“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
The Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main will be the first university in Germany to have a Professorship for Holocaust Research from 2016.
The news comes shortly after the Director of the Fritz Bauer Institut, Swiss Historian Dr. Raphael Gross, announced that he would be leaving his role to take up a permanent Professorship position in Leipzig at the
Jutta Ebeling, Chair of the Fritz Bauer Association and former Mayor of Frankfurt, has long stated the need for a permanent Professorship for Holocaust Research tied to the role of Director of the Fritz Bauer Institut. In other countries there are various Professorships dealing with the topic of Holocaust.
Speaking to the Stuttgarter Zeitung, IHRA delegate Juliane Wetzel of the Centre for Research on Antisemitism at the TU Berlin stressed that this does not mean that research on the Holocaust is not already being carried out. The Munich Institute for Contemporary History has a department which deals exclusively with the Holocaust and there are a large number of professors in Germany with a focus on the Holocaust and related topics. A Professorship for Holocaust Research would simply be another name for what is already being carried out.
Brigitta Wolff, since 2014 the Director of the Goethe University, personally supports the move to establish the Professorship. The Professorship is also supported by Hesse's Minister of Finance, Boris Rhein (CDU):
"We certainly want there to be a Professorship for Holocaust Research in Frankfurt. It would be a first for Germany. It would be a unique feature for Frankfurt, especially with the presence of the Fritz Bauer Institut. And therefore the local government wants to endeavour to support it."
More information in German is available here.