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Learning and Understanding: Day 2 of the Summer Institute

This morning Professor Harry Reicher spoke about law during the Holocaust.  Participants learned that in the twelve years of Nazi rule, some 4,000 laws were promulgated.  We also learned that Nazis had no respect for the law, however, they used it as a tool for their own advantage.

Professor Harry Reicher

Professor Peter Hayes also lectured this morning – he spoke about how businesses played a critical role in Nazi power and the Final Solution.  Professor Hayes’s lecture was revelatory in explaining how the interests of the state crept into the inner-workings of many of Germany’s big companies.

Professor Peter Hayes

After lunch we heard from Professor Henry Feingold, another mainstay at our Summer Institute for Teachers.  Professor Feingold discussed immigration policy during World War II, and talked about the seemingly endless “what ifs” from that time period that, in hindsight, we find ourselves asking.  Professor Feingold also reinforced the functionalist sentiment that was touched upon in many other lectures.  Functionalists believe that the Holocaust happened as a function of many factors, where intentionalists believe that the Holocaust was more or less inevitable.

Our day concluded with Gail Rosenthal, who is the director of the Richard Stockton College Holocaust Resource Center which is one of our Centers of Excellence.  She presented the film Daring to Resist, and talked about the importance of using survivor testimony in the classroom.

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