CFP: Beyond Camps and Forced Labour

Christine Schmidt's picture
March 31, 2020
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Jewish History / Studies, Modern European History / Studies, Political History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Beyond Camps and Forced Labour: Current International Research on Survivors of Nazi Persecution (Deadline: 31 March 2020)

Seventh international multidisciplinary conference, to be held at Birkbeck, University of London, and The Wiener Holocaust Library, London, 6-8 January 2021

This conference is planned as a follow-up to the five successful conferences, which took place at Imperial War Museum London in 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015 and at Birkbeck, University of London, and The Wiener Holocaust Library in 2018. It will continue to build on areas previously investigated, and also open up new fields of academic enquiry.

The aim is to bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines who are engaged in research on all groups of survivors of Nazi persecution. These will include - but are not limited to - Jews, Roma and Sinti, Slavonic peoples, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, Soviet prisoners of war, political dissidents, members of underground movements, the disabled, the so-called ‘racially impure’, and forced labourers. For the purpose of the conference, a ‘survivor’ is defined as anyone who suffered any form of persecution by the Nazis or their allies as a result of the Nazis’ racial, political, ideological or ethnic policies from 1933 to 1945, and who survived the Second World War.

The organisers welcome proposals which focus on topics and themes of the ‘life after’, ranging from the experience of liberation to the trans-generational impact of persecution, individual and collective memory and consciousness, and questions of theory and methodology.

In response to recent scholarly debate and feedback, we have received from the last conference, for this seventh conference we are keen to encourage in particular papers on:

- Victimhood and survival in changing public discourse

- The relationship between Holocaust education and education on antisemitism

- Histories of key concepts, e.g. ‘victims’, ‘survivors’

As previously, we also warmly welcome new research in the following areas:

- DPs in post-war Europe

- Former forced labourers in central, east and south-east Europe

- Relief and rehabilitation

- Reception and resettlement

- Comparative experiences of Jewish and non-Jewish survivors

- Jewish returnees from the Soviet Union

- Literary representation of survival

- Survivors in ‘grey zones’, including kapos

- Soviet and other prisoners of war

- The legacy of euthanasia and medical experiments

- Exiles, émigrés and refugees in the reconstruction process

- Rescuers and liberators

- Child survivors

- Gender and survival

- Physical and psychological consequences

- Trials and justice

- Reparation and restitution

- Film, photography and other visual representations

- Memory and testimony

- Museums and memorials

- Archives and record-building

Panel proposals are welcome.

We particularly encourage early career scholars and PhD candidates to apply, and we are pleased to announce that the Toni Schiff Memorial Fund will support with travel grants a number of speakers who focus on Jewish survivors.

Please send an abstract of 200-250 words together with a biography of 50-100 words by
31 March 2020 to Dieter Steinert

All proposals are subject to a review process.

Fees: GBP85 for speakers. The fee includes admission to all panels and evening events, lunches and refreshments during the conference. Further information and registration details will be made available in due course.


The conference is being organised by:

Suzanne Bardgett, Imperial War Museums, London

David Feldman, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London

Jessica Reinisch, Birkbeck, University of London

Christine Schmidt, The Wiener Holocaust Library, London

Toby Simpson, The Wiener Holocaust Library, London

Johannes-Dieter Steinert, University of Wolverhampton

Dan Stone, Royal Holloway, University of London

Contact Info: 

Dieter Steinert