Timothy Snyder to Speak on Environment and the Holocaust Sept. 19

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., September 7, 2016—Timothy Snyder, Bird White Housum Professor of History at Yale University, will present a talk titled “Black Earth: The Ecological Politics of the Holocaust”­­­­­ as part of the year’s Confronting Climate Change Initiative at Williams College on Monday, Sept.19, at 7 p.m. in Griffin Hall, room 3. This event is free and open to the public.

Snyder’s most recent book, Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (Tim Duggan Books, 2015), presents a new explanation of the Holocaust that highlights the role of environmental concerns and demagogic exploitation of those fears. He traces back the beginnings of the ideology that allowed the Holocaust to happen and devotes much of the book to examining the few people who aided Jews without institutional support. He concludes that due to growing current preoccupations with food and water, along with political unrest, today’s society is coming to resemble that of the early twentieth century period that saw the rise of the Nazi ideology. His talk will look at the structural causes for how Hitler’s ideology could and can function, and how today we might face similar risks due to climate change and state collapse.

Snyder was born in southwestern Ohio. He received his B.A. from Brown University and later his doctorate from University of Oxford. He has written five books and co-edited two, and has published essays in numerous publications including the Journal of Cold War Studies, the International Herald Tribune, New York Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal and the Times Literary Supplement. His book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books, 2010) has earned him 12 awards including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding and the Hannah Arendt Prize.

This event is sponsored by the the Gaudino Fund, the Program in Jewish Studies, the Department of History, and the Center for Environmental Studies.


For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications (413) 597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at www.williams.edu/map