2022: The "Citizen Other"
The Borah Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, presents the 2022 Meyerhoff Lecture: The "Citizen Other" on Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 4 p.m. on Zoom. Please preregister for this free event to receive the link. More registration information is available at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum event page.
The program will be moderated by Dylan Hedden-Nicely, director of the Native American Law Program at the U of I College of Law and will include speakers Wolf Gruner and Amanda Frost. Supplemental support for this event comes from the U of I departments of English, History, Modern Languages and Cultures and the Martin Institute.
The “Citizen Other:” Citizenship Stripping in Nazi Germany and the United States
Hitler’s government sought to violently redesign German society upon assuming power in 1933 by defining who belonged and who was excluded. During the same period, many in the United States, including some leaders in state and federal government, saw America’s racial, religious and ethnic identity in narrow and exclusive terms as well.
In both Nazi Germany and the United States, leaders determined to limit national belonging along racial, religious and ethnic lines by denying civil rights and at times even stripping citizenship from those they sought to exclude. Jews, people with disabilities and Romani were deemed biological enemies by the Nazi state; in the United States, some courts and lawmakers saw nonwhites, and in particular Japanese Americans, as racial "others," and denied or revoked their U.S. citizenship.
Political dissidents in Nazi Germany and the United States were also targeted for citizenship stripping by their respective governments. This discussion will contrast citizenship stripping in Nazi Germany and the United States, noting the commonalities as well as the differences between the two countries' views of race, rights and belonging.
Wolf Gruner, Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies, professor of History at the University of Southern California, Founding director of the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research, and member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Academic Committee, will discuss the emergence and implications of the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 and their implications in defining German Jews and others as outsiders and for what followed.
Amanda Frost, Ann Loeb Bronfman Distinguished Professor of Law and Government at American University, will discuss the ways in which some U.S. laws from the same period denied or revoked citizenship based on race.