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March 17, 2011

CONTACT: K.E. Schwab




SRU annual Holocaust remembrance focuses on Nazi photos  


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Joseph White, research assistant at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and expert in European history, will present “Not ‘Just Nazis at Play.’ Contextualizing the Hocker Album,” when Slippery Rock University observes it annual Holocaust Remembrance Program at 4 p.m. March 29.

           The free lecture will be presented in Miller Auditorium on the SRU campus.

           White will explain some of the 140 photographs recently released to the Holocaust Museum taken by Karl Hocker, chief of staff to Rudolf Hoess (Hess), commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps.

           The photos show Nazi leaders and their friends during their time away from work – many in stark contrast to their military lives.

           The photos are from 1944 when Hungarian Jews and others were being murdered at the rate of up to 20,000 a day. White will juxtapose the Nazis relaxing after participating in some of what have been called “the worst days in human history.”

           The lecture will explain development of the camps at Auschwitz and their murderous function. 

            White earned his doctorate in modern European history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His dissertation was titled “IG Auschwitz: The Primacy of Racial Politics,” in which he argued that Nazi ideological and political goals overrode economic considerations in the origins and development of the chemical conglomerate IG Farben’s Auschwitz factory and furnishes a case study in the function of the National Socialist “racial state.”

            Since 1989, White has taught more than 60 courses at Georgia State University, Olgethorpe University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, American University, Randolph-Macon College, Global Education Network, Towson University, Prince George’s Community College, and the University of Maryland University College.

            In addition to his work at the museum he is an adjunct professor of history at the

University of Maryland University College.

            He has taught 31 online blended courses, including “World Civilization I and II,” “Western Civilization I and II,” “Europe’s Bloodiest Century” (20th-century Europe), “Germany since 1914,” “Nazism and the Third Reich,” “Jews in Nazi Germany,” “The Nuremberg War-Crimes Trials,” and “World War II.

            In addition to presenting a host of seminars, workshops and conference lectures, White has lectured extensively on the Holocaust, its effects in various countries and the survivors.

            His research work includes experience as a claims conference research assistant at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the Holocaust Museum and service as editor of Volume 3 of “The Camps and Ghettos of European States Allied to Germany,” part of the seven-volume encyclopedia “The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945.”

            White earned the 2009 National Jewish Book Award Winner for Holocaust Studies, the 2009 Library Journal’s Best of Reference honor, the 2010 Judaica Reference Award and the 2010 Outstanding Academic Title Choice magazine honor.

            He is a member of the American Historical Association, Georgia Association of Historians, German Studies Association, International Society of First World War Studies and the Southern Historical Association.

           The remembrance program, organized by Richard Martin, professor of political science, is sponsored by SRU’s department of political science and supported by the University’s College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.