How do global institutions preserve or shape the memory of the Holocaust?
Lorena De Vita receives research grant from Alfred Landecker Foundation
How do global institutions preserve or shape the memory of the past – and especially in the case of Holocaust memory? What is the impact of policy and decision makers on Holocaust memorialization at the local, national and international level? And to what extent is the legacy of the Holocaust present in the workings of key institutions of global governance? These are some of the questions that will be answered in the newly-launched research project titled Holocaust Diplomacy: The Global Politics of Memory and Forgetting led by Dr Lorena De Vita. De Vita was chosen as one of four Landecker Lecturers and receives 500.000 euros from the Alfred Landecker Foundation to fund her research for the next five years.
At a time of mounting Holocaust distortion and denial, anti-Semitic attacks in Europe and beyond, and in an era of rising nationalisms and populisms, Lorena De Vita’s research will explore the international history and politics of Holocaust memory to point to the significance, and fragility, of international institutions – and it will therefore serve both scholarship and society.
I am absolutely thrilled to start working on this project. In particular, I am eager to delve into a difficult and delicate topic, that of Holocaust memorialization, which holds societal relevance both at the national and international level.
Applied history lens
Holocaust Diplomacy: The Global Politics of Memory and Forgetting will combine international historical research with teaching and outreach activities, and it will build upon an applied history lens, reaching out to policy-makers, and memory makers, today. Because, De Vita explains, ‘in order for our open societies to thrive in the future; and to counter the increasing polarization of public debate in the present; then analyzing the memory of the past by bridging the gap between academia and civil society is crucial’.
Alfred Landecker Foundation
The Alfred Landecker Foundation is dedicated to securing the future of democratic and open societies. Its Lecturer Program was launched last year with the intention of supporting research on the Holocaust from the fields of history, political science, and social science, because understanding and confronting the destructive violence that lead to the atrocities of the past can help us protect a free future.