Leo Spitzer, professor of history at Dartmouth College and Columbia University, will present a lecture entitled “Photography, Memory and the Holocaust” on Oct. 18 at 3:30 p.m. in the Chapel. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on Latin America, Africa and the Jewish refugee experience. The lecture is free and open to the public; a reception in Moore College will follow.
Spitzer’s lecture reflects his current project, which addresses the reading of photographs from the Eastern European city of Czernowitz in Romania. He currently is working in collaboration with Marianne Hirsch on a new book, Czernowitz Crossroads: Four Jewish Families Before, During and After the Holocaust.
Spitzer’s book Hotel Bolivia: The Culture of Memory in a Refuge from Nazism (1998) is both a memoir and and a history of the Jewsish refugee experience during the Third Reich. In it, he analyzes the snapshots and family photos taken by the refugees.
“Powerful ‘points of memory,’ photographs signal a visceral connection to the past, carry its traces forward and embody the very fractured process of its transmission,” said Spitzer.
Susan C. Quinlan, associate professor of Romance languages, and Marjanne E. Goozé, associate professor of Germanic and Slavic languages, invited Spitzer to UGA as a part of a team-taught course on the Jewish Diaspora in Brazil and Latin America. Spitzer will speak to the class Oct. 19 about his experiences in his native Bolivia.
“It will be fascinating to see how Spitzer’s work with private and other photographs has developed in this new project that reflects life in Czernowitz, an important center of Jewish life and culture before the Holocaust,” said Goozé.
“Because the class read Hotel Bolivia, we are very much looking forward to having Professor Spitzer discuss his approaches to historiography and memory with the class,” Quinlan said.