Sari J. Siegel

Sari J. Siegel received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Southern California in 2018. Written under the guidance of Prof. Wolf Gruner, her dissertation, entitled “Between Coercion and Resistance: Jewish Prisoner-Physicians in Nazi Camps, 1940-1945,” explores the roles and conduct of these medical men and women and the motivations of the myriad parties who pursued the doctors’ assignments. In doing so, it demonstrates the importance of examining both macro and micro contexts, as these different scales delimit the functionaries’ room for maneuver, which, in turn, helps to shape the doctors’ behavior.

Over the course of her dissertation research and writing, Dr. Siegel held several fellowships-in-residence and received numerous other fellowships and grants, including a Saul Kagan Fellowship in Advanced Shoah Study (Cohort VII). She has presented her scholarship at workshops and conferences in six countries. In addition, she has published two peer-reviewed articles and has more in progress. As the 2018-2019 Geoffrey H. Hartman Postdoctoral Fellow at the Yale University Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Dr. Siegel has also contributed to the peer-reviewed Critical Edition Series—a compilation of annotated testimony transcripts with introductory essays. Furthermore, seeking the publication of a monograph, she is engaged in the revision of her dissertation.

Dr. Siegel is now embarking on a new project, tentatively entitled “Healing after the Holocaust: Jewish DP-Physicians and the Provision of Medical Care to Fellow Survivors, 1945-1950.” Like the dissertation, this study addresses Jewish doctors in both macro and micro contexts. It investigates where, when, and how they fit in various organizations’ relief and rehabilitation initiatives for Jewish Displaced Persons. On the micro level, it explores the doctors’ circumstances and their experiences—both physical and psychological—as they sought to help and heal other DPs in the aftermath of the attempted annihilation of European Jewry.

Beyond receiving a Saul Kagan Postdoctoral Fellowship in Advanced Shoah Study, Dr. Siegel has been awarded fellowships from YIVO and the Joint Distribution Committee in support of her research at those respective archives. During her tenure as a Kagan Postdoctoral Fellow, she will remain affiliated with the Fortunoff Video Archive at Yale.