/ Events

International Workshop: Dealing with Jewish Refugees during World War II

Refugee Camp Varambé (Geneva), 1942

Refugee Camp Varambé (Geneva), 1942

Who were the different local, national, and transnational actors who dealt with Jewish refugees during World War II? And how did they define the refugees’ needs and interests? These questions were at the core of the international early career researchers’ workshop «Dealing with Jewish Refugees during World War II: Conflicts and Cooperation.» The event took place from 14-15 November, 2018, at the Kollegienhaus of the University of Basel.

 
In her 1943 published essay «We Refugees» Hannah Arendt pointed to the different notions of the term «refugee» and that Jews did not necessarily consider themselves as such. From an inner-Jewish perception, she suggested different terms like «newcomers» or «immigrants». Other actors such as public authorities and (Jewish) relief organizations adopted one or the other notion according to their agendas.

This workshop sets out to pay special attention to the different local, national and transnational actors who dealt with Jewish refugees during World War II. Besides Switzerland as one country where questions of relief were discussed, the geographical focus of this workshop will be open. In addition to existing research on Jewish refugee’s experiences we wish to add new perspectives on the topic of Jewish flight and exile in order to encourage a more profound discussion of the relevant discourses and dynamics.

The workshop “Dealing with Jewish Refugees during World War II: Conflicts and Cooperation” was organized by Barbara Häne, Sarah Hagmann, Catrina Langegger, and Olga Pollack, all members of the Basel Graduate School of History (BGSH). The aim of the organizers was to bring together doctoral students and early career researchers working on the fields of Jewish history, the history of relief organizations/committees and (military/DP/«alien enemy») refugee camps, as well as researchers of migration, refugee and exile studies to discuss and exchange their ideas and perspectives.

The event took place from November 14-15, 2018, at the University of Basel’s Kollegienhaus (Regenzzimmer 111). It was supported by the BGSH and the «Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft Basel» (FAG).  

Further Information: