Daan de Leeuw is a PhD Candidate in History at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. His dissertation “The Geography of Slave Labor: Dutch Jews and the Third Reich, 1942-1945,” supervised by Prof. Debórah Dwork, investigates the trajectories of Dutch Jewish slave laborers through German concentration and annihilation camps. Drawing on survivor testimonies and Nazi administrative records, de Leeuw examines the movement of prisoners from camp to camp and how these transfers affected the social structures inmates created among themselves. Focusing on 9 out of the 103 transports that left the Netherlands between 1942 and 1944, he applies Geographic Information System (GIS) technology and cartographic tools to visualize the paths of individuals and groups of deportees to study the plight of Jewish slave laborers, to understand their agency and powerlessness, and to scrutinize the German effort to win the war through the ruthless exploitation of prisoners.
De Leeuw earned a BA (cum laude) and MA (cum laude) in History from the University of Amsterdam. An article based on his award-winning MA thesis about physicians as perpetrators of human subject research was published as ““In the Name of Humanity”: Nazi Doctors and Human Experiments in German Concentration Camps” in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (2020). And an article pertaining to his doctoral research, “Mapping Jewish Slave Laborers’ Trajectories Through Concentration Camps,” appeared in the Arolsen Research Series (2022).
De Leeuw has been awarded multiple fellowships and research grants, including a Yad Vashem Summer Research Fellowship for PhD Students, a Junior Fellowship at the Center for Holocaust Studies at the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History, a Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund Grant, an EHRI Conny Kristel Fellowship, and the 2021-2022 Ben and Zelda Cohen Fellowship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. During the 2023-2024 academic year, De Leeuw will hold besides the Kagan Fellowship a Vienna Wiesenthal Institute Junior Fellowship and will be based in Vienna.