Who We Are

FOUNDERS

Dr. StoltzfusNATHAN STOLTZFUS

Nathan Stoltzfus (Ph.D. Harvard 1993) is Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University and is author or editor of seven books.

His book Resistance of the Heart: Intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Nazi Germany (W.W. Norton 1996, paperback 2001 with a forward by Walter Laqueur) has been translated into French (Phébus), Swedish (Leopard), Greek (University Studio Press) and German (Hanser and dtv with foreword by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer). It was a co-recipient of the Institute of Contemporary History’s Fraenkel Prize, a ‘Book of the Year’ in the New Statesman, was #2 on the German Bestenliste for nonfiction in October, 1999, identified by Die Zeit as the ‘standard work’ on the Rosenstrasse Protest, and was praised by the New York Times. It has formed the basis for documentary films and was the subject of dramatic readings in Germany and the U.S. by Elysium.

Stoltzfus’ innovative work on intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest has spawned a considerable debate among academics, leading to what Die Zeit called a “historian’s controversy.” Debates about the subject became a discussion forum on the academic listserv H-German, generating a webpage used in graduate seminars.

His book publications include:

Hitler’s Compromises: Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany (Yale University, 2016) makes an argument about the nature of the Nazi state. Hitler was able to achieve such monumental evil only because he used a range of tactics rather than mere brute force. While his dictatorship murdered millions in the name of ideology, Hitler managed his “German-blooded race” with persuasion, enticement, co-optation, compromise — tactics scholars now associate with “soft” dictators of the 21st century. Hitler’s tactical compromises worked in tandem with terror to maintain his grip on power. Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany (Princeton University Press, 2001), co-edited with Professor Robert Gellately, and also published in Turkish, this collection by
 leading scholars offer rich histories of the people branded as “social outsiders” in Nazi Germany: Communists, Jews, “Gypsies,” foreign workers, prostitutes, criminals, homosexuals, and the homeless, unemployed, and chronically ill. Although many works have concentrated exclusively on the relationship between Jews and the Third Reich, this collection also includes often-overlooked victims of Nazism while reintegrating the Holocaust into its wider social context.

Shades of Green: Environmental Activism around the Globe co-edited with Professors Doug Weiner and Christoph Mauch (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006) which represents the diversity of national, regional and international environmental activism, showing that the term “environmentalism” covers an entire range of perceptions, values and interests.

Courageous Resistance: The Power of Ordinary People, co-authored with Professors Kristina Thalhammer, Myron Glazer, Paula L. O’Loughlin, Sam McFarland, and Sharon Shepela

(Palgrave MacMillan, 2007 book co-authored experts in history, political science, and sociology the book introduces readers to a spectrum of types of resistance to tyranny and

investigates the factors that motivate and sustain opposition to human rights violations.

Nazi Crimes and the Law, co-edited with professor and Holocaust survivor Henry Friedlander (Cambridge University Press: 2008) This book examines the use of national and international law to prosecute Nazi crimes, the centerpiece of twentieth-century state-sponsored genocide and mass murder crimes, the paradigmatic instance of state-sponsored criminality and genocide in the twentieth century.

Nathan Stoltzfus is the author of a number of articles, also for general intellectual publications including The Atlantic Monthly, Der Spiegel, The Daily Beast, and Die Zeit. He has appeared as an expert for or been quoted by a range of media, including NPR, ZDF German TV, Vogue Magazine, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Financial Times and The Times. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard, has been a Fulbright and IREX scholar in West and East Germany, a Friedrich Ebert Stiftung grantee, a H.F. Guggenheim Foundation Scholar, and won a Florida State University Developing Scholar Award. He is an alumnus of The National Judicial College and joined its faculty in 2004.

Mordechai PaldielMORDECAI PALDIEL 

Dr. Mordecai Paldiel is a leading scholar on the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust. Born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1937, to Jewish parents who had moved there from Poland – during the German invasion of Belgium, in May 1940, the family fled to France. Originally settled in St. Gaudin, southwestern France, the family, then known as Wajsfeld, moved to various parts of occupied France. In September 1943, with the help of the Catholic cleric Simon Gallay, the family, then numbering parents and six children, fled to Switzerland, where they stayed until the war’s end — then returned to Belgium. In 1950, the family moved to the USA, and settled in Brooklyn.

In 1962, Mordecai Paldiel made Aliyah and studied at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, where he earned a BA degree in Economics and Political Science. He then furthered his studies at Temple University, Philadelphia, where he earned an MA and PhD in Holocaust Studies, under the tutorship of Professor Franklin H. Littell.

Returning to Israel, Paldiel was nominated director of the Righteous Among the Nations Department, at Yad Vashem – the country’s national Holocaust Memorial, a post he occupied from 1982 to 2007. During that 24-year stint, under Paldiel’s stewardship, some 18,000 non-Jewish men and women from various countries were awarded the prestigious honor of “Righteous Among the Nations,” by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, for their role in saving Jews from the Nazis at considerable risks to themselves.

Paldiel is currently teaching, in New York: at Yeshiva University-Stern College, New York – courses in Holocaust & Rescue, and History of Zionism; as well as Touro college, in Modern European History. He also taught at Drew University, in Madison, New Jersey, and Richard Stockton College, Pomona, New Jersey.

Dr. Paldiel has published numerous books and articles on the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust, such as: “The Path of the Righteous: Gentile Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust”; “Saving the Jews: Amazing Stories of Men and Women Who Defied the Final Solution”; “Churches and the Holocaust: Unholy Teaching, Good Samaritans & Reconciliation”; “Diplomat Heroes of the Holocaust”; “Saving One’s Own: Jewish Rescuers During the Holocaust”; and “German Rescuers of Jews: Individuals versus the Nazi System”.

ADMINISTRATION

Danielle Wirsansky Head ShotDANIELLE WIRSANSKY (Researcher)

Danielle Wirsansky is a graduate of Florida State University with an MA in Modern European History, a BA in Theater, and a BA in English (Creative Writing). She began working with Dr. Nathan Stoltzfus as an undergraduate research assistant through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program in 2013 and has continued working with him ever since. Danielle is passionate about public history and using theater as a platform for education. In addition to her work with the Rosenstrasse Foundation, Danielle also serves as the Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator at the Jewish Community Alliance.

SHEIGHLIN HAGERTY (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Sheighlin Hagerty is a second year student at Florida State University, and is a bachelor of arts candidate of history. She currently works at the Institute on World War ll and the Human Experience as an Archival Assistant. She spent the past summer in China studying abroad with FSU. Sheighlin is participating in this foundation through FSU’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.

CARMELLINA MOERSCH (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Carmellina Moersch is a senior at Florida State University, studying Classics, Humanities and Religion. She currently works at the Institute for World War II and the Human Experience on campus, where she is an Archival Assistant. She is currently working on her Honors Thesis, entitled “The Evolution of Religion on the Campus of Florida State College for Women, Later the Florida State University, From 1920 to 1960”, to be defended November, 2019. Carmellina’s interest in the Rosenstrasse work and Foundation stemmed from her enjoyment of Dr. Stoltzfus’ classes, as well as a desire to learn more on the subject and assist in the research behind it.