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David Bankier, Holocaust scholar, dies at 63

JTA

March 1, 2010 | 2:15 pm

David Bankier, whose Holocaust research studies dealt with persecutors and bystanders, has died.

Bankier, the head of the International Institute for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, died over the weekend following a long illness, Yad Vashem in Jerusalem announced. He was 63.

Among Bankier’s major topics of interest was how anti-Semitism became the most central and efficient tool used by the Nazi regime to spread its ideology, both in its internal regime struggles and its efforts to recruit the masses.

“Professor Bankier was one of the most important and most cited scholars in the research of Nazi Germany, ” Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said. “His publications in this field constitute a cornerstone of modern academic research.”

In 2000, he was appointed head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, and incumbent of the John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies.

Bankier, a native of Germany, was the Solomon and Victoria Cohen Professor at the Hebrew University and headed the section for Studies in Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust at the university’s Institute for Contemporary Jewry. He served as visiting professor at universities in London, the United States, South Africa and South America.

Bankier was involved in developing centers of Jewish studies in Latin America, and promoted academic publications in Spanish.

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