David N. Myers (Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA) will present the UConn Center for Judaic Studies annual Fierberg Lecture in Judaic Studies.
The current moment of massive population displacement in the world leads us to seek out historical precedents and explanations. Most immediately, the Second World War and its aftermath come to mind, when millions of people were displaced, rendered homeless or repopulated. This talk will explore one particular strand in this post-WWII history, inquiring whether there was a causal relationship between an act of displacement in one context and another elsewhere. More particularly, the lecture will focus on the relationship among three significant population displacements in the 1940s stretching from Europe to the Middle East: first, the phenomenon of European Jewish DPs in the wake of the Holocaust; second, the displacement of Palestinians during the 1948 war between Jewish and Arab sides in Palestine and later Israel; and finally, the dispossession of Jews in Arab countries. What is the connection among these three distinct occurrences? And do these events, individually or as a causal chain, shed light on the unprecedented scale of forced displacement today?
Sponsor: UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life I. Martin and Janet M. Fierberg Fund