Center Director Publishes Co-Edited Volume on Holocaust Historiography
Dr. Thomas Pegelow Kaplan, the Leon Levine Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies, recently published a co-edited collection on Holocaust historiography with Dr. Juergen Matthaeus, the Director of Applied Research at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Entitled Beyond Ordinary Men: Christopher R. Browning and Holocaust Historiography, the volume brings together essays by prominent senior and upcoming junior Holocaust scholars in the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Israel that evaluate the oeuvre of Christopher R. Browning, one of the most influential scholars in the field. Browning's 1992 publication of Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland raised crucial, previously unasked questions about the Holocaust and, literally, transformed perpetrator studies: What made the members of a German police battalion – “middle-aged family men of working- and lower-class background” – become mass murderers of Jewish children, women, and men? How does motivation tie in with other factors that prompt participation in the “final solution”? And what can survivor accounts convey about genocide perpetration? Pegelow Kaplan's and Matthaeus' volume appeared with Ferdinand Schoeningh Verlag, Germany's distinguished 1847-established publishing house with a specialty in contemporary history and is in worldwide distribution. In assessing Browning's crucial work, the contributors and editors also explore the evolution and application of Holocaust historiography, identify key insights into genocidal settings and point to still-existing gaps in our knowledge of humanity’s most haunting problem.