Debates about the “Refugee Question” shaped government policies and people’s lives across the continent of Europe throughout the 1930s and 1940s. This mini-course will explore the impact of these debates on the lives of individual asylum seekers. What were the national and international responses to communists, anti-Nazi intellectuals, and Jews targeted by Hitler’s Third Reich? How did people manage to flee? What were their lives like when they reached their host country? And how does this history help us understand the news we hear today?

Distinguished Research Scholar Debórah Dwork will teach the mini-course. Dwork is the Founding director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the inaugural Rose Professor of Holocaust History at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Pathbreaking in her early oral recording of Holocaust survivors, Dwork weaves their narratives into the history she writes. 

This free minicourse for middle and high school teachers will be offered at the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University over five Thursdays: Sept. 26; Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Educational materials, professional development credits, and dinner are provided.

Advance registration is required at

To register, one must be a current 6-12 grade teacher with three years teaching experience and one year teaching the Holocaust. For questions about eligibility, email Sarah Portilla at

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