International Conference, Yad Vashem, Dec. 2012













The End of 1942



A Turning Point in World War II and

in the Comprehension of the Final Solution?


Monday – Thursday

17-20 December 2012



The conference proceedings will be in Hebrew and English with simultaneous translation in Yad Vashem Auditorium, Har Hazikaron, Jerusalem



*     *     *

Monday, 17 December 2012


09:30-10:00 Gathering 


10:00-11:30 Opening Session


Chair: Bella Gutterman, Director of the International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad

          Vashem, Jerusalem


Opening Remark: Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Jerusalem

     Yom Tov Assis, Chairman of the Ben-Zvi Institute, Jerusalem



Dan Michman, Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research and Incumbent of the John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem; Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan


Keynote Address: Antony James Beevor, Visiting Professor at University of London; University of Kent

The Eastern Front and the Military Context, 1941-1942


11:30-12:00 Coffee Break


12:00-12:45 Session 1 - The Road Towards the 1942 Declarations


Chair: Tuvia Friling, Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, Be’er Sheva


Yehuda Bauer, Yad Vashem; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

What Did They Know – Reconsidered:  The Riegner Telegram


12:45-14:00 Lunch Break


14:00-15:15 Session 2 - The Allied Declaration and Its Impact


Chair: Colette Avital, Chair, Center of Organization of Holocaust Survivors in Israel


Florent Brayard,  Historical Research Center (EHESS), Paris

Those Who Didn’t Believe. On the Reception of the Inter-Allied Declaration of December 1942


Jan Láníček, University of New South Wales, Sydney

Czechoslovakia and the Allied Declaration of 17 December 1942




15:15-15:45 Coffee Break


15:45-17:00 Session 3 - The Declarations and Statements: What Message Did They Convey?


Chair: Iael Nidam-Orvieto, Yad Vashem; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Dina Porat, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv University

The Jewish Agency’s Announcement of November 23, 1942 and Its Significance – A Reinterpretation


Paul O’Shea, Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies; Rosebank College, Sydney

Pius XII, the Vatican and the Moral Imperative to do Good - Christmas 1942




Tuesday, 18 December 2012


9:00-10:45 Session 4 - Comprehension and Reality


Chair: David Silberklang, Yad Vashem; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Joel Zisenwine, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

The Intelligence Community and the Holocaust:  Was December 1942 a Turning Point?


Gerald Steinacher, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The Red Cross and the Holocaust:  The Years 1942 and 1944 as Turning Points in Humanitarian Intervention


Laszlo Karsai, University of Szeged

The Holocaust as conveyed in the Hungarian Press of 1942




10:45-11:15 Coffee Break


11:15-13:00 Session 5 - The Problem of Real-Time Comprehension


Chair: Dalia Ofer, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Shlomo Aronson, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Allied Theaters of War Worldwide at the End of 1942, and Jewish Fates at the Time


Jürgen Matthäus, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.

The Haziness of Hindsight: Early Jewish Perceptions of Organized Mass Murder and the Post-War Comprehension of the “Final Solution”


Aomar Boum, University of Arizona, Tucson

Between History and Rumor:  The Holocaust in Moroccan National Narratives




13:00-14:15 Lunch Break


14:15-15:30 Session 6 - Italians and Germans in the North African Theatre


Chair: Yaacov Yaniv,  Director of Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, Jerusalem


Patrick Bernhard, FRIAS, Freiburg University

In the Shadow of El Alamein: Italian War Crimes and Persecution of the Jews in North Africa in the Context of the Final Solution in Europe


Yossi Brill, Ben-Zvi Institute, Jerusalem

Last Moments: The Last Days of German Officers in Tunisia in World War II


15:30-16:00 Coffee Break


16:00-17:15 Session 7 -The North African Theatre: Operation Torch and Its Impact


Chair: Bat Zion Eraqi Klorman, Open University, Ra’anana


Meir Zamir, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er Sheva

The Moroccan Sultan's Approach Secret Ties with Germany after Operation Torch and the Involvement of Grand the ex-Mufti Amin al-Hussaini


Michal Ben Ya’akov, Efrata College, Jerusalem

When Was the Turning Point? Official Declarations of the American Jewish Congress After Operation Torch





