Biographical information

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Biographical profiles of Presenters

Angeliki Gavriiloglou graduated from the department of History and Archaeology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2016. During her undergraduate studies she attended Freie Universitat Berlin as part of the Erasmus program in 2013. She has recently concluded her Master’s degree in Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean studies at the International Hellenic University. Since 2016, as a member of a group of fellow researchers, she is conducting a research on the Jewish students of Thessaloniki, during World War II, titled “Mapping the Memory: Jewish students in WWII Salonica and the Holocaust (1939 – 1943).”

Agathi Bazani studied German language and literature at the German Department of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Currently she is writing her master (MA) thesis, titled The Memory of the Shoah in Thessaloniki in contemporary literature, in course of the Postgraduate Studies Program ‘Language and Culture in the German-speaking Area of the School of German Language and Literature of Auth. She is a member of the research group ‘Mnemosyne’ of the German Department, that has translated selected texts in Greek, written by Aleida und Jan Assmann, that refer to “Memory Cultures” (Erinnerungskulturen).

Christos Chatziioannidis graduated from the department of History and Archaeology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2015. He attended a five month training program «Cultural Heritage Management in Modern Times» at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 2017. He has participated on the Hyperwerk Institute Workshop Mapping of Thessaloniki, October 19 – 26, 2017, Basel. Since 2016, as a member of a group of researchers he is conducting a research on the Jewish students of Thessaloniki, during World War II.

Panourgias Christos is an undergraduate B.Sc. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. During 2016-17 he completed his diploma thesis, in programming an LDPC Repeat-Accummulate decoder in Matlab. He has professional training in the following programming languages: C, C++, Java, HTML5, CSS. He is an experienced user of the following engineering software: Matlab, LaTeX, AutoCAD, Photoshop, Q.G.I.S. Currently he is working on the project “Digitalizing the Memory”, a site on mapping the Jewish Students of Thessaloniki during World War II.

Karin Hofmeisterová is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant at the Institute of International Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague. She graduated from Balkan, Euroasian and Central European Studies, also studied at University College London and University of Belgrade. In her research she is focusing mainly on religion in Southeast Europe with a special emphasis on the Serbian Orthodox Church and its role in contemporary Serbia. In 2015 she succeeded in Charles University Grant Agency’s competition and gained funding for the research project Orthodox Churches on the Threshold of the 21st Century. The Case of Russia, Serbia and Greece. She participates in various other research projects as for example PRIMUS research programme of the Charles University Beyond Hegemonic Narratives and Myths. Troubled Pasts in the History and Memory of East-Central & South-East Europe or international project with partner universities HU Berlin and Universität Wien Vienn CENTRAL Post-Conflict Constellations: Institutionalization of Knowledge and Memory in Central and Southeastern Europe. She takes part at international conferences and also publishes her research in Czech, Greek, German and English. In 2017, her article “The Concept of Symphony Between the Church and State in the Serbian Orthodox Milieu and Its Influence on the Serbian Orthodox Church’s Attitude to the Crisis in Yugoslavia” was published in Czech peer-reviewed journal Slovanský přehled. She also published the article “The Picture of Jews in Serbian Orthodox Church’s Narrative of the Holocaust” in peer-reviewed collective book from the conference Populizam, izbeglička kriza, religija i mediji.  Recently she obtained the first price for her chapters in the book MinderheitenimsozialistischenJugoslawien. Brüderlichkeit und Eigenheit in the contest for the best scientific work in the area of integrated social science announced by the Endowment fund of Anna and Jaroslav Krejčí.

Lovro Kralj is a PhD candidate at the History Department at Central European University in Budapest. His dissertation titled “Paving the Road to Death: Antisemitism in the Ustasha Movement 1930-1945” aims to transcend the division between the fields of fascism, antisemtism and the Holocaust studies. Lovro Kralj’s research interests also revolve around the fields of nationalism, memory politics, political violence and genocide studies in Central and South-East Europe.

Ágnes Kende is a Ph.D. candidate in comparative history at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary. Her main research interests are memory politics, Jewish history of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the memorialization of the Holocaust. Her dissertation, Memories in Stone: The Politics of Holocaust Remembrance in Hungary, 1945-2018 looks to observe Holocaust monuments and memorials, not only as works of art, but as subjects of political battles of today as well as in the past. The thesis pivots on the ways global collective memory of the post-war era continuously reshaped and transformed the concept of Holocaust memory within some of the Hungarian cities where most atrocities were committed. She completed her MA program in Comparative History of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe 1500-2000 at CEU 2014 with a specialization in Jewish studies. In addition to her graduate studies, she held an internship with the Visual History Archive Shoah Foundation, participated in the summer university programs at Tel Aviv University; the European University Institute in Florence; and at the Leo Baeck Summer University in Berlin. She was an organizer at the ENIUGH International Congress, and has held various research positions with IHRA and USHMM.

