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Winter term 2006/07


Prof. Dr. Saul Friedländer (Los Angeles)

Saul Friedländer was born in 1932 in Prague. His parents were German-speaking Jews who fled with him to France in 1939 to escape the German occupation. Hidden in a catholic boarding school Friedländer survived the Holocaust. But his father and mother were deported and murdered in Auschwitz, since they got no permission to go to Switzerland.

In 1948, Friedländer left France to fight in the war of independence in Israel. In 1950, he began his studies in Tel Aviv, Paris and Geneva. From 1964 onwards, he taught at the Institut universitaire de hautes études internationales at the University of Geneva. In 1976, he became chairman of the Department of History at the Tel Aviv University. Since 1987 he is also teaching at the University of California in Los Angeles.

Saul Friedländer is one of the most famous historians specializing in Nazi history and the Holocaust. Among his various academic awards and honors are the Israel Award (1988) and the MacArthur Fellowship (1999). The first works he was known for in Germany are his biographical studies about Pope Pius and the Third Reich (1965) and his book Kurt Gerstein or The Ambiguity of Good (Paris 1967, German edition 1968). His autobiographical work When Memory Comes (Paris 1978, first German edition 1979) is called a literary masterpiece, so is his book Reflections of Nazism. An essay on Kitsch and death (Paris 1982, first German edition 1984). His correspondence with Martin Broszat Um die "Historisierung" des Nationalsozialismus published in the Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte in 1988 gave new impulses to Holocaust studies. In 1998, he was awarded the Geschwister Scholl Prize for the first volume of his work The Third Reich and the Jews.

Saul Friedländer's books have been translated in many languages. Currently available in German are: Wenn die Erinnerung kommt (original edition in French 1978) München 1998; Das Dritte Reich und die Juden. Band 1: Die Jahre der Verfolgung, Band 2: Die Jahre der Vernichtung, (original edition in English 1997 and 2006) München 1998 and 2006.