Wednesday, 19 December 2012


9:00-10:45 Session 8 -North African Jewry in the Immediate Aftermath of Operation Torch


Chair: Thomas H. Goldberger, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States of America


Filippo Petrucci, University of Cagliari, Sardinia

Lasting Impact of Vichy, New Horrors of Nazism: The Existential Challenges of North African Jews at the End of 1942


Emmanuel Debono, Center of the 20th Century Social History, Paris

The Difficult Recovery of the Crémieux Decree (8 November 1942 - 20 October 1943)


Haim Saadoun, Ben-Zvi Institute, Jerusalem; and the Open University, Ra’anana

Jewish Leaders in North Africa During and After Operation Torch:  What Did They Understand, What Did They Do?




10:45-11:15 Coffee Break


11:15-13:00 Session 9 -The Impact of the Turning Tide in North Africa on France


Chair: Haggai Erlich, The Open University, Ra’anana

Simon Epstein, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Forty Days of Admiral Darlan: The Impact of the Algier Cataclysm on the Vichy Regime (November – December 1942)


Alain Michel, Elkana Publishing House

November 1942: Was the German Army's Invasion of Southern France a Turning Point in the Fate of the Vichy France Jews or Not?


Ludivine Broch, University of London

The End of the Line? Allied Landings, Jewish Deportations and French Railways in 1942




13:00-14:15 Lunch Break


14:15-15:30 Session 10 -The Eastern Front


Chair: Konrad Kwiet, The University of Sydney


Kiril Feferman,  Russian Holocaust Centre, Moscow

Keeping Stalingrad in Mind? Fluctuations of German Judenpolitik in the Northern Caucasus, November 22, 1942 – December 31, 1942


Viktoriya Sukovata, Kharkiv National Karazin University

The Holocaust in the Kharkiv Region and the Attitude of the Locals and Soviet Authorities to the Final Solution




15:30-16:00 Coffee Break


16:00-17:15 Session 11

Screening the Film: Apocalypse: The Second World War - Part 5: 1942-1943

(TV-Documentary France 2009; Dir. Isabelle Clarke, Jean-Louis Guillaud, Henri de Turenne, Daniel Costelle; 52 min.; English Version)


Introduction – Tobias Ebbrecht

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem     


Thursday, 20 December 2012


9:30-10:45 Session 12 -Changing Tides of War and the Declarations: 

Reflections in Jewish Writings Under Nazi Rule


Chair:   Havi Dreifuss, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv University


Witold Medykowski, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

Reflection of the News of the German Defeats and Official Declarations about the Mass Murder Campaign Against the Jews at the End of 1942 in Writings of Polish Jews Under the German Occupation


Isaac Hershkovitz, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan

Educational and Rabbinic Responses to Rumors and Developments During World War II the end of 1942




10:45-11:15 Coffee Break


11:15-13:00 Session 13 -Knowledge, Comprehension and Their Impact: Other Aspects


Chair:  Robert Rozett, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem


Zohar Segev, University of Haifa

What did the World Jewish Congress Know About the Fate of European Jewry at the End of 1942?  Sources and Interpretation


Piotr Setkiewicz, State Museum Auschwitz, Oświęcim

The Destruction of Jews in Auschwitz in Reports of the Polish Resistance Movement


Jonathan Goldstein, University of West Georgia, Carrollton (Georgia)

Manila Jewry in 1942: From Survivors to Victims




13:00-14:15 Lunch Break


14:15-15:45 Conclusion

Chair:   Dina Porat, Chief Historian of Yad Vashem, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv University


Keynote Address (2):  World War II – The Political Context

Gerhard Weinberg, Emeritus

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

From Allied Defeat to Allied Victory; From World-Wide Holocaust to a Limited Holocaust


Dina Porat

Chief Historian of Yad Vashem, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv University


Haim Saadoun

Director of the Documentation Center of North African Jewry During WWII, Ben-Zvi Institute, Jerusalem; and Open University, Ra’anana




With the generous support of

The Gertner Center for International Holocaust Conferences

The Gutwirth Family Fund




The Ben-Zvi Institute, The Documentation Center of North African Jewry During WWII Supported by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany




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