David Bankier, Scholar of Holocaust, Dies at 63

Historians in the News

David Bankier, who helped expand the contours of Holocaust research by examining the participation of ordinary Europeans in the extermination of their Jewish neighbors, died over the weekend after a long illness, Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem Holocaust center, announced. He was 63.

Mr. Bankier, who was head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, focused his scholarly work on anti-Semitism, especially its use by the Nazis to promote and sustain a broader ideology. He was the author of “Germans and the Final Solution: Public Opinion Under Nazism” as well as a collection of essays, “Hitler, the Holocaust and German Society: Cooperation and Awareness.”

Born in Germany just before the state of Israel was created, Mr. Bankier grew up and was educated here, earning his doctorate in Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He held a professorship at Hebrew University and had served as a visiting professor in Britain, the United States, South Africa and South America. He spoke excellent English and Spanish, in addition to German and Hebrew.

Divorced, Mr. Bankier is survived by three children.
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