Debórah Dwork is the Rose Professor of Holocaust History and Director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. As founding Director of the Center, she has given shape to a forum for Holocaust and genocide education and scholarship, dedicated to teaching, research, and public service. She is now counted a leading authority on university education in this field.
Professor Dwork’s books include her now classic Children With A Star, translated into many languages and the subject of a documentary by the CBC. Recognizing that history focused on the adult world and that children were seen, principally, as future participants in that realm, Dwork sought a new “child-centered” approach. A wholly original theoretical development, Dwork’s child-centered history opened a new area of historical investigation. Children was also a pioneer work in the use of oral histories, conducted and recorded by Dwork. Auschwitz, co-authored with Robert Jan van Pelt, received the National Jewish Book Award, the Spiro Kostoff Award, and was voted a Best Book by the German Book Critics. It was the basis for the Emmy-nominated BBC documentary, “Auschwitz: The Blueprints of Genocide.” Holocaust: A History, again in collaboration with van Pelt and also translated into a number of languages, was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Dwork’s beautiful Terezin Album of Mariánka Zadikow is an annotated, edited poesie album collected by a Jewish inmate as the Germans pressed forward with deportations from Theresienstadt. Her co-authored Flight from the Reich: Jewish Refugees, 1933-1946, which tells the story of Jewish refugees from the ever-widening territory of Nazi Europe and follows Jewish displaced persons after the war, was selected as a ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award Finalist and, in French translation, a Grand Livre du Mois selection. Dwork’s most recent work, A Boy in Terezín: The Private Diary of Pavel Weiner is an annotated, edited diary written by a Prague boy during his third and last year in the Terezín transit camp, from April 1944 until April 1945; it was his bar mitzvah year. Pavel and his diary survived, Pavel a survivor of the Holocaust and his diary a precious record of his daily life and the history of the camp.
Debórah Dwork has been, inter alia, a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. A member of the U.S. delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (previously called the International Task Force, or ITF) on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research, Dwork serves on many advisory boards and works with non-profit organizations and foundations concerned with Holocaust education. Above all, Professor Dwork is a teacher and mentor to undergraduate and doctoral students who value her commitment to training the next generation of Holocaust scholars.