Module 4: Antisemitism and Racism

Hilary Earl

Dr. Hilary Earl is a professor of modern Europe and comparative genocide studies in the department of History at Nipissing University. She is an award winning teacher and established scholar with an international reputation in the field of Holocaust history, perpetrator studies, and trials of German war criminals. Focusing on perpetrators of the genocide against Europe’s Jewish populations and the Nuremberg war crimes trials that followed World War II, her research incorporates legal, psychological, and sociological methodologies with oral history and testimony. She has published extensively in her areas of research and is the author of the award-winning Nuremberg SS-Einsatzgruppen Trial, 1945-1958: Atrocity, Law, and History. She is the co-editor of two collections of essays on the Holocaust and genocide, is the author of twelve peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and co-author of three amicus curiae briefs to the United States Supreme Court. She has organized major international conferences and workshops, and was named the 2015 Holocaust Scholar in Residence by the Sarah and Chiam Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre, Toronto. She holds a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant and is working on a documentary film with Michaël Prazan about a massacre that took place on Škēede beach, on the Baltic coast of Latvia in December 1941. She is also in the process of creating a research centre for the study of state violence and genocide at Nipissing University.

In this module, we explore why Jews became the special targets of European hatred. We consider different types of anti-Jewish attitudes and behaviours over time and assess how they contributed to the genocide against Europe’s Jewish populations at the hands of the Nazis during World War II (1939-1945). We will consider the issues of historical continuity and discontinuity, and causation. You will be asked to weigh long-term causal factors with more immediate, short-term ones. Ultimately, we will ask to what extent Christian anti-Judaism is to blame for the genocide or if there is something peculiar with Nazi antisemitism that led to a continent-wide murder campaign. In other words, is Nazi antisemitism “old wine in new bottles?”

Lecture by Hilary Earl

In this 6-minute introduction, Professor Hilary Earl discusses the content and aims of the four parts of the module.



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