Coinciding with its fiftieth anniversary, this conference will examine the origins, course and implications of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, captured by the Israelis in Argentina in May 1960, brought before the Jerusalem District Court in April 1961, sentenced, and finally hanged in May 1962. Our goal is to assess the very considerable scholarship conducted on the subject over the years, to assemble leading authorities and showcase new research, and also to review the legal significance of the trial, particularly the doctrine of universal jurisdiction as one of its main contributions to the evolution of international law. Key scholars from Europe, Israel, and North America have already made preliminary commitments to participate.
Extending over two years, the Eichmann Trial was an electrifying event in Israeli society and a significant contributor globally both to understanding the Holocaust and to the development of international law. The trial also occasioned considerable debate and gave new prominence to what was only just becoming known as “the Holocaust.” In this regard, the trial became a focal point for what was subsequently denoted as a “coming to terms with the Holocaust.” Our conference intends to examine just how effectively and with what lasting results this “coming to terms” transpired. We will look at the trial itself and its historical context, but also consider the legal, historical and cultural perspectives such as the evolution of war crimes proceedings, the role of broadcast media, and the transformation of historical consciousness about the Holocaust.
We plan to assemble researchers who have thought and written about the Eichmann Trial from many different vantage points, in order to engage with one another. Our academic organizing team includes Professors Doris Bergen, Michael Marrus, Derek Penslar, and Rebecca Wittmann (all of the University of Toronto) and Richard F. Wetzell (German Historical Institute, Washington DC).
The organizers hope to cover expenses for travel and accommodation for those who will be presenting papers. We are seeking proposals to do so from specialists internationally. Our intention is to circulate papers beforehand for commentary and discussion. We are particularly interested in hearing from younger scholars whose work relates to our subject.
Kindly email your proposals, which should be no more than 300 words, together with a short (max. 2-page) curriculum vitae, to Ms. Baerbel Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org before July 30, 2011. Please write “Eichmann Conference” in the subject line and attach your proposal and c.v. as a combined file, preferably in pdf format. Applicants will be notified by September 2011.
German Historical Institute
1607 New Hampshire Ave, NW
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