Caroline Cormier’s dissertation examines the large-scale disruption to Jewish homes that took place in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. Specifically, her research explores the displacement of Jews from their private residences and their forced relocation into Nazi-designated ‘Jew Houses’, or Judenhäuser, in three of Germany’s major cities: Berlin, Dresden, and Hamburg. Beyond providing the wartime histories of these often overlooked spaces, Ms. Cormier’s project will illuminate the many ways that these sites have once again become visible landmarks.
Using recent memorialization projects as a starting point, coupled with extensive archival work and testimony from survivors, their heirs and the post-war inhabitants of these sites, her doctoral project will expand the visibility of the histories and ongoing preservation efforts of these formerly Jewish living spaces. Ms. Cormier will also use GIS and other geovisualization tools to map how these spaces have changed over time. These spatial explorations will allow her to better understand the making and unmaking of place and space in relation to German Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust.
Ms. Cormier has also received support for her research from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Joint Initiative in German and European Studies (JIGES), and the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto, among others. Her supervisor is Dr. Rebecca Wittmann.