Holocaust evidence expert Dr Stefan Hördler visits for guest lecture

University of Huddersfield Logo

Dr Stefan Hördler, one of the world’s leading experts on the history of the Nazi concentration camps and in analysing photographic evidence of Nazi war crimes, recently visited the University of Huddersfield to share his experience with students and visitors to an event at the Holocaust Centre North.

A Visiting Professor at the University, Dr Hördler is Lecturer at the University of Göttingen’s Institute for Economic and Social History in Germany. He has written numerous books and international publications, and for over a decade he has served as an expert consultant in several investigations into former Nazi camp personnel.

In recent years, Dr Hördler, along with two colleagues, has assessed a photograph album that was discovered by chance towards the end of World War II by Lili Jacob, a young Jewish girl who had survived Auschwitz before being moved to the Dora concentration camp. 

Study History at the University of Huddersfield

The album was compiled by SS photographers about the deportation of more than 430,000 Jewish men and women from Hungary to Auschwitz. Several families were able to identify their own relatives in the album. Furthermore, its finding has provided a rare opportunity to identify some of those responsible for carrying out the Final Solution as well as offering rare insight into methods used by the Nazis.

Victims of the Holocaust are herded off trains by Nazi officers at a death camp Lili Jacob's chance discovery at a concentration camp has allowed relatives of victims to trace their loved ones, as well as help prosecute Nazi war criminals

Dr Hördler’s keynote lecture at the workshop, “Curating Memories, Materials and Visual Histories about the Holocaust”, held at Holocaust Centre North, explored how our visual image of the system of Nazi concentration camps is shaped by photographs of SS, police, and Wehrmacht. He shed light on the varieties of SS photography and the constructions of realities that accompanied them.

Lili Jacob’s album was at the heart of a teaching lecture to second year History students studying the Hitler’s Germany module during Dr Hördler’s visit.

Dr Hördler later joined guests at Holocaust Centre North’s Memorial Gestures event which looked at how art and other creative methods can continue to commemorate the Holocaust with the generation of survivors beginning to pass away.

"The identification of SS members in the photographs whose names do not appear in any written documentation, and thus escaped being investigated and put on trial after the war, so this was an excellent demonstration of the importance of photographic analysis for our history students," said Dr Rebecca Gill, Reader in Modern History

"It was a pleasure to host Dr Dr Hördler and we look forward to his return visit in the autumn, when he will be launching his book on the album and discussing his recent work on Auschwitz in the lead up to the 80 year anniversary of its liberation of the camp in January 1945."


{{item.title}} - News Story