Alfred Landecker Memorial Lecture: Rachel Auerbach, cultural genocide and a new conception of victims' testimonies

Event date
26 January 2023
Event time
17:30 - 19:30
Oxford week
HT 2
Faculty Members
Postgraduate Students
Undergraduate Students
Blavatnik School of Government

Professor Leora Bilsky, Professor of Law and the Director of the Minerva Center for Human Rights, Tel Aviv University.


In this lecture, Professor Leora Bilsky (Tel Aviv University) 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. The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion and drinks reception.

About the Alfred Landecker Memorial Lecture

The Alfred Landecker Memorial Lecture, held each year to mark 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.

Found within

Human Rights Law