EHRI Summer School Amsterdam: 12 trainees from 11 different countries

Monday, 7 July, 2014

Read right away about the EHRI Summer School trainees.

The fourth EHRI Summer School in Holocaust Studies got off to a good start. The twelve trainees, that are from eleven different countries, were welcomed at NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, that is host to this EHRI Summer School. They immediately went on a tour of the NIOD and were introduced to the NIOD and EHRI. In the afternoon they had their first lectures, on the use of Holocaust pictures.

International experts on Holocaust research

In the coming three weeks, from 5 July to 25 July, the trainees will be exposed to a full programme. International experts on Holocaust research, like Wendy Lower, Alan Steinweis or Susanne Heim will present and discuss their latest work. Topics range from Collaboration in the Holocaust (Dieter Pohl), to Geographies of the Holocaust (Tim Cole) or Sowjet Jewish Photographers and the Holocaust (David Shneer). The EHRI Summer School in Holocaust Studies is a graduate-level seminar aimed at deepening the knowledge and comprehension of the extermination process of European Jews during World War II. It also provides a comprehensive overview on the most relevant methodologies and sources as well as an update on the current state of research in the field of Holocaust history.

Trainees' research projects

Very important is that the Summer School programme also allows time for presentation of the trainees’ research projects and for performing independent research at the NIOD or another nearby archive or institute. Several times the trainees will go on excursions to for example the Anne Frank House, Camp Vught National Memorial or the sites of Amsterdam’s Jewish history.

Read the complete programme EHRI Summer School Amsterdam

Eleven different countries

The twelve trainees that take part in the NIOD EHRI Summer School come from eleven different countries, including India, Lithuania, Ukraine and Canada. They are all involved in Holocaust research but come from different backgrounds with degrees in German Studies, Philosophy, History, Jewish Studies or Political Science. Some are Ph.D candidates, others already work in a museum or as associate professor.

See all the trainees EHRI Summer School Amsterdam.

It is precisely these diverse backgrounds and nationalities of the trainees that were cited at previous EHRI summer schools as a very positive experience. The exchange of ideas and knowledge, making comparisons and helping each other, proved to be a very successful part of the summer school experience.

Jan Issinger, who participated in the EHRI Summer School in Jerusalem said:

‘Even as all participants came from heterogeneous backgrounds we became a group that exchanged ideas and provided each other with help within our own field of expertise. We learned from the different perspectives and historiographies on the Holocaust in each other’s home countries. Also, the Summer School demonstrated how an interdisciplinary cooperation between historians, sociologists and researchers from literature studies can actually work. As this exchange was driven by our own interests and needs it was not superimposed in any way.’

Read more about the EHRI Summer School Jerusalem report of Jan Issinger.


Another important aspect of the EHRI Summer School is the possibilities it offers to network and establish professional contacts that will endure long after the event.

As Johanna Oettl who was a trainee in the EHRI Summer School Jerusalem told us:

‘The workshops enabled me to gain deeper insight into interdisciplinary fields of Holocaust-research and I also profited from the different backgrounds of the other participants. The lectures triggered many interesting discussions that were also extensively continued outside the workshops. I am hoping to work with some other participants on smaller bilateral projects in the future; I thus found the contacts with both other participants, lecturers and Yad Vashem employees very important and helpful for my future research.’

The EHRI Summer School Amsterdam trainees:

Lauren Bartshe is from the United States, where she was a graduate research assistant at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Having obtained a Master’s degree in German Studies from the University of Missouri, from the fall of 2014 she will be a Ph.D. candidate in Germanic Languages and Literature at Washington University in St. Louis, focusing on issues of representation, memory, and education. Besides English, she reads German and Polish.

Anne-Lise Bobeldijk is from the Netherlands and is working toward Master’s degrees in Eastern European Studies and German Studies at the University of Amsterdam. She has been a research assistant at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Among her research interests are Nazi crimes in Belarus. She reads English, Dutch, German, and Russian.

Rohee Dasgupta is associate professor and executive director of the Centre for European Studies at the Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University, India. She has a Master’s degree in Diplomatic Studies and International Relations, and a Ph.D. in Law from Keele University in the United Kingdom. Her doctoral thesis was an ethnographic study on the renewal of Jewish identity in Poland since World War II. She reads English, Hindi, Bengali, and French, fluently; intermediate-level German, Polish, and Russian, and basic Hebrew, Yiddish, and Spanish.

Milda Jakulytė-Vasil is from Lithuania, where she is a historian at the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, creating, among others, online resources such as a Holocaust Atlas. She holds a Master’s degrees in History from Vilnius University. She reads English, Lithuanian, German, Polish, and Russian.

Adam Knowles is from the United States. A visiting scholar at Emory University, he received a Master’s degree in Philosophy and History at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research. He is working on a book about Martin Heidegger’s public silence about Nazism and the Holocaust. He reads English, German, Spanish, Ancient Greek, and basic Latin.

Irina Matei is from Romania, where she is a lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Bucharest. She has a Master’s degree in German Studies and a Ph.D. dissertation in History from Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, where she researched students from Romania in the Third Reich. She reads English, Romanian, German, and French.

Denisa Nešťáková is from Slovakia. A recipient of a Master’s degree from Comenius University, Bratislava, she is currently both pursuing there a Ph.D. degree in History and working toward a Master’s degree at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien in Heidelberg, Germany. Her research focuses on the relations between Arabs, Jews, and British in British-mandate Palestine. She reads English, Slovak, Czech, German, Polish, and Hebrew.

Jonathan Neufeld is from Canada, where he obtained a joint Master’s degree in European and Jewish Studies, and will be a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Toronto, studying the survival of Jews in Albania during the Holocaust. He reads English, German, French, and Albanian.

Irina Rebrova, who is from Russia, is a Ph.D. candidate at the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism of Technische Universität Berlin, studying the memory of the Holocaust in the North Caucasus, and a Research Associate of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. She wrote a candidate dissertation in History at the Northwestern Academy of State Service in St Petersburg and has a Master’s degree in Sociology from European Humanities University in Vilnius. She reads English, Russian, and German.

Bartłomiej Rusin is from Poland, where he is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Jagiellonian University, Kraków. He has Master’s degrees in Political Science and in Bulgarian Philology, and is a former editor-in-chief of the student scholarly journal at Jagiellonian University’s Institute of Slavic Philology. He has been researching the Jews in Bulgaria and Bulgarian-ruled territory during the Holocaust. He reads English, Polish, Bulgarian, French, and Romanian.

Anna-Raphaela Schmitz is from Germany and a research assistant at the Centre for Holocaust Studies at the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich. She has Master’s degrees in History and Political Science from the University of Trier and in Holocaust Communication and Tolerance from Touro College Berlin. She reads English, German, Latin, and basic Dutch, Spanish and Italian.

Alla Zakharchenko is from Ukraine, where she is an associate professor in International Relations at Odessa Mechnikov National University, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Odessa branch of the National Institute for Strategic Studies. She wrote a candidate dissertation at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Kyiv. Her research interests include Holocaust denial. She reads English, Ukrainian, and Russian, and basic Arabic and Hebrew.

Photo top of the page: NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies