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Nationwide study

Holocaust Studies firmly established at LMU

München, 07/08/2016

A survey done by the Free University in Berlin has found that relatively few universities in Germany adequately cover the Holocaust in their history courses. However, the topic is well established in both teaching and research at LMU.

Source: Tomasz Bidermann / Fotolia.com

Educational establishments in Germany, not least its universities, have a particular duty to study the genesis and implementation of the Holocaust, and the history of the Nazi era as a whole, and to communicate their findings to their students and the wider public. In light of its own inglorious history during the lifetime of the Third Reich, LMU has a special responsibility to meet this obligation.

However, a new study on “The Present Status of University Teaching on the Holocaust”, carried out by the Free University in Berlin with the support of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, strongly suggests that many German universities need to do more in this respect. According to the survey, on the curricula of most of the 78 university institutions considered, the Holocaust does not receive the attention it deserves. However, LMU is rated highly in the study. This positive assessment is primarily attributable to the close institutional collaboration between the Department of History at LMU and the Institute for Contemporary History (Institut für Zeitgeschichte, IfZ) in Munich. With its Center for Holocaust Studies, which opened in 2013, the IfZ has taken on the task of stimulating further research on the topic and fostering international contacts between historians who specialize in the field. The results of these endeavors in turn provide the input for a broad range of teaching programs, which are organized jointly by the History Department at LMU and the IfZ.

This kind of cooperation is clearly very effective, as the new study unequivocally confirms. For the universities that were ranked highest in the study turn out to be located in cities that also host institutions which focus on research that is directly connected with the theme. LMU and the IfZ view the study as a validation of their chosen strategy, and plan to intensify their collaboration.