On ‘Auschwitz’: reflecting on the meaning of absolute death

Date / time
27 January, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


On 'Auschwitz': reflecting on the meaning of absolute death

The Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford hosts Dan Diner, Professor Emeritus of Modern History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Chair of the Alfred Landecker Foundation and its Governing Council, for the 2021 Alfred Landecker Memorial Lecture.

The lecture tells the story of an awkward encounter between a Jewish woman prisoner and a female SS-guard in a slave-labour camp close to Dresden. The encounter takes place in the night of the infernal firestorm unleashed by Allied bomber squadrons on that city. An emerging short dialogue between the two women, between victim and victimizer, unravels a challenging question: can different deaths have different meanings and moral significance?

After the lecture, Dan will be joined by Blavatnik School faculty for a short panel discussion. Panel participants: Jonathan Wolff (Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy), Dapo Akande (Professor of Public International Law) and Marietta van der Tol (Alfred Landecker Postdoctoral Fellow). The discussion will be moderated by Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government.

The Alfred Landecker Memorial Lecture, held each year on 27 January to coincide with the United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Day, is delivered in partnership with the Alfred Landecker Foundation. The lecture is an integral part of the Alfred Landecker Programme at the Blavatnik School of Government, which investigates the rights and interests of minorities and vulnerable groups, exploring in particular the values and institutions that underpin democratic society.

The event will be held online via Zoom. Please register via the event webpage: https://www.bsg.ox.ac.uk/events/auschwitz-reflecting-meaning-absolute-death

Image credit:  Auschwitz II Birkenau. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.