Ulrike Löffler studied history, English language and literature as well as pedagogy in Jena. During her university years, she worked as teaching assistant and student aid in the field of 20th century history. She spent the academic year 2012/2013 at the University of California, Berkeley as Visiting Research Scholar studying the university’s contemporary reactions towards National Socialism. From 2014 to 2016 she was on the academic staff of the chair of Public History in Jena. Since March 2017 she has been a research associate and doctoral candidate at Europäisches Kolleg Jena, where she is studying the pedagogy of memorial sites in Germany since the 1980s.

Irina Makhalova received her bachelor degree from the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia, Moscow) in 2014. Then she moved to Germany where she had been working on her master dissertation at the Humboldt University (Berlin) during 2 years. Currently, she is a third year PhD candidate in Russian History at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Her dissertation is devoted to different forms of collaboration in the Crimea during the Nazi Occupation (1941-1944). Since 2011, she is a research-assistant at the International Center for History and Sociology of the WWII and Its Consequences. Irina has been involved in several projects of this Center: publication of primary sources on the social history of the WWII, organization of workshops on the history of the Holocaust for Russian students (in Poland, Germany and Israel) etc. She has been a fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USA, Washington), at the Institute of Contemporary History (Germany, Munich), and at the German Historical Institute in Moscow.

Eugenia Mihalcea is a PhD student at the University of Haifa, General History Department, researching the construction and reconstruction of the narratives about the Holocaust in Transnistria in Communist Romania and Israel between 1945 and 1989. She holds an MA diploma from the University of Bucharest and is also a fresh graduate of the Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa. She started her research about the Holocaust in Transnistria a few years ago at the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of Holocaust in Romania as an intern and continued this project in Israel at Yad Vashem where she had an internship.

Marios-Kyparissis Moros studied Medieval and Modern Greek at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He had his Master’s Degree (MA) on the ways in which the German Occupation of Thessaloniki was represented by seven Greek writers. Currently he is on his PhD, focusing on the theological influences on literature. He has published various articles and reviews in academic journals and participated in several local and international conferences on Greek and European Literature. He is founding member of the Immigration Literature Workshop run by the department of Italian Language and Literature at Aristotle University.

Robert Obermaier  was born in 1989 in Upper Austria, he completed A-levels in 2007, before moving to Salzburg where he studied History and English. In 2011/12 he took part in the Erasmus-Programme at the University of Leicester (UK). He is currently working on my PhD thesis (Oswald Menghin – Politicisation of science in the 1930s and beyond) which discusses the influence of Catholic-Nationals on the preparation and implementation of the “annexation” in Austria. Additionally, he is occupied as a research assistant at the University of Education Salzburg and coordinate a programme for history teachers, which focuses on the issue of holocaust education. Fields of research: National Socialism, right-wing extremism, history of science

Irina Rebrova is a PhD candidate at the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism at Technical University, Berlin, Germany. The working title of her thesis is “Memory about the Holocaust in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russian Discourses on World War II (the Case of North Caucasus)”. She holds a Russian degree (candidate of science in history) and MA in sociology (Gender studies). She has published a number of articles on Oral History, Gender History and Social Memory on World War II in Russian, English and German academic journals and edited collections. She is also a Research Associate in Hadassah Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University, USA. She was a fellow at the Claims Conference Kagan Fellowship in Advanced Shoah Studies in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years.

Joan Salter was born in Belgium, was three months old when the Nazis occupied.  She survived on the run down through France and finally over the Pyrenees into Spain. She has worked for over thirty years as a Holocaust educator and is at present a PhD candidate at Nottingham Trent University.  A member of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Legacy Group, she was awarded an M.B.E  for services to Holocaust Education in 2018 in the New Year’s Honours List.

