Dr Michael Abrahams-Sprod

PhD (Sydney), MA (UNSW), Grad Dip Ed (UNSW), BA (UNSW)
Roth Foundation Lecturer in Israel, Jewish Civilisation and Holocaust Studies
Undergraduate Coordinator, Jewish Civilisation, Thought and Culture

A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone + 61 2 9351 6662

Biographical details

Dr Michael Abrahams-Sprod is an historian and linguist with extensive experience in secondary, tertiary and adult education. Michael currently teaches and researches in the areas of medieval Jewish history and modern Jewish history, with key focuses on the Holocaust, modern European Jewish history, the history of Zionism, the history of the State of Israel and the history of the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His PhD dissertation (2006) entitled: Life under Siege: The Jews of Magdeburg under Nazi Rule is currently under preparation for publication in English and was published as a monograph in German translation in November 2011 by Mitteldeutscher Verlag (Halle/Saale) under the title: „Und dann warst du auf einmal ausgestoßen!“ Die Magdeburger Juden während der NS-Herrschaft. Michael’s other research interests include German-Jewish history since its inception, German-speaking Jewry under Nazism and micro-studies of Jewish communities destroyed during the Holocaust. Michael is also fluent in French, German and Russian and possesses a good knowledge of Modern Hebrew and Yiddish.

Research interests

  • German-speaking Jewry under Nazism
  • German-Jewish history
  • The Holocaust
  • The history of European Jewry
  • The history of Zionism
  • The history of the State of Israel
  • The history of the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Teaching and supervision

Teaching

  • JCTC1001: Palestine from Roman Rule to Islamic Conquest
  • JCTC1002: Jewish Settlement outside Palestine
  • JCTC2603: Jews under the Crescent and the Cross
  • JCTC2604: From Expulsion to Regeneration
  • JCTC2605: From Emancipation to the Holocaust
  • JCTC2606: The Holocaust: History and Aftermath
  • JCTC2607: Israel in the Modern Middle East
  • JCTC3601: Unravelling the Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • HSTY2607: Approaches to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • HAIC: Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Conducted by The Centre for Continuing Education)
  • RPRI: Rhythms and Purposes: The Rhythms and Purposes of Jewish Living (Conducted by The Centre for Continuing Education)
  • TDJL: Crossroads of Jewish History (Conducted by The Centre for Continuing Education)

Supervision

  • Medieval and early modern Jewish history
  • Modern Jewish history
  • Modern European Jewish history
  • German-speaking Jewry
  • The Holocaust
  • Zionism and the State of Israel
  • Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Current research students

Project title Research student
The Perpetrator Profile George FOSTER
The Jabotinsky Movement and Jewish Resistance to the Nazis in Eastern Europe Peter KEEDA
A Comprehensive overview of concentration Camp Vapniarka Leonard MAHEMOFF

Current projects

  • Preparation of PhD dissertation (2006) entitled: Life under Siege: The Jews of Magdeburg under Nazi Rule for publication in English
  • The history of Zionism in German-speaking Europe
  • German-Jewish refugees in Palestine, later the State of Israel

Awards and honours

2016 Dean’s Faculty Unit of Study Survey Commendation for Excellence in Teaching, Semester 2, 2015 unit of study, JCTC3601: Unravelling the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Other professional contributions

  • Adjunct Lecturer, School of Humanities and Languages, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of New South Wales
  • President, Australian Association for Jewish Studies
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Australian Journal of Jewish Studies
  • Historical Advisor and Consultant, Arbeitsgruppe Stolpersteine für Magdeburg der Landeshauptstadt Magdeburg (Memorial Tablets Committee for Magdeburg), Germany
  • Executive Member of the Council of Mandelbaum House Trust
  • Member of the Academic Advisory Committee of Mandelbaum House
  • Member of the Selection Committee for the Leon Fink Scholarship, Australian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Recent conference activity

“Old New Jews: Jewish Identity in the 21st Century”: 24th Annual Conference for the Australian Association for Jewish Studies, Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, Monash University, Melbourne, 12-13 February 2012 (member of the conference organising committee).

“Jewish Languages, Jewish Cultures: The Shaping of Jewish Civilisation”: 25th Annual Conference for the Australian Association for Jewish Studies, Mandelbaum House, The University of Sydney, Sydney, 10-11 February 2013 (member of the conference organising committee).

“Jews, Judaism and Hybridity”: 26th Annual Conference of the Australian Association for Jewish Studies, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide; Presenter of the paper: “From Symbiosis to Racial Pollution: The Cases of Rassenschande (Racial Defilement) in Nazi Magdeburg”, 9-10 February 2014 (member of the conference organising committee).

International Symposium on “Jewish History, Antisemitism and the Holocaust”, Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies, The University of Sydney in conjunction with the Goethe-Institut Sydney and the Sydney Jewish Museum, Sydney Jewish Museum, 17-18 September 2014.

“Neighbours: Relations between Jews and non-Jews throughout History”: 27th Annual Conference of the Australian Association for Jewish Studies, The Shalom Institute, Shalom College, UNSW, Sydney; Presenter of the paper: “A Parting of the Ways: The Demise of Jewish and non-Jewish Relationships in Magdeburg 1933-1938”, 15-16 February 2015 (member of the conference organising committee).

“Jews, Judaism and the Environment from Biblical Times to the Present”: 28th Annual Conference for the Australian Association for Jewish Studies, Griffith University, Brisbane, 14-15 February 2016 (member of the conference organising committee).

