Melanie Hembera received an MA in Medieval and Modern History and Political Science at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She successfully defended her PhD thesis, “The Shoah in the District of Cracow in the General Government; The City of Tarnów as a Case Study” in December 2014. Melanie Hembera is a researcher at the Forschungstelle Ludwigsburg of the University of Stuttgart.
The recipient of several awards, Ms. Hembera received fellowships inter alia from the German Historical Institute, Targum Shlishi and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
In 2011, Yad Vashem’s International Institute for Holocaust Research granted her a two-week research fellowship. In 2012, she was the recipient of the 2012 Institut für Zeitgeschichte – United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Exchange Scholar Award. She is a native speaker of German and has studied English, Dutch, Polish, and Latin.
Ms. Hembera’s current post-doctoral project is a fundamental discussion and investigation of present knowledge, as well as an empirical vital contribution to the examination of the Shoah in the General Government, with a focus on the central National Socialist extermination program against the Jewish population – the “Aktion Reinhard.” Utilizing wartime German documentation, German records of postwar criminal investigations, and survivors’ testimonies, Melanie Hembera focuses on the complex historical processes that resulted in the extermination of the Jews in the three camps of the “Aktion Reinhard” – Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka.
The goal of the project is to analyze the “Aktion Reinhard” based on extensive sources to get to groundbreaking new findings. Not only the responsible institutions, their initiatives and competencies will be investigated, but also the prehistory, the progress and the implementation of the “Aktion Reinhard”.
The results of her research project about the “Aktion Reinhard” will bring forth new empirical knowledge on this central National Socialist extermination program against the Jewish population. Furthermore, the project aims to provide a pivotal reassessment in terms of the key decision-makers and their initiatives and competencies.