Daria Starikashkina is a doctoral candidate at The International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, Giessen University. There she works on the project Broken Rings: Leningrad Jews in the Siege, which is dedicated to the experience of Jewish population in Leningrad during the siege in 1941-1944. Previously, she obtained MA degrees in Holocaust studies from The Weiss-Livnat International MA in Holocaust Studies at University of Haifa and in Cultural Studies from The Joint MA program of the St. Petersburg State University and The Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. she has attended several international conferences, workshops and summer schools. Her field of interest among others includes memory of the Leningrad siege, memory of the war in occupation in Leningrad district as well as its representation.

Laura Stöbener is of Dutch-German descent and has worked as a publisher’s assistant at a local newspaper as well as at Kazerne Dossin, a memorial and museum for Holocaust and Human Rights in Belgium. Since 2014 she is working for Germany Close Up, an encounter programme for Jewish North American students and young professionals, that aims to encourage dialogue and to strengthen transatlantic relations. Simultaneously she studies history and art history at the Humboldt University Berlin and is currently completing her B.A. thesis on the discrimination and persecution of Sinti and Roma as a transnational continuity in Belgium and Germany.

Željana Tunić is a PhD candidate at the University of Jena, Germany. Since 2016 she has worked as Coordinator of the Jean-Monnet-Network “Applied European Contemporary History”. From 2012 to 2015 she held a PhD-scholarship granted by the German Research Foundation (DFG) at the DFG Graduate School “Cultural orientations und social structures in Southeastern Europe”. Her project dealt with the (re)construction of collective remembrance of the assassinated Serbian Prime minister Zoran Đinđić. She also worked as a culture and language mediator for refugees with traumatic experiences for Refugio Thüringen e.V. in Jena on a voluntary basis.

Florian Zabransky is a doctoral researcher at the University of Sussex. He was awarded the Clemens N. Nathan Scholarship for his research on male Jewish intimacy during the Holocaust. He studied Sociology at Goethe-University Frankfurt, Sapienza – Università di Roma and Hamburg University. He also worked at institutions commemorating the Holocaust, such as the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial Site near Hamburg and the Fritz Bauer Institute in Frankfurt am Main. His academic interests include history of sexuality, history of emotions, Nazi concentration camps and the history of antisemitism.

Stefania Zezza is a teacher at  Liceo Virgilio in Rome where she is in charge of  Holocaust  related conferences and teaching projects. She is a researcher and gives talks about her research and the Holocaust education in Italy and abroad. Graduated at the International Master on Holocaust Studies (Roma Tre University), she collaborates with it as a tutor.  Her recent publications  include: A man with no shoes is a fool: the Salonikan Jews in the Concentration Camps (2016). She has recently completed a research on the fate of the Salonikan Jews during the Holocaust and published In their own voices: the interviews of David Boder with the Salonikan survivors  (2017). Her current research interests include the relation among trauma, memory and testimony. In particular she has been studying the testimonies of the Greek Jewish women who were deported to Ravensbrück from Auschwitz Birkenau.


Biographical profiles of Participants

Janine Fubel studied Cultural History and Theory as well as Gender Studies at the Humboldt-University of Berlin (Germany). Since 2015 she has fellowship from the Hans-Böckler-Foundation and has been a PhD candidate at the Humboldt-University of Berlin. Her research focuses are local and regional studies on National-Socialism as well as Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and in her PhD she investigates aspects of the death march from Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1945. She looks at the inherent power relations that stemmed from the social order within National Socialism, and in particular the concentration camps, from a historical perspective to raise questions about the possibilities of action within and around the “space of violence”. In 2017, she organized the “22nd Workshop on the History and Memory of National Socialist Camps and Extermination Sites: Practices of Memory and Knowledge Production” (16.-22.10.2017), at Andrassy University, Budapest.

Katja Grosse-Sommer holds a master’s degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from the University of Amsterdam, has studied at the University of Washington Seattle, Humboldt University Berlin, the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg, and graduated from the Paideia Jewish Studies Program Stockholm. She has worked and interned with the Hollandse Schouwburg, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Editionsprojekt Judenverfolgung, the European Association for Jewish Studies, and co-organized the 23rd Workshop on the History and Memory of NS Camps and Extermination Sites. Currently, she hopes to expand on her master’s research on Dutch Jewish diaries written in hiding.

Borbála Klacsmann received an MA degree in History, a BA in Ethnography from Eötvös Loránd University, and an MA diploma in Comparative History from Central European University. Between 2007 and 2012 she worked as an exhibition guide at the Holocaust Memorial Center (Budapest). In cooperation with Professor Andrea Pető she organized three international conferences at Central European University and Sabanci University. Between 2012 and 2015 she worked as the program coordinator of the Anne Frank House. Since September 2015 she is doctoral student at the University of Szeged, while at the same time being member of the Hungarian research group of Yad Vashem.

