Sterling Library hosts international symposium to tell an untold history

  • Four protesters, two carrying large placards. One reads "Why no Gypsy representations, Racism betrays idea of Holocaust Memorial." Two are dressed in prisoner garb
March 14, 2023

In April, the symposium Roma, Jews, and the Holocaust will convene an international panel of guests to discuss several topics with enduring relevance: the persecution of both the Jewish and Romani people in early twentieth-century Europe; the experiences of survivors of the genocide, as documented through oral histories; and the ongoing work of activists, historians, artists, and institutions to address present-day racism.

Keynote speaker Ari Joskowicz, associate professor of modern Jewish and European history at Vanderbilt University, will open the program with an evening talk on April 18 about his forthcoming book, Rain of Ash: Roma, Jews, and the Holocaust. Joskowicz’s book won the 2022 Wiener Library Fraenkel Prize. The Fraenkel Prize is a prestigious award for book-length academic manuscripts on the Holocaust, its context, and its broader implications. Joskowicz is also the author of The Modernity of Others: Jewish Anti-Catholicism in Germany and France.

The day-long program on April 19 will feature three panel discussions about the seldom explored comparative histories, the intersections of Jewish and Romani testimonies, and new research on Roma in Czech lands. The panel members represent Harvard, Brown, and Yale universities; the University of Pennsylvania; Charles University and the Institute of Contemporary History, both in Prague; and the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute. Stephen Naron, director of the Fortunoff Video Archive, and Gil Rubin, Fortunoff’s head of academic programs, will provide introductory remarks. 

Roma, Jews, and the Holocaust is co-sponsored by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library; the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies; the Judaic Studies Program at Yale University; the Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasian Studies Program, Yale University; and the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism.

Ari Joskowicz’s keynote address and book talk will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tues., April 18, in the lecture Hall at Sterling Memorial Library. The symposium will also be held in Sterling’s lecture hall on Wed., April 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. See all the symposium events.

Yale Library’s Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies contains more than 4,400 recorded testimonies that tell the stories of Holocaust survivors, witnesses, and liberators from throughout the Americas, Europe, and Israel.

—Deborah Cannarella

Image: Roma protesting in front of a meeting of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council in Washington, DC, July 20, 1984. Photo courtesy of Grattan Puxon Archive, Bishopsgate Institute