By István Pál Ádám, postdoctoral fellow, CEFRES
Report on a workshop organized by the University College London entitled “Perpetration, Collaboration and Complicity in Nazi-dominated Europe” and held on 21 October 2016.
I was honoured to be invited by the Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London to take part in their workshop and talk about my research concerning the Budapest concierges’ role in the Hungarian Holocaust. This workshop served as a perfect occasion to meet colleagues who work on the field, including as distinguished scholars as Professor Joanna Michlic is (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/institute-of-advanced-studies/people/dr-joanna-michlic). She even chaired the panel in which I presented my paper, and her comments reflected well her expertise. Perhaps the most informative paper of the day was given by Professor Karl Figlio from the University of Essex (http://www.essex.ac.uk/cps/staff/profile.aspx?ID=438), who analysed the psychological background of the Nazi German dictatorship. He talked about how Hitler made the German masses to believe in a bright future. An integral part of this illusion was forming the picture of an eternal enemy, who would endanger this potentially so beautiful future. This enemy was named as the Jewry of Europe, and all the other papers of the conference were highlighting some of the aspects of the campaign fought against this eternal “enemy”. The themes of the conference were not limited to the time of the Second World War. For example, Caroline Sharples gave a remarkable paper on how the buried former Nazi leaders are commemorated, and how this practice troubles the local communities. As she summarized the problem in the title of her speech: “What do you do with a dead Nazi?”
The photo, taken at the workshop by Stefanie Rauch, is showing (from the left) Karl Figlio, István Pál Ádám, Tiia Sahrakorpi and Joanna Michlic