BA Pacific Lutheran University, 2008 (History; German Language and Literature)
MA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011
MA Thesis: “‘Temporary’ Exile: National Differences in Czech and Austrian Kindertransport Experience”
My dissertation, “Coerced Voluntary Migration: Jewish Flight from the Bohemian Lands, 1938-1945″, explores the creation of networks of escape from the Nazi-occupied portions of Czechoslovakia between 1938 and 1945 and asks how, despite all the obstacles to emigration, a quarter of the Jewish population managed to successfully escape the Holocaust. Although faced with an impossibly short window of opportunity, Czechoslovak Jews scattered across the globe from Shanghai and India, to Madagascar and Ecuador. I argue that voluntary organizations, both local and international, were essential in creating networks of escape. By reconstructing the connections among individuals, local communities, state institutions, and international groups, I demonstrate why individuals chose to leave the Protectorate; how they implemented emigration strategies; and how they experienced the process of emigration. This dissertation uses Nazi reports, Jewish Community documents, visa applications, newspapers, and survivor testimony to demonstrate how individuals created the connections crucial for emigration and to understand the experiences of leaving. By retracing the connections between voluntary organizations, governments, and individuals, I demonstrate the complicated—and often messy—nature of humanitarian aid work.