the Encyclopedia Series: The Story So Far


Dr. Alexandra Lohse

Applied Research Scholars Team Lead, MCAHS

Towards the Completion of the Encyclopedia Series: Upcoming Research and Publications


Dr. Dallas Michelbacher

Applied Researcher, MCAHS

Key Research Findings of Volume IV



10:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.




10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust


Dr. Edward Westermann

Professor of History, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

The "Hard East": (Re)framing Hitler's War of Annihilation


Dr. Rüdiger Overmans

Military Historian

The Wehrmacht and Jewish Prisoners of War


Dr. Jeff Rutherford

Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Xavier University

The Fusion of Ideological and Security Goals: The German Army and the Holocaust in the East



12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m.




12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m.

Victims of Wehrmacht Violence


Dr. Regina Mühlhäuser

Senior Researcher at the Hamburg Foundation for the Advancement of Research and Culture

Silences of Sexual Violence and Wehrmacht Brothels


Dr. Raffael Scheck

Professor of History, Colby College

Violence Against French African Prisoners of War


Dr. Maris Rowe-McCulloch

Assistant Professor of History, Regina University

The German Military and Violence against Soviet Civilians: Invading and Controlling Rostov-on-Don as a Case Study



Conclusions and Going Forward by Dr. Jürgen Matthäus