35th Annual Holocaust Lecture Series
We Were There,
We Are Here
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This year, the thirty-fifth annual Vanderbilt University Holocaust Lecture Series will examine the enduring saga of genocide. While we may educate ourselves in humanity’s acts of extreme violence against its own, we must also ask whether we can rise above moral indignation alone and actively harbor persecuted peoples from ethnic cleansing and genocide in our own time.
Genocide, mass violence committed against a specific group of civilians with exterminationist intent, occurred long before Raphael Lemkin—a Polish Jew who found refuge in New York as the Holocaust was taking place in Europe—coined the term. And as Lemkin noted, the Jews were not the only group subject to destruction by the Third Reich and its collaborators.
The European Roma (or “Gypsies”) were victims of this persecution as well. In his presentation this fall, Ian Hancock will detail the persecution and mass murder throughout Nazi-occupied Europe against the background of centuries of discrimination, hostility, and prejudice. The film A People Uncounted will also show the devastating effects of the Holocaust for the Roma people to this day.
At the end of October, filmmaker Pierre Sauvage will screen his latest documentary We Were There and present the challenge that Holocaust rescuers make to us. Mr. Sauvage himself is alive today thanks to the villagers of Le Chambon who opened their homes and gave refuge to his parents and thousands of other Jews. One way we may meet the challenge to rescue/protect is by legalizing R2P—the Responsibility to Protect. Sheri Rosenberg will explore when and how the international community should intervene to protect civilians from violence perpetrated by their own government.
On behalf of the 2012 Vanderbilt University Holocaust Lecture Series Committee, we cordially invite you to attend all of our thought provoking programs.
Shelby Begany, ‘13, Student Co-Chair
Veta Greenstone ‘13, Student Co-Chair
Shaiya Baer, Chair