Verena Meier studied History, English Philology, European Art History, and Philosophy at the Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg and Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has previously worked at the Documentation and Cultural Centre of German Sinti and Roma by creating a new traveling exhibition and also worked with the Working Group on Minority History and Civil Rights in Europe, at the memorial site Grafeneck, and the Documentation Center of North African Jewry during WWII at the Ben Zvi Institute in Jerusalem. Since August 2018 she is a PhD candidate at the research center antigypsyism (Forschungsstelle Antiziganismus) at the University of Heidelberg. Her research interests include minority history, the history of ideas, and research on historical stereotypes.

Denisa Nešťáková, PhD studied History and Slovak language and literature at the Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia), and Jewish civilizations at the Hochschule für jüdische Studien in Heidelberg (Germany). In June 2018, she defended her dissertation thesis titled ” `Whoever is not with me is against me.` Arab-Jewish relations during British Mandate for Palestine through the perspective of the German Temple Society” at the Department of General History at the Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava. Since August 2018, she has started her post-doctoral project “Women and Men in the Labour Camp Sereď, Slovakia” as a Joseph-Wulf Fellow at the Center for Holocaust Studies at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich and at the Memorial House of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin, Germany. The project will be carried through 2019 thank to the Post-doctoral grant of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah, Paris, France. Her academic interests have translated into her co-editorship of historical journals, and organizing international workshops and conferences. She is a holder or several Slovak and foreign awards and fellowships.

Paula Oppermann studied History, Baltic Languages and Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Germany and Sweden. She has researched the Holocaust and its Commemoration in the Baltic Countries and curated an exhibition about the Holocaust in the Soviet Union at the “Topography of Terror” in Berlin. Since 2017 she is a PhD student at the University of Glasgow, where she investigates the Latvian Fascist Pērkoņkrusts Party, the movement’s establishment, its role during WWII and the activities of its members after 1945. Besides her studies, Paula Oppermann worked at the Wiener Library in London and the Museum of Occupation in Riga. In 2015, she presented a paper at the 20th Workshop of National Socialist Camps in Minsk, and was a member of the Organising team of the 21st Workshop in Aix-en-Provence.

Christian Schmittwilken

Daniel Schuch is a research associate and PhD candidate at the Europäisches Kolleg Jena. From 2008-2015 he studied history, political science, and sociology at Dresden University of Technology and at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. From 2014-2015, he has been a student assistant at the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena, and the Chair for History in Media and the Public. His PhD project explores the global transformations of Holocaust testimonies through multiple interviews with the same survivors from 1946 until the early 2000s and is titled “Transformations of Holocaust Testimony”. Since 2016 he has presented his research in several conferences and workshops in Germany, Hungary and England.

Maximilian Schulz M.A., born in 1987, studied Medieval and Modern History in Leipzig

(Germany) and Scandinavian Area Studies in Bergen (Norway). During his studies, he worked at the Forum of Contemporary History and at the Stasi Records Agency in Leipzig. The results of his Master Thesis about the subcamp Leipzig-Thekla had been part of an exhibition at the Leipzig Nazi Forced Labour Memorial (2015) and were published in Detlev Brunner’s and Alfons Kenkmann ́s Leipzig im Nationalsozialismus. Beiträge zu Zwangsarbeit, Verfolgung und Widerstand (2016). 2017 he lectures on National Socialist Concentration Camps as research associate at the History Department at Leipzig University. Currently, he is a Hans-Böckler-Foundation scholarship holder. For his PhD thesis at Leipzig University he is examining the Erla-Maschinenwerke GmbH Leipzig and its’ system of Buchenwald and Flossenbürg subcamps in Saxony between 1943 and 1945. He was a speaker at the 22nd workshop in Budapest in 2017.


Jonathan Zisook is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he specializes in historical and political sociology, comparative religion, and modern and contemporary Jewish culture. His doctoral research explores the politics of Holocaust memory and the resurgence of interest in Jewish culture in post-Communist Poland. His publications have recently appeared in the Journal of Classical Sociology and Religious Studies Review. Jonathan completed a BA in Sociology and an MA in Modern Jewish History at Yeshiva University. Jonathan is currently a Fulbright Research Fellow in the Faculty of History and the Institute of Jewish Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków.