Selected publications

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Books

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2011). Und dann warst du auf einmal ausgestoben Die Magdeburger Juden Wahrend der NS-Herrschaft. Halle (Saale): Mitteldeutscher Verlag.

Journals

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2008). Broken Glass, Shattered Lives: The Relevance of the Reichskristallnacht Today. The Sydney Papers, 20(4 (Spring 2008)), 125-132.
  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2007). Life under Siege: The Jews of Magdeburg under Nazi Rule (Dissertation Abstract). Leo Baeck Institute Year Book, 52(2007), 307-328.
  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2004). ’But the Jews have to go out!’: The School Experience of Jewish Pupils in Nazi Magdeburg. Oral History Association of Australia Journal, 26, 64-70.
  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2003). 'Australien! Wo ist denn das?’ - The Migration Experience of Jewish Refugees from Nazi Germany. Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, 17, 9-24.

Conferences

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2006). Coffee and Cake with the Family Beiunsky: An Exploration of the Concepts of Identity and Exile with Respect to Jewish Refugees from Nazi Germany. Australasian Jewish Studies Forum, Sydney: Mandelbaum Publishing.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2008). Pogrom a blueprint for terror. The Australian, 10 November 2008, 8.
  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2007). Emil and Karl by Yankev Glatshteyn. Australian mosaic, 16 (The need for vigilance: Issues of prejudice in a culturally diverse Australia), 41-42.

Other

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2012), "My Holocaust Odyssey: A Journey from Sydney via the World to Magdeburg," (Sydney: Sydney Jewish Museum) Sydney Jewish Museum 2012 Yearbook, 80–81. Also published in edited forms in (Sydney: School of Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney) Language and Culture, 21, 3–5; (Sydney: Australian Association of Jewish Studies, 2012) Australian Association of Jewish Studies Newsletter, 53, 9–12; and (Sydney: School of Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney) Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies Annual Report 2012, 20–21.
  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2007), “Reflections of an Accidental Oral Historian,�? (Sydney: Oral History Association of Australia, New South Wales Branch [OHAA NSW], 2007) Voiceprint, 37, 8–10.
  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2002), Survivor testimony bringing to life the school experiences of Jewish pupils in Magdeburg 1933 – 1945, in Yad Vashem (ed.), The Legacy of Holocaust Survivors: The Moral and Ethical Implications for Humanity. CD-ROM.
  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2002), “The Impossibility of Weathering the Storm: Some Reflections on the ‘Reichskristallnacht’,�? Zachor: Journal of The Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants Inc., November 2002 (Kislev 5763), 8–9 [also published as “Slow awakening, sudden pogrom,�? in Australian Jewish News, Sydney edition, 15 November, 2002, 18].

2012

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2012), "My Holocaust Odyssey: A Journey from Sydney via the World to Magdeburg," (Sydney: Sydney Jewish Museum) Sydney Jewish Museum 2012 Yearbook, 80–81. Also published in edited forms in (Sydney: School of Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney) Language and Culture, 21, 3–5; (Sydney: Australian Association of Jewish Studies, 2012) Australian Association of Jewish Studies Newsletter, 53, 9–12; and (Sydney: School of Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney) Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies Annual Report 2012, 20–21.

2011

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2011). Und dann warst du auf einmal ausgestoben Die Magdeburger Juden Wahrend der NS-Herrschaft. Halle (Saale): Mitteldeutscher Verlag.

2008

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2008). Broken Glass, Shattered Lives: The Relevance of the Reichskristallnacht Today. The Sydney Papers, 20(4 (Spring 2008)), 125-132.
  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2008). Pogrom a blueprint for terror. The Australian, 10 November 2008, 8.

2007

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2007). Emil and Karl by Yankev Glatshteyn. Australian mosaic, 16 (The need for vigilance: Issues of prejudice in a culturally diverse Australia), 41-42.
  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2007). Life under Siege: The Jews of Magdeburg under Nazi Rule (Dissertation Abstract). Leo Baeck Institute Year Book, 52(2007), 307-328.
  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2007), “Reflections of an Accidental Oral Historian,�? (Sydney: Oral History Association of Australia, New South Wales Branch [OHAA NSW], 2007) Voiceprint, 37, 8–10.

2006

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2006). Coffee and Cake with the Family Beiunsky: An Exploration of the Concepts of Identity and Exile with Respect to Jewish Refugees from Nazi Germany. Australasian Jewish Studies Forum, Sydney: Mandelbaum Publishing.

2004

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2004). ’But the Jews have to go out!’: The School Experience of Jewish Pupils in Nazi Magdeburg. Oral History Association of Australia Journal, 26, 64-70.

2003

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2003). 'Australien! Wo ist denn das?’ - The Migration Experience of Jewish Refugees from Nazi Germany. Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, 17, 9-24.

2002

  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2002), Survivor testimony bringing to life the school experiences of Jewish pupils in Magdeburg 1933 – 1945, in Yad Vashem (ed.), The Legacy of Holocaust Survivors: The Moral and Ethical Implications for Humanity. CD-ROM.
  • Abrahams-Sprod, M. (2002), “The Impossibility of Weathering the Storm: Some Reflections on the ‘Reichskristallnacht’,�? Zachor: Journal of The Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants Inc., November 2002 (Kislev 5763), 8–9 [also published as “Slow awakening, sudden pogrom,�? in Australian Jewish News, Sydney edition, 15 November, 2002, 18].

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