Bergen-Belsen International Summer School 2022: Perspectives on Perpetratorship

Tessa Bouwman's picture
Summer Program
July 18, 2022 to July 22, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Digital Humanities, European History / Studies, History Education, Oral History, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies

As a part of the „Houses of Darkness. Images of a contested European Memory“ (HICE) project, Bergen-Belsen Memorial will host a digital summer school programme from July 18 - July 2022 (with an introductory session on July 8) via Zoom. We aim to gather international graduate & PhD students and young professionals. Building on our long-standing experience with student groups in different settings, we are convinced that we benefit from working with people from different professional and cultural backgrounds.

Bergen-Belsen Memorial and project partners Westerbork Memorial Centre and Falstad Centre have all dealt with the topic of perpetratorship, albeit in varying intensity levels and from distinct viewpoints. The programme will combine experiences and expertise from the different sites and aim to reflect and detangle some of the complex issues that arise when focusing on perpetratorship. Mutual respect is an important value within all of our programmes. We strive to create a safe space for participants to share their views, questions and insights without the fear of being judged or discriminated against.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Individual responsibility and leeway
  • Motivation and dynamics of perpetration
  • Reception and perception of perpetrator accounts
  • Atrocity images and the perpetrator gaze
  • (Transitional) justice




July 8

July 18

July 19

July 20

July 21

July 22



9:30 am – 1:00 pm

Getting to know the Memorial*

9:30 am – 1:00 pm  Getting to know the Memorial*

9:30 am – 1:00 pm
Group work*

From 9:30 am Working with the Houses of Darkness (web) application*

From 9:30 am Group work



2:30 – 4 pm
Live tour on the former camp grounds

2:30 – 4:30 pm Keynote

Dr. Erin Jessee (University of Glasgow) and discussion

2:30 – 4:30 pm
Group work & check-ins with organisational team*

3 – 5 pm

Q&A with Onias Landveld and Jakob Ganslmeier

4 – 5:30 pm Workshop (optional: presentation of group work)


6 – 8 pm

Meet & Greet and equipment checks

Optional: group work, informal get-together

Optional: group work, informal get-together

6:30 – 8 pm Workshop on connections between Bergen-Belsen, Westerbork and Falstad

Optional: group work, informal get-together

6:30 – 7:30 pm Closing remarks


8 pm – open end
Digital aperitivo

*=mix between shorter live sessions and individual & group assignments


The working language of the Bergen-Belsen International Summer School is English. The participants’ language skills must be sufficient to enable them to understand the preparatory texts, follow the sessions and actively participate in the discussions. Sessions will be hosted in CEST (UTC +2). We will try to find times that are suitable across all time zones, but a certain flexibility is required. 

The programme will be hosted on Zoom. Additionally, we will be using an online messaging platform and project management tools for small assignments and workshops. Participation requires internet accessibility and a workspace with suitable hardware (at least Windows 7/Mac OS X 10.10). Additional use of mobile devices is encouraged.

To apply for this year’s Summer School, we ask you to submit a video statement (max. 90 seconds) in which you tell us about yourselves, your expectations of the programme’s topic and what you could contribute. No creative limits are set on how you present your statement, but it should be in English. You can submit your application by filling out this form. Registration will close on May 15, 2022.

Contact Info: