REGISTERED, PERSECUTED, ANNIHILATED: The legacy of the Nazi persecution of people with disabilities

Jewish Holocaust Centre, Elsternwick

Jewish Holocaust Centre, Elsternwick

Convenors: Professor Paul Komesaroff AM, Professor Leon Piterman AM and Dr Piers Gooding

Sunday 9 December 2018

Panellists will examine the specific effects of the Holocaust in creating and perpetuating physical and psychological disability. The panel will also consider challenges experienced by those who have come to Australia from other war-torn countries. It will raise the possibility that the marginalisation and erosion of personhood of persons with disability in our own society and how the continuing acceptance of cruel treatments—of indigenous people, asylum seekers, the aged, people with dementia and members of LGBTIQ communities—draws on insidious precedents established during the Holocaust.


Professor Paul Komesaroff, physician, researcher and philosopher at Monash University, Executive Director of the Global Reconciliation and President, Adult Medicine in the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Professor Leon Piterman AM, son of Holocaust survivors, is a Professor of General Practice at Monash University.

Dr Piers Gooding, Research Fellow at the Melbourne Social Equity Institute and Law School, the University of Melbourne.

Dr Jane Tracy, Director, Centre for Developmental Disability Health, Monash Health, and Adjunct Senior Lecturer, General Practice, Monash University.

Dr Paul Valent, Psychiatrist, with an interest in the psychological effects of the Holocaust, co-founded and past president of the Australasian Society of Traumatic Stress Studies.

Dr Natalie Tomas, daughter of a Holocaust survivor, a Research Fellow at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre. She has worked extensively in the area of disability policy.

Dr Ida Kaplan, Principal Consultant of Practice and Research, Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, and Research Fellow in Psychological Sciences, the University of Melbourne.

Mr Josef Szwarc, Policy and Research Manager, Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture.

Ms Hannah Aroni, granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. Former judges’ associate in the Court of Appeal and the Family Court, and a disability advocate for disabled adults.

Time: 1.00pm - 4.15pm

Venue: Jewish Holocaust Centre, 13-15 Selwyn Street, Elsternwick

Enquiries: 9528 1985 or

Victoria Baldwin