Henry Greenspan is a playwright and psychologist whose teaching and writing has primarily focused on the Holocaust and genocide. He began interviewing Holocaust survivors in the 1970s – before most such projects began – and he continues to meet with some of the same survivors today. Thus, unlike most “testimony” or “oral history” projects, Greenspan’s focus has been the process of retelling such experiences over the course of many years of sustained conversation. He speaks of “knowing with” survivors – a collaborative process – rather than simply “knowing from” or “knowing about” them.
More generally, Greenspan is interested in the social psychology of moral choice – the ways significant ethical decisions are impacted by their social context. This includes extreme contexts like the Holocaust as well as more every situations. More particularly, he is interested in moral choice in the context of corporations and, more particularly still, within the pharmaceutical industry. He is the founder of Justice in Michigan, a non-partisan group of social scientists, policy analysts, and physicans who focus on issues of healthcare and legal rights. His “advocacy” letters and op-eds on these issues have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, New England Journal of Medicine, Boston Globe, Detroit Free Press, and other newspapers throughout Michigan.
Moral Choice in Context: Social Psychological and Historical Perspectives
Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Psychological and Historical Perspectives
Pills, Politics, and the Public Good: Ethical Crossroads and the Pharmaceutical Industry.
“Survivor Testimony” – chapter for Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies, Oxford University Press, due 2009.
“Ora,” Harvard Divinity Bulletin, 36:2, Spring 2008, pp. 70-76.
“On Testimony, Legacy, and the Problem of Helplessness in History,” Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History, 13:1, Spring 2007, pp. 44-56.
“When is an Interview an Interview?: Notes from Listening to Holocaust Survivors,” Poetics Today, 27:2, Summer 2006, pp. 431-50
“Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Interpreting a Repeated Story,” chapter in Up Close and Personal: The Teaching and Learning of Narrative Research, American Psychological Association Press, 2003.
“The Awakening of Memory: Survivor Testimony in the First Years After Liberation, and Today,” Annual Weinmann Lecture, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2001. Can be accessed at:
On Listening to Holocaust Survivors (first published 1998; second edition due 1009)
Reflections: Auschwitz, Memory, and a Life Recreated (with Agi Rubin), 2007
Remnants (a play)