Vilnius University to Hold Public Lecture by German Historian Christoph Dieckmann

Vilnius University to Hold Public Lecture by German Historian Christoph Dieckmann

Vilnius University and the Lost Shtetl Museum are launching jointly a series of lectures and discussions called “Open Conversations on History” which will raise topical questions of historical truth, memory wars and society’s ability to resist the pressure to serve one or another ideology.

We invited Christoph Dieckmann, a prominent historian and author of books on German occupation policy and the Holocaust in Lithuania, to the first discussion at 6:00 P.M. on October 1. He will give a lecture called “Looking back on our past. Lithuanians, Germans, and Jews.”

Dieckmann will share his insights on the relationship between history and memory, talk about personal searches trying to find the best way to study the Holocaust in Lithuania and the method used to help incorporate the different perspectives of Holocaust participants.

The historian will discuss why it is so difficult to recreate and analyze a common history, why there is such a great friction between the stories of today and the past. Dieckmann’s solution is to ask questions and look for the most accurate answers. The guest will seek to discuss the common past of Lithuanians, Jews and Germans by engaging in discussions with the audience.

The discussion will also be attended by poet, essayist and director of the Lost Shtetl Museum Sergejus Kanovičius and advisor to the VU rector, reviewer and philosopher Paulius Gritėnas. The lecture and discussion will be in English.

Dieckmann is a member of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania. His monumental study “German Occupation Policy in Lithuania in 1941–1944” (Deutsche Besatzungspolitik in Litauen 1941–1944) was awarded the Yad Vashem international book prize for Holocaust research.

The historian is co-author of the book “How Did It Happen? Christoph Dieckmann answers to Rūta Vanagaitė.” The book reveals the history of the destruction of the Lithuanian Jewish community and the role of ethnic Lithuanians in it.

Dieckmann has taught history at Keele University in the United Kingdom from 2005 to 2014. Until 2017 he directed the research project “Historiography of the Russian Civil War in Yiddish” at the Fritz Bauer Institute in Frankfurt and is currently working on the project “Sounds of the Persecution of Jews.”

The open lecture will take place at 6:00 P.M. on October 1 in the Vincas Krėvė auditorium (118) at the Faculty of Philology of Vilnius University.