Rachel Auerbach, the Eichmann Trial and a new conception of victim testimony.
Who was Rachel Auerbach?
In this lecture, Professor Leora Bilsky returns to the forgotten contribution of Rachel Auerbach (1903-1976), a Jewish-Polish writer, historian, and Holocaust survivor, and explores her important contribution to the Eichmann Trial (1961), where she helped shape a new conception of a victim-centered atrocity trial in the wake of World War II. As a former participant in the clandestine ‘Oyneg Shabbes’ archive in the Warsaw Ghetto, Auerbach promoted a novel understanding of the centrality of the crime of Cultural Genocide and of victims’ testimonies as a counter-measure to such crimes. Auerbach’s vision for the trial, as Professor Bilsky shall present in this lecture, has largely been forgotten from collective memory of the Eichmann trial, and the annals of international law. Professor Bilsky argues that in many aspects Auerbach was ahead of her times, and can be understood as an early precursor of later developments in both international criminal law and, more broadly, in the field of transitional justice.
Biography of Professor Bilsky
Leora Bilsky is The Benno Gitter Chair in Human Rights and Holocaust Research at the Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law and the director of the Minerva Center for Human Rights. She clerked at the Israel Supreme Court and earned L.L.M and J.S.D from Yale Law School. She is the author of Transformative Justice: Israeli Identity on Trial (University of Michigan Press, 2004) and The Holocaust, Corporations, and the Law: Unfinished Business (University of Michigan Press, 2017). She has been editor-in-chief of Theory and Criticism, and several law journals. She is currently co-editing with Anat Rosenberg a special issue of the journal Law, Society, Culture dedicated to the material turn in legal scholarship (Hebrew). Her research is interdisciplinary, combining political theory, archival historical research, and legal procedures and doctrines. It engages the fields of law and the Holocaust, political trials, transitional justice, international criminal law, and feminist legal theory. Her main research concerns law and the Holocaust and how it took shape in Holocaust litigation over seven decades. Her research in the last few years is dedicated to exploring the history of the concept of cultural genocide and its connection to various restitution struggles by victim groups.
Please remember: Entry to the Peace Palace is conditional upon registration. When attending please bring your photo-ID and your registration QR-code.
Verplichte aanmelding/registration is required: Please RSVP before January 24th 2023 via: ihrd-thehague.org
Monday, January 30th 2023, at 16.30 hoursLocation: the Academy Building of the Peace Palace Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ, The Hague, The Netherlands