We are excited to welcome our new graduate assistant, John William Rall, who began working for the Judaic Studies program this fall. He is finishing his PhD in history where he is investigating Nazi responses to poverty in the Third Reich.
Where previous scholarship interprets National Socialist welfare as a professional and impersonal bureaucracy, Rall’s dissertation demonstrates that poor relief was a personal and emotional enterprise woven deep into the cultural life of Nazi Germany. It served as a mechanism by which Germans separated “neighbors” from “enemies” as well as defined and redefined standards of morality. By acting charitably, Germans could think of themselves as “moral” while simultaneously contributing to unprecedented genocide.
Rall’s research appeared in a volume of essays about everyday life in modern Germany titled, Ruptures in the Everyday: Views of Modern Germany from the Ground published by Berghahn Books in 2017.