University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies

Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies

Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies

The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS) promotes academic research, education and public awareness on the Shoah, other genocides and current forms of mass violence. Your generous support is key to maintaining the important work of the Center, advancing the hightest quality of scholarship, programs, and educational resources.

Center News

  • Student Opportunities

    CHGS guides and mentors undergraduate and graduate students by organizing courses and workshops, offering grants and fellowships and providing unique opportunities for interaction with leading experts in the field. To find out more click here.

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  • Professional and Educational Resources

    CHGS supports educators through interactive workshops and institutes, facilitated by leading experts of Holocaust and genocide education. CHGS's website offers a myriad of resources for teaching age appropriate lessons about the Holocaust and genocide. To learn more click here.

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  • Chinese Scholar to give talk April 13: "Jews in Modern China"

    Xu Xin (Nanjing University, China), "Jews in Modern China"
    Monday, April 13, 5:00pm
    3M Auditorium
    Carlson School of Management
    University of Minnesota

    In connection with the exhibit "Jewish Refugees in China", organized by the Confucius Institute, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Sabes JCC.


    Xu Xin is the Diane and Guilford Glazer Chair and Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies and Dean of the Institute of Jewish/Israel Studies at Nanjing University, China, and is President of the China Judaic Studies Association, Editor-in-Chief and a major contributor of the Chinese edition Encyclopedia Judaica.

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  • World-leading expert in Holocaust Art and Nazi art plundering to speak at the Weisman, April 14

    April 14, 7pm
    (light reception to precede talk, 6:15pm)
    Yehudit Shendar
    Retired Deputy Director and Senior Art Curator, Yad Vashem
    "The Insatiable Pursuit of Art: Nazi Art Looting -- Perpetrators, Victims, Provenance Researchers"
    Weisman Art Museum
    RSVP at

    Shendar flyer.bmp

    In describing the plunder of art by the Third Reich in his book Nazi Looting, Gerald Aalders writes: "Never in history has a collection so great been amassed with so little scruple."

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  • Events in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide centennial

    As we approach the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Human Rights Program and the Institute for Global Studies will be hosting three days of events to commemorate this centennial. The events will include the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Lecture featuring Professor Bedross Der Matossian, which is open to the public (April 23), a student conference, entitled "One Hundred Years of Genocide" (April 24) and a K-16 teacher workshop (April 25). The objectives of these events are to promote public understanding of the genocide and the fates of those who lost their lives and those who escaped. The events will also analyze responses by the international community (and/or lack thereof), and discuss the long-term implications for international policy and actions to prevent and respond to genocide. In addition to these events the Armenian Community of Minnesota will also be commemorating the genocide with their own special programming.

    April 23, 7:00pm
    Bedross Der Matossian University of Nebraska, Lincoln
    "The Armenian Genocide Historiography on the Eve of the Centennial: From Continuity to Contingency"
    Humphrey Forum

    Der Matossian jpg

    One of the outstanding issues in Armenian Genocide historiography has been the inability of historians to come to a consensus regarding the causes, the aim of the perpetrators, and the process of the genocide. This is due to the fact that the field of genocide studies by its nature is contentious. While most Western and some Turkish scholars agree to the fact that the events that happened to the Armenians during World War I constitute genocide, they tend to disagree on critical issues such as the causes, motives, premeditation, and the actual process itself. Over the course of the past two decades, the historiography of the Armenian Genocide has evolved through the introduction of new methodologies, approaches, and more complex analyses of the Genocide that venture beyond rudimentary and essentialist arguments and representations. These approaches range from arguing that religion and/or nationalism were the main factors that led to the Armenian Genocide, to the argument that the genocide was a contingent event that took place during World War I, represented by a rapid radicalization of the government's policy towards the Armenians. This talk will discuss the development of the historiography of the Armenian Genocide by concentrating on some of the major trends in the historiography and assess their contribution to the understanding of the different dimensions of the genocide. Furthermore, it will provide suggestions about strengthening certain areas in the historiography that still remain in their infancy.

    April 24, 9:00am - 4:00pm
    Student Conference
    Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Room 25

    April 24, 8:45am - 3:00pm
    "World War I and the Armenian Genocide" Teacher Workshop
    1210 Heller Hall

    8:45-9:00 Room 1210 Heller Hall

    9:00-9:15 Room 1210 Heller Hall
    •Introduction (Deborah Jane Title VI programs, Gary Cohen CAS, Alejandro Baer CHGS)

    9:15-10:45 Room 1210 Heller Hall
    •Introductory Session (all participants) The Coming of the War; Lives on the Home Front (Gary Cohen)

    10:45-11:00 Coffee break

    11:00-12:15 Concurrent sessions
    •Room 1210 The War in the Colonies: Africa (Adam Blackler and Patricia Lorcin, including North Africa)
    •Room 1219 The Armenian Genocide (Bedross Der Matossian)

    12:15-1:00 Lunch

    1:00 -2:15 Concurrent sessions
    •Room 1210 The War in the Colonies: India and Southeast Asia (Ajay Skaria and Patricia Lorcin)
    •Room 1219 Minnesotans and the Armenian Genocide: History and Memory (Lou Ann Matossian)

    2:15-2:30 Coffee break
    2:30-3:00 Room 1210 Heller Hall Wrap up

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  • This Week's HGMV Workshop: "An Upheaval of Memory: The Collision of Dutch Resistance Literature and National History"

    Thursday, March 26, 3:00pm
    Social Sciences 710
    Jazmine Contreras
    "An Upheaval of Memory: The Collision of Dutch Resistance Literature and National History"


    This paper examines the Dutch experience of German occupation during World War II through the use of memoirs. These memoirs, written by individuals with firsthand experiences of the occupation, shed light upon the categories of victim, bystander, and collaborator, which tend to be overemphasized when discussing wartime activity. Part of the paper is dedicated to problematizing these categories, especially when they obfuscate wartime experiences that do not fit neatly within the narratives created by the Dutch government. The second half of the paper, examines the memoirs in the context of government narratives which state that the Dutch were simultaneously heroes and victims during the occupation. Despite the explicit overgeneralization of this narrative, its power over Dutch memory of WWII has not diminished. Within academic circles, historians and social scientists alike have debated how to characterize the efforts of the Dutch population in light of the deportation of a majority of the Jewish population. The government has also shied away from engaging with this reality and the rampant anti-Semitism that took place after liberation.

    Jazmine is a second year PhD student in the History Department at the University of Minnesota. Her work focuses on gender and sexuality in the German-occupied Netherlands during World War II, specifically fraternization between German soldiers and Dutch women.

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