CFP: The Yad Vashem Biennial International Conference

The End of 1942 – A Turning Point in World War II and in the Comprehension of the Final Solution?

(in cooperation with The Ben-Zvi Institute, The Documentation Center of North African Jewry during WWII)

December 17-20, 2012

The application deadline is May 1, 2012. Please send application submissions by email, using the application form available here, to

Details of conference:

The landing of U.S. troops in North Africa (“Operation Torch”) and the battles of El-Alamain and Stalingrad (November 1942-January 1943) signaled the first major military shift of tides in World War II in North Africa and Europe. At the same time, information about the mass murder campaign against the Jews (carried out by the Germans and their accomplices) accumulated and assembled by governments and individuals in the free world, led to several official declarations to that effect, first by the Jewish Agency for Palestine (November 23) and by the Allies (December 17).

The 19th Yad Vashem International Conference of Holocaust scholars will focus on new research examining those turning points along the following lines:

• The connection between the military developments and the spreading of information about the murder of the Jews and its comprehension in the free world.
• The impact of the Allies military successes, including the liberation of formerly German-occupied territories, on the comprehension of the Holocaust in the free world, by Jewish communities and organizations and by the local populations, especially in North Africa and the Soviet Union.
• The impact of the Allies military successes on their readiness to rescue European and North African Jewry.
• The ways in which the declarations regarding the Final Solution were prepared and formulated; in this context, Pope Pius XII’s Christmas speech of that year will also be considered.
• Who among Jews and non-Jews (in governmental circles and among the populations) in occupied and Axis powers countries listened to the declarations and to the news about the German defeats broadcasted from the free world and how did they interpret them in letters, diaries etc.
• How were the declarations comprehended by Jews and non-Jews in the free world, in letters and diaries, in internal discussions in organizations, in letters-to-the-editor in newspapers, in governmental circles, in sermons of rabbis and clergymen, and the like?
• What impact did the declarations and the German defeats have on the initiating of rescue attempts and schemes by the Yishuv and by Jewish organizations in the free world?
• Did Operation Torch and the liberation of North Africa result in a new understanding of the place of North African Jewry in the Jewish world? What was the effect of the legacy of Vichy in the immediate aftermath of liberation in North African countries?

The conference will take place at Yad Vashem on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, Israel.

Submission Procedure
All application materials must be submitted in English or Hebrew and received by the Institute no later than May 1, 2012. An application consists of:

• Completed application form
• A 400-word abstract proposal
• Curriculum Vitae
• Short academic biography (15-20 lines)

The application materials should be emailed to

Participants will be selected and notified by June 1, 2012.

The conference will be conducted in English and in Hebrew with simultaneous translation. A copy of the lecture either in Hebrew or English must be received by the Institute no later than November 26, 2012.

Hotel and Travel Arrangements
Participants from aboard are asked to purchase their roundtrip economy-class air tickets to/from Israel. After the conference, Yad Vashem will reimburse the participants for their economy-class tickets and for ground transportation shuttle fares between Ben Gurion International Airport and Jerusalem. Yad Vashem will arrange and pay for the hotel accommodations and meals during the conference. **Yad Vashem will not reimburse for meals during one’s travel and for ground transportation to/from the airports abroad.**

About Yad Vashem and the International Institute for Holocaust Research
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, is located on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, and was established in 1953 by an act of the Knesset – the Israeli parliament – in order to enshrine and preserve the memory of the six million Jews annihilated by Nazi Germany, and the thousands of flourishing Jewish communities destroyed in the process. Yad Vashem is the monument of a nation’s grief. Apart from its role as a commemorative institution, Yad Vashem is recognized as an academic center that specializes in Shoah research and education.

The International Institute for Holocaust Research – Yad Vashem

The Research Institute was formally established in the 1993. It inherited a research and publication legacy dating back to the establishment of Yad Vashem. The Institute is active in the development and coordination of International research; the planning and undertaking of scholarly projects; the organization of symposia, conferences, and seminars; the fostering of cooperative projects among research institutions; financial and academic support for scholars and students of the Shoah; offering MA, PhD and postdoctoral fellowships, and publishing academic research, documentation, conference anthologies, diaries, memoirs, and albums about the Shoah.

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