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Barry Trachtenberg

Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History and Director of Jewish Studies Program

Trachtenberg can comment on the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as a range of issues facing Jews around the world.

Biography

A leading scholar of Jewish history, Barry Trachtenberg can comment on the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as a range of other issues facing Jews around the world. For more than 20 years, his research and teaching have focused on the complexities of and controversies in American Jewish history; the Holocaust; Zionism, Israel and… Read More »

A leading scholar of Jewish history, Barry Trachtenberg can comment on the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as a range of other issues facing Jews around the world. For more than 20 years, his research and teaching have focused on the complexities of and controversies in American Jewish history; the Holocaust; Zionism, Israel and Palestine; and modern Yiddish culture.

In his forthcoming book, “The United States and the Nazi Holocaust: Race, Refuge, and Remembrance” (Feb. 2018), Trachtenberg demonstrates that the United States’ response to the rise of Nazism, the refugee crisis it provoked, the Holocaust itself, and its aftermath were — and remain to this day — intricately linked to the ever-shifting racial, economic, and social status of American Jewry. He is also currently writing a book “‘Bible for the New Age’: The Nazi Holocaust and the Exile of Yiddish,” which considers the shifting agenda of Yiddish-language research and the ways that the Nazi Holocaust shaped Jewish historians’ understanding of their task.

Media Appearances

Did U.S. Anti-Immigrant Hysteria Doom the Passengers on the ‘St. Louis’? It’s Complicated.

Tablet

February 27, 2020

“The journey of the MS St. Louis lasted only a period of a few weeks, and yet for many, it has come to symbolize American indifference to the desperation of German Jews seeking safety from Nazi oppression. According to the standard telling, a ship of German Jewish refugees arrived in the United States after being denied entry to Cuba, its initial destination. Rather than allow the passengers to enter the country and find safety from Nazi persecution, President Franklin D. Roosevelt cruelly turned the ship away. Out of options, the St. Louis returned to Europe and soon thereafter, its passengers, abandoned to their fate, died in the Holocaust. This account, with occasional variations, is frequently evoked in discussions of how the United States responded to the Nazi Holocaust.”

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Areas of Expertise

  • American Jewish history
  • Antisemitism
  • immigration policy and Judaism
  • Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • Jewish identity and culture
  • Nazism
  • Race
  • The Holocaust
  • Yiddish culture and language
  • Zionism

Education

University of California, Los Angeles: Ph.D., History

Oxford University: Post-Graduate Diploma, Jewish Studies

The University of Vermont: M.A., History

Glassboro State College (Now Rowan University of New Jersey): B.A., English

Contact

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