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Wednesday, 18 November 2020, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Online Lecture

Fatal Months: Auschwitz and the End of the Second World War

Professor Nikolaus Wachsmann

The Wiener Library Holocaust Memorial Lecture - 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most lethal of all Nazi camps. 

This lecture looks back at its final months, from the time the camp reached its murderous peak, after the mass deportations of Jews from Hungary, to the arrival of Soviet soldiers in January 1945. But liberation did not put an end to Nazi murder – it continued elsewhere, until the final German defeat in spring 1945. 

The lecture follows the fate of former Auschwitz prisoners forced to other camps and the crimes of former Auschwitz SS staff in camps like Bergen-Belsen.


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Nikolaus Wachsmann is Professor in Modern European History at Birkbeck, University of London.

He studied at the London School of Economics, the University of Cambridge and at Birkbeck, gaining his PhD in 2001. He was a researcher for Deborah Lipstadt’s defence team in the High Court libel suit brought against her by Holocaust denier David Irving. He worked as a Research Fellow at Downing College (University of Cambridge) and as a lecturer at the University of Sheffield, before joining Birkbeck in 2005.

Much of his research has explored Nazi terror, focusing on the regular legal system and extra-legal terror in concentration camps. His comprehensive history of the Nazi camps KL, published in 2015, won the Wolfson History Prize, the Mark Lynton History Prize, and the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate literary prize. Nikolaus has a particular interest in public history and Holocaust education, and serves on the academic advisory boards of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, as well as the concentration camp memorials Bergen-Belsen, Mauthausen, Sachsenhausen and Ravensbrück. He also curates a free educational website for students and teachers about the history of the Nazi camps.

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