The Holocaust: Germany's Great Crime with John Owen

The Holocaust: Germany's Great Crime with John Owen


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The Holocaust was without question a defining event in German history. Together with historian John Owen, we will attempt to answer the key questions surrounding the European genocide: how did it happen, who is responsible, and how does a nation atone for its crimes?

On January 20, 1942, a group of German civil servants met at a grand villa in the leafy suburb of Wannsee, on Berlin's western edge. Their job that day was to organize the "evacuation" of Europe's Jews. This cryptic language shows that they knew what they were doing was criminal and could be held accountable for it later.

Three years later, also in January, the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland was finally liberated by the Soviet army. Over 1.1 million people were murdered across its 40 sites, but most in the gas chambers of Auschwitz II, Birkenau.

The juxtaposition between the grandeur of the places and spaces where German government officials planned and organized the mass killings of the Holocaust and the grimness of where the executions took place is striking. These contrasts illuminate one of the central questions in Holocaust history: how could a so-called "civilized" society like that of Germany in the 1930s and 1940s decide to murder millions of people purely for their religious or cultural heritage?

This seminar will look at Germany and the Holocaust from all angles beginning with the roots of antisemitism in the country and the rise of the Nazis’murderous government. We will end by considering how Germany has responded to its atrocious history and where the Holocaust fits into the modern nation’s identity.

Led by an expert on German history, John Owen, this interactive seminar will explore the Holocaust in Germany. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of how the Holocaust happened and its impact on contemporary Germany.

John studied History and German at the University of Oxford, eventually specializing in German-Jewish history and the history of the Third Reich. He has been coming to Berlin since he was a teenager and moved to the city permanently a couple of years ago. The tangibility of history, especially that of the twentieth century, never ceases to thrill him in Berlin.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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T
T.G.
Great presentation. Professor Owen was knowledgeable and an excellent presenter. I look forw...

See above.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

w
w.h.
The Holocaust

Clear exclamations very good visuals some of which I hadn’t seen before and very good background information on the conference at Wansee and the Ezingrapen - nazi death squads

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
67%
(2)
33%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
T
T.G.
Great presentation. Professor Owen was knowledgeable and an excellent presenter. I look forw...

See above.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

w
w.h.
The Holocaust

Clear exclamations very good visuals some of which I hadn’t seen before and very good background information on the conference at Wansee and the Ezingrapen - nazi death squads