Wolf Gruner is a German academic. He has been the founding director of the Center for Advanced Genocide Research at the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation since 2014.
It's possible to organize a 20th-century German history course around the date 9 November. In 1918, Phillipp Schedemann proclaimed the creation of a new German Republic. In 1989, 9 November saw the opening of the Berlin Wall.In between, in 1938, Krystallnacht began on the night of 9 November. Krystallnacht, as most students of the Holocaust know, was a short, intense period of state-sponsored terror against those Germans identified as Jewish. It marked a dramatic escalation in the persecution of Jews in Germany.We often assume we know everything there is to know about such a well-studied event. But the contributions to Steven Ross and Wolf Gruner's excellent new volume of essays demonstrate how wrong this assumption is. In New Perspectives on Krystallnacht: After 80 years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison (Purdue University Press, 2019), authors examine media coverage of Krystallnacht, new understanding of the scope and location of the violence, the way in which Krystallnacht has been used in contemporary politics and several other subjects. The essays are uniformly insightful and interesting. As both Gruner and Ross point out in the interview, perhaps the most important result of the project is the identification of a number of new questions historians can ask about Krystallnacht and its meaning. This is perhaps the highest praise one can offer such a volume.Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University. He’s the author of four modules in the Reacting to the Past series, including The Needs of Others: Human Rights, International Organizations and Intervention in Rwanda, 1994, published by W. W. Norton Press.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Holocaust research tends to concentrate on certain geographic regions. We know much about the Holocaust in Poland, Germany and Western Europe. We are learning more and more about the 'Holocaust by Bullets' in the territories of the Soviet Union. This is obviously a good thing. But that emphasis leaves us knowing much less about other regions in Europe. In particular we know less about those areas annexed or subordinated to Germany before the outbreak of war in September of 1939.Wolf Gruner has devoted much of an extraordinarily productive career thinking about these territories. His most recent contribution, The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia: Czech Initiatives, German Policies, Jewish Responses (Berghahn Books, 2019) looks at the Reichs protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Gruner is particularly interested in examining the interplay between local initiatives and the policies and desires of German officials. But his study also alerts us to the danger of assuming that German policies worked in the same way and had the same impact in different spaces. The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia bore some similarities to that in other places, but also differed in ways that lead to new questions and approaches. Gruner has written an important book, one that all interested in the Holocaust should wrestle with.Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University. He’s the author of four modules in the Reacting to the Past series, including The Needs of Others: Human Rights, International Organizations and Intervention in Rwanda, 1994, published by W. W. Norton Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Creator Details

Birthdate
Dec 13th, 1960
Episode Count
2
Podcast Count
1
Total Airtime
2 hours, 4 minutes
PCID
Podchaser Creator ID logo 920381