Holocaust Education Week lecture explores discrimination based on names

The Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies at York University will host an event on Nov. 3 that explores how Nazis used names to fulfill Hitler’s genocidal vision.

The event runs during 2020 Holocaust Education Week and features a lectures with guest presenter Iman Nick on “Hitler’s Lists: How the Nazis Used Names to Spawn the Holocaust.” It runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Zoom.

Even before the infamous Yellow Star, the Nazis devised a simple yet effective method to pinpoint victims for wide-spread discrimination, marginalization, relocation, deportation and finally extermination. Using first-hand accounts from Holocaust survivors and documents unearthed from the once secret files of the Nazi Party, this lecture tells the story of how personal names were used to fulfill Hitler’s genocidal vision. The talk will also present modern-day examples in which something as seemingly innocuous as a person’s name has been used to carry out crimes against humanity.

Nick is a sociolinguist with a specialization in forensic onomastics and investigative psychology. She is the president of the Germanic Society for Forensic Linguistics and the editor-in-chief of NAMES, the oldest and largest scholarly society for the study of names and naming. Among her many publications is her latest book, Personal Names, Hitler, and The Holocaust: A Socio-onomastic Study of Genocide and Nazi Germany by Lexington Books.

Register online here to join the virtual event.