You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Young, James

James Young, scholar to memorials

On the day after James Young spoke to an audience in Berlin that was anguishing about how to memorialize the Holocaust, a newspaper ran an editorial cartoon showing him and Germany on a couch.

So therapeutic and well informed had Young’s talk been, he was named to the advisory board to design the German National Memorial to Europe’s Murdered Jews.

Continue reading below

Professor of English and Judaic studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and director of the university’s Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Young is a scholar of memorials to tragedies whose work is as influential as it is low-profile.

“Not too many people around here even know about it,” he says.

Young visited concentration camps and other places where the Holocaust took place. “My eyes would go from the pages on my desk in front of me to the barbed wire and the memorials. And we had never thought about that before — why they were put there and who made them, and why.”

He has since written several books about the topic, guest-curated museum exhibits, and advised designers of the World Trade Center memorial in New York and the memorial to the Argentine desaparacidos, among others.

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of