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History of the Holocaust and Nazi Germany, Modern European History, Comparative Genocide
Dr. Beorn received his PhD from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill under the direction of Christopher Browning. His book manuscript, currently under contract for publication, explores the participation of the German Army in the Holocaust in the occupied Soviet Union. In this project, he seeks to explain both how the Wehrmacht became so deeply complicit in the Nazi genocidal project as well as what that involvement actually looked like on the ground in the East. In addition, the work also illuminates the experience of Jews during this “Holocaust by Bullets,” a topic that has not received as much scholarly focus as other areas of the Holocaust. It is a desire to understand and explain how seemingly ordinary individuals can become killers that drives Dr. Beorn’s research in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. His focus on the local level of genocide stems from his belief that issues of ideology and policy become increasingly complex and nuanced at that scale. This contention has led him to also focus on issues of sexual and financial exploitation, friendship, and rescue.
Dr. Beorn is incredibly honored to serve as the inaugural Louis and Frances Blumkin Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at UNO. With the support of the Sam and Frances Fried Holocaust and Genocide Education Fund and the remarkable Sam Fried, he is excited to collaborate with other scholars and institutions in the Midwest in the creation of an integrated network for Holocaust and Genocide studies.
Dr. Beorn is particularly active in several other programs outside of UNO. For the past seven years, he has instructed cadets from the U.S. service academies in ethical military decision-making in the American Service Academy Program sponsored by the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Auschwitz Jewish Center. In addition, he often works as a consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, particularly with its department of Civic and Defense Initiatives. His scholarship has been used by the museum in its educational and outreach programs. Lastly, he is very proud to have been included in an interdisciplinary group of remarkable scholars who are engaged in exploring how geography and history can work together to both ask and answer new questions of the Holocaust.
A 2000 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Dr. Beorn served as a tank platoon leader before deploying to Iraq in 2003 as a scout platoon leader and later Assistant Squadron Operations officer. As a veteran, he is particularly honored to serve now as the Blumkin Professor of Holocaust Genocide Studies, a position endowed in recognition of the WWII service of Louis Blumkin who was also a liberator of several Nazi concentration camps.
Clio, one of the nine Greek muses, was later referred to as the Muse of History. A daughter of Zeus, Clio was highly regarded for her brilliant poetry and heroic acts. Her image usually includes a parchment scroll (an ancient source of record), a set of tablets (another ancient source of records), books, and/or a clarion (or trumpet). In her hair, she wears a laurel wreath. The image of Clio on this web page was taken from a 17th centurypainting by Francesco Furini entitled Clio, the Muse of History.