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Alum pursues PhD research in Prague with follow up in Israel

January 1, 2013

Alum pursues research in Prague with follow up in Israel

Laura Brade graduated from PLU in 2008, summa cum laude, with a double major in History and German. She took Bob Ericksen’s Holocaust course in the spring of 2006. She then studied for a year abroad in Freiburg, Germany. She completed her History Capstone Seminar with Bob Ericksen on the topic of the “Kindertransport,” the saving of about 10,000 Jewish children who were sent to England just before the outbreak of World War II.

Laura then was admitted to the Ph.D. program at the University of North Carolina and is studying under former PLU professor, Christopher Browning. She continued to work on the Kindertransport during the first phase of her work at UNC. As indicated in this report, she is now doing research for her Ph.D. dissertation in Prague, and she will give a presentation on her research next summer in Israel. A Ph.D. candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Laura Brade is spending the 2012-2013 academic year in Prague, Czech Republic researching her dissertation.
Laura Brade ’08
Laura Brade ’08.

Brade’s dissertation is titled “Coerced Voluntary Migration: Jewish Flight from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, 1939-1941.” She is investigating the ways in which networks of transnational relief organizations facilitated the successful emigration of a quarter of the Protectorate’s Jews by helping them to overcome significant obstacles.

By tracing the connections among individuals, local communities, state institutions, and international groups, she investigates why individuals chose to leave the Protectorate; how they implemented emigration strategies; and how they experienced the process of emigration.

Brade was awarded both a Claims Conference Kagan Fellowship in Advanced Holocaust Studies and a Fulbright U.S. Student Fellowship to support her dissertation research at a number of archives in the Czech Republic, including the National Archive and the Archive of the Jewish Museum in Prague. This summer, Brade will be presenting at the Sixteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, Israel. Brade intends to return to the U.S. in August 2013 to finish her research and hopes to defend her dissertation in the spring of 2015.