The “grey zone” is a term that was coined by Primo Levi for discussing Jewish collaboration with the Nazis in the camps and ghettos. It denotes to a “zone” where a clear cut distinction between completely inhumane murders and utterly righteous victims is impossible and invalid. In Dr. Goldberg’s talk he will track the very complex grey zones of identifications as reflected in the victims’ writings during and after the Holocaust. He will suggest that these aspects should be considered very seriously for understanding Jewish history in the Holocaust and thereafter. A new methodology that combines history and psychology (but not as psychohistory) is essential for revealing these important aspects of modern Jewish history.
Amos Goldberg studies the Holocaust and Holocaust memory, at the intersection of history, critical theory and literature. His research and publications focus primarily on the cultural and literary history of Jews during the Holocaust, on the study of trauma, on historiography of the Holocaust, and on the development of Holocaust memory in the global age. His book, Trauma be-Guf Rishon: Ktivat Yomanim bi-tkufat ha-Shoah [Trauma in First Person: Diary Writing during the Holocaust] (2012) won the Egit Prize for Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Literature, and is due to be published in English, by Indiana University Press, in 2017.
His current research focuses on two main topics: 1) cultural history of the Warsaw Ghetto—including rumour culture, coffee houses, and attitudes to death; 2) the writing of memoirs by Jews after the Holocaust, central to which is the theme of coping with the experience of helplessness after the fact.
In 2014, he founded the Hebrew University Forum for Scholars of the Holocaust, Genocide and Mass Violence, which he continues to coordinate.
Since 2013, he has been a member of the scientific committee of the Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History.
He is a research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, member of the scientific committee of the Van Leer Institute Press, and member of the narrow advisory board of the Hebrew-language journal Theory and Criticism.
From 2007 to 2013, he was co-editor of the bilingual journal Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust (Taylor and Francis).
He was a visiting researcher (post-doctorate) at Cornell University and a visiting lecturer at Clark University’s Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
He was awarded a research grant from the Israel Science Foundation, and has won numerous prizes and grants.
Goldberg, Amos. Trauma be-Guf Rishon: Ktivat Yomanim bi-tkufat ha-Shoah. [Trauma in First Person: Diary Writing during the Holocaust]. Or Yehuda: Ben Gurion University and Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir, 2012 (English translation to be published by Indiana University Press in November 2017 http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?products_id=808891).
Bashir Bashir, and Goldberg, Amos. Ha-Shoah ve-ha-Nakba: Zikaron, Zehut Le’umit ve-Shutfut Yehudit-Aravit [The Holocaust and the Nakba: Memory, National Identity and Jewish-Arab Partnership]. Tel Aviv: Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2015.
Goldberg, Amos, and Hazan Haim, eds. Marking Evil: Holocaust Memory in the Global Age. New York: Berghahn Books, 2015.