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biography in brief
Nechama Tec is the author of the book, Defiance, which was adapted for the screen in 2008 by Writer/Director Edward Zwick. The motion picture stars Daniel Craig, Jamie Bell and Liev Schreiber and is released in the U.S. by Paramount Vantage. Defiance recounts in vivid detail the true story of the largest armed rescue of Jews by Jews during WWII. Tec's son, Roland, co-produced Defiance and is currently developing a film adaptation of Dry Tears: the story of a lost childhood, her popular wartime memoir, through his own production company, Pinkplot.
Professor Emerita of Sociology at UConn, Tec received her PhD from Columbia University where she also served on the faculty for more than a decade. She has been a visiting lecturer at numerous colleges and universities around the world.
A Holocaust scholar for years, Tec's research and publications have concentrated on the intricate relationships between self-preservation, compassion, altruism, rescue, resistance, cooperation and gender.
Professor Tec recently spoke on these topics when she gave the keynote address at the 2010 United Nations Holocaust Commemoration.
Her books have expanded and deepened our understanding of the Holocaust by venturing into overlooked terrirory such as the Christian rescue of Jews (When Light Pierced the Darkness), Jewish and Christian identity (In the Lion's Den), Jewish wartime heroism (Defiance) and most recently, gender and survival (Reslience and Courage). This fascination with the unexplored began with her own memoir (Dry Tears) which is unusual for its candid exploration of the ways in which a false identity can becvome all-consuming. Tec's next book will undertake a comparitive analysis of Jewish and non-Jewish resistance during the war.
Tec is the recipient of two honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters: one from Seton Hall University and the most recent from Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion. In 2002, she was appointed by the President to the Council of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C. Tec also serves on the Academic Advisory Committee at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C. In 1997, she was a Senior Research Fellow at the Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance, at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. In 1995, she was a Scholar-in-Residence at the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.
Her books have been translated into Dutch, French, Hebrew, German, Italian and Polish.
Nechama Tec is also the author of over seventy scholarly articles and continues to be a frequent lecturer at international and national meetings and conferences. Over the year's Tec's research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture and others.
Two of her books have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Resilience and Courage won the National Jewish Book Award in 2003. In the Lion's Den won the Christopher Award in 1993. When Light Pierced the Darkness received the Merit of Distinction Award from the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.