2016 Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education
Why study women and their experiences in the Holocaust. It was not until the 1980s that historians such as Joan Ringelheim and other academics began to ask the question “Where are the women?” in the story of the Holocaust. This conference is not an attempt to create a competition of suffering between males and females. It is merely an acknowledgement that women’s experiences, because of their gender and socialization, were simply different from men’s.
In the words of historian Myrna Goldenberg, both sexes experienced “different horrors, but the same hell.” Our conference scholars will present their latest research on women in the Holocaust — not as just victims, but as survivors, rescuers, collaborators and even as perpetrators. John Stuart Mill once wrote that the way a society treats women tells us a great deal about how civilized that society is. By exploring the position of women in the Holocaust, we are revealing what half of the world’s population experienced, thereby enhancing our understanding of the chaos and destruction that was the Holocaust.
The Ninth Annual Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education “Women and the Holocaust” took place Oct. 17-19.