Is Complicity Evil? The Holocaust and Its Legacy Guest Lecture

Nitzan Lebovic speakingOn Friday, April 29 the Philosophy Department co-sponsored a guest lecture with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in observance of Yom HaShoah titled Is Complicity Evil? The Holocaust and Its Legacy. Nitzan Lebovic, Ph.D., professor of history and Apter Chair of Holocaust Studies and Ethical Values at Lehigh University, talked about the ethics of complicity and nonaction, and whether bystanders played an amoral or immoral role in the death of roughly 6 million Jews and 5 million non-Jews during the Holocaust.

Nitzan Lebovic received his B.A. in History and Theory of Literature from Tel Aviv University and his Ph.D. from UCLA. His first book, titled The Philosophy of Life and Death: Ludwig Klages and the Rise of a Nazi Biopolitics (2013) focuses on the circle around the Lebensphilosophie and anti-Semitic thinker Ludwig Klages. His second book, Zionism and Melancholy: The Short Life of Israel Zarchi, came out in Hebrew in 2015 and was published in June 2019 with the “New Jewish Philosophy and Thought” series at Indiana University Press. He is also co-editor of The Politics of Nihilism (2014) and of Catastrophes: A History and Theory of an Operative Concept (2014), and has authored special issues of Rethinking History (Nihilism), Zmanim (Religion and Power), and The New German Critique (Political Theology), Comparative Literature and Culture (Complicity and Dissent), and Political Theology (Prophetic Politics).

Dr. Lebovic regularly teaches classes about the history of the Holocaust, the history of total war, introduction to modern Jewish culture, and the history of fascism. The university thanks Dr. Lebovic for speaking with our campus community.