Research Projects

Journalism between Nazism and Democracy:

An intellectual biography of the Austrian journalist Otto Schulmeister.

PhD student: Nadine Tauchner. Supervisors: Dr Alexander Korb; Dr Paul Moore

Austria looks back on a belated scholarly discussion of its National Socialist past. The same is true for the profession of journalism. Playing an active part in the propaganda machinery of the “Third Reich”, did not hinder journalists from having successful careers after the war. One of them was Otto Schulmeister (1916- 2001) a famous and influential figure of the post war press, whose upbringing, political affiliations, social networks and professional work offers a look into the political developments of the First Republic, Austro-fascism, Nazism and the Second Republic. He left behind an impressive paper trail and his personal estate forms the foundation of this Ph.D. project.

Taking Otto Schulmeister’s biography as the unit of analysis allows identifying long spanning continuities or contradicting pattern of thinking as well as reinterpretations of concepts and ideas that are often studied in isolation of each other.

In employing methods of biography research, oral history and content analysis, this project is investigating how the Catholic milieu negotiated the transition from democracy to Nazism and back? How intellectuals perceived and discussed the idea of Democracy, Europe and National Socialism before, during and after National Socialism and what effects the changes from democracy to Nazism and back had on the press and intellectual movements?

At its core this project aspires to be a transnational and intellectual study of Austrian journalism that sheds light on how a journalist, reacted and contributed to the changing course of Austrian and European history in the twentieth century and the extreme intellectual conditions associated with those upheavals.

The influence of the Holocaust on British anti-fascism, 1945-67.

PhD student: Josh Cohen. Supervisors: Dr Paul Moore; Dr Sally Horrocks.

In 1945, cinema-goers could watch newsreel images of Nazi concentration camps - to be confronted outside by fascist speakers claiming that, “not enough Jews were burned at Belsen.” This study explores why and how anti-fascist movements tackled resurgent post-war fascism. It will include a structural history of anti-fascist organisations, alongside life histories that reveal the complicating details of personal motivations for fighting back. The study will assess the relative impact of the Holocaust, Jewish ethnic particularism, state responses and left-wing ideology in shaping anti-fascist discourse, tactics and appeal. The period 1945-67, ending with the formation of the National Front, will be treated for the first time with a focus on Holocaust remembrance.

Several historians claim that Britain in 1945 experienced a national anti-fascist consensus, built on what was known about the Nazi genocide, alongside Britain’s wartime experience. It will be interesting, therefore, to investigate the extent to which anti-fascists invoked the Holocaust in their attempts to defeat post-war fascism. And, if Holocaust remembrance was not utilised - or actively suppressed - by anti-fascists, what were the reasons for this?


Postwar Theatrical Images of Anne Frank in Britain, United States and France.

PhD-Student Anna Scanlon, Supervisors: Dr Olaf Jensen; Fransiska Louwagie

Completed in July 2017. The PhD thesis: 'The Image of Anne Frank in Modern Theatre' can be accessed at the Charles Wilson Library or the SBC.


The Russian view on the Shoah:

Official remembrance versus individual memory of the Holocaust in contemporary Russia.

PhD-Student: Christina Winkler, Supervisors: Dr Olaf Jensen; Dr Zoe Knox.

Completed in November 2015. The PhD thesis: 'The Holocaust in Rostov-on-Don: Official Russian Holocaust remembrance versus a local case study' can be accessed at the Charles Wilson Library or the SBC.


The Holocaust in British Popular Culture:

Interpretations of Recent Feature Films.

PhD-Student: Stefanie Rauch, Supervisors: Dr Olaf Jensen; Prof James Chapman (Director of Film Studies).

Completed in December 2014. The PhD thesis: 'Making sense of Holocaust representations: a reception study of audience responses to recent films' can be accessed at the Charles Wilson Library or the SBC.


Dealing with the Past:

Memories of National Socialism, World War II and the Holocaust in Great Britain (an oral history project).

PhD-Student: Thomas McKay, Supervisors: Dr Olaf Jensen; Mr Martin L. Davies.

Completed in May 2012. The PhD thesis: 'A multi-generational oral history study considering English collective memory of the Second World War and Holocaust' can be accessed at the Charles Wilson Library or the SBC.


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News in the Centre

Dr Fransiska Louwagie and Dr Caroline Sharples will present the results of 'Across the Seasons: Memory Matters today', a drama and research project conducted in collaboration with CCM Theatre and funded by the Toni Schiff Memorial Fund, at the AHRC-Network Conference 'Culture and its Uses as Testimony' (University of Birmingham, 11-12 April 2018) 

Dr Luca Fenoglio will give a public presentation of his book at the Italian Cultural Institute New York and a lecture based on his PhD at Columbia University.

Dr Martin Stern, has been honoured for his tireless work in the field of Holocaust education with an MBE.

Hannah Lewis will give a survivor talk in the course of Holocaust Awareness Week, on the 8th of February, 5.30-7pm, Bennett Lower Ground Floor Lecture Theatre 2

Richard Evans of the Archaeology and Ancient History department will present a research paper with the title "Anything But Genocide: The Inherent Problems of Genocide Scholarship within the Ancient World". 21 February 2018, 4:00pm (ATT206)

Josh Cohen (University of Leicester) will give a paper on his on-going PhD research with the title "Never forget? The Holocaust and left-wing anti-fascism in Britain, 1945-51". 7 March 2018, 5:00pm (ATT206)

Dr Rachel Century, formerly of Royal Holloway and now of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, will give a talk on her newly-published book, "Female Administrators of the Third Reich". 21 March 2018, 4:00pm (ATT206)

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