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    Symposium - Document Collections and their Place in the Historiography of the Shoah

    October 20-21st, 2015 - EHESS, Paris

    The editing and publishing of “materials” and “documents” take up an important place in the first historiographical works on the Shoah. But the concrete historiographical operation remains hardly examined. This workshop is organized by the Research Group “Histoire & Historiography of the Shoah” (Center for Historical Research, EHESS-CNRS, Paris).

    The question is not simply an internal or technical matter for historiography: the “documents” represented a fundamental source, and resource, for the historians. Several among them had biographical links to the documentation they used and published (because they have helped to save, to collect, to preserve it). And it is evident to what extent the mastery of the documentation was at stake in main institutional and political matters after the war.

    Moreover, these “documents” are not stable writings: like for individuals, we can reconstruct their itinerary, beginning with the context of their production up to the time of their publication. In these itineraries of writings the questions regarding “auctoriality” (who is the author of the text which became a document?), and the limit between “document”, produced during the war, and “testimony”, that came immediately afterwards, often turned out considerably complexified.

    The purpose of the conference is to report on this complexity, which often lead historians of the following generations to keep a certain distance to these corpus of “document collections”, so much did the latter not comply with their historiographical expectations and seemed to be assembled in a curious manner, without sufficient references, too “literary” in their style, responding to historiographical questions which appeared problematic or wrong, overdetermined by political struggles of the Cold War, or by logics of vengeance or of pity.

    This workshop is organised with the support of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, Paris.



    Thuesday 20th October, 2-4.30 pm.
    The VEJ Project, from a multi-volume document collection to a written monument?
    (in English)

    Wednesday 21st October, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Historiography and “documents” in the aftermath of the war
    (in French and English)


    Salle Jean-Pierre Vernant
    190, avenue de France
    75013 Paris

    Contact : Judith Lyon-Caen
    Email :




    Mardi 20 octobre 2015, de 14h à 16h30
    Le projet Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden.
    D’une vaste collection de documents à un monument écrit ?
    (en anglais)

    Mercredi 21 octobre 2015, de 9h30 à 17h La place et les usages du document dans la première historiographie de la Shoah
    (en français et en anglais)

    Programme complet (pdf)

    Salle Jean-Pierre Vernant
    190, avenue de France
    75013 Paris

    Contact : Judith Lyon-Caen :


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