Organizing Team

Sandra Franz received her bachelor’s degree at the University of Düsseldorf in 2010, majoring in History and Yiddish literature. She subsequently received master’s degrees in both subjects in 2012. For her master’s degree in history she examined the gender constellations in the synagogue community in Düsseldorf between 1934 and 1938 with regard to the persecution through the national socialists. For her master’s degree in Yiddish literature she examined the works of Dovid Bergelsohn as an example of transmigration in Berlin in the interwar period. In 2014 she began her PhD project in history, examining the British occupation zone and the British point of view on post-war Germany. Additionally, she completed a master’s degree in literature and arts at the University of Oxford between 2015 and 2017. She worked as a research associate at the department for Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Düsseldorf between 2012 and 2016 and worked freelance as an educator at the Düsseldorf Memorial Centre between 2009 and 2018. She was involved in projects in Berlin/Germany, Oxford/UK and Seoul/ South Korea. She moved into a new role as Head of the NS-Documentation Centre in Krefeld/Germany in March 2019.


Alexios Ntetorakis Exarchou has studied History and Archaeology in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and is a professional tourist guide in Greece. Working as a volunteer in the Brandenburg an der Havel memorial, he has done research on the Greek prisoners in Brandenburg-Gorden prison during WWII. He is currently studying MA in European History in Humboldt University.


Jozef Hyrja, MA, graduated in history of the Middle East (2013) at Prešov University, MA in Jewish Civilization (2019) from Hochschule für Jüdische Studien in Heidelberg. 2016-2017 he was Erich Fromm Fellow at Paideia – The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden. In September 2018 Jozef started his PhD studies at the Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the editorial board of the history portal and founder of the NGO Future for the Past. Both projects focus on popularizing history via articles, book reviews, interviews and lectures and through collaboration with various institutions, museums and universities. Jozef has published over 50 articles in different magazines and newspapers (for more details see


Sylwia Papier is a PhD student in the Faculty of Polish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, where she also received her M.A. in cultural studies. Her PhD dissertation is focused on Holocaust studies and performative studies: she explores strategies of Holocaust witnessing in the genre of solo-theater. Sylwia is an academic secretary of the Research Centre for Memory Cultures at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She is an active member of the Curatorial Collective, she co-curated several exhibitions, beside others: “KL Plaszow”, “Material witness” “Mark Plaszow. She is a junior research assistant in “Awkward Objects Of Genocide. Vernacular Art on the Holocaust and Ethnographic Museums” research project  (HORYZONT 2020, TRACES). In 2016-2017 she was an investigator in “Thinking through the Museum: Difficult Knowledge in Public Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada” research project (Concordia University). She is co-editor of the books: Identyfikacje Zagłady. Szkice historyczne i praktyki kulturowe (Krakow 2017), Jak burgund pod światło…Szkice o Zuzannie Ginczance (Krakow 2018), Rzeczowy świadek (Krakow 2019). She was recipient of the Scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland (2015/2016). She was awarded the European Holocaust Reasearch Infrastructure Fellowship to work in Yad Vashem (2018).


Nick Warmuth holds a BA in History from San Diego State University and an MA in Modern European History from King’s College London. He is currently a PhD candidate in Comparative History at Central European University (Budapest, Hungary), and an active recipient of the William J. Lowenberg Memorial Fellowship on America, the Holocaust and the Jews, at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies in Washington DC, where he is researching for his dissertation on the United States war crimes trial of Flossenbürg concentration camp.


Hannah Wilson originates from Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. She was awarded full funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to begin her  PhD research at the Department of History, Nottingham Trent University, in October 2016. Prior to this, she undertooks a Masters degree in Holocaust Studies from the University of Haifa, Israel where she was awarded the prize for original research by Yad Vashem. From 2014 to the present, she has participated as a research student at the archaeological excavations at Sobibór and Treblinka Death Camps, and she is a founder of the Nottingham Trent Post-Graduate Holocaust Studies Group, and an active contributor and council member of the Auschwitz Study Group. She is currently working with the Imperial War Museum London to help develop their new Holocaust exhibition, which will open in 2020. She is a volunteer writer for the Weiner Library in London, as well as the British Association of Holocaust studies. Throughout her studies she has presented at a variety of international conferences and seminars, as well as receiving a fellowship from the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure to work at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Through her academic work and personal experience, she works towards issues of Holocaust preservation, commemoration and remembrance.


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