Through American Eyes: Jewish GIs’ First Encounter with Holocaust Survivors

Event information
Venue:FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus, GC 140

Deborah Dash Moore, Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of History and Director, Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, will speak on the topic, “Through American Eyes: Jewish GIs’ First Encounter with Holocaust Survivors” at 11:00 am on Friday, February 27, 2009 in GC 140 on the University Park campus. In Europe, Jewish soldiers wore the same uniforms as all American GIs, but they also realized that they were fighting against an enemy that targeted them both as American troops and as Jews. Although most Jewish GIs did not know the grisly details of Nazi persecution, of concentration camps and mass murder, they had heard enough to worry that they might be treated as Jews were they captured. They also understood that few among their comrades-in-arms appreciated that antisemitism was integral to Nazi ideology. So Jewish soldiers’ first encounter with Holocaust survivors occurred within a complex emotional context of identification as military men, Americans, and Jews. But knowledge of Nazi antisemitism did not prepare Jewish GIs for their encounter with survivors. This event is free and open to the public.