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The 25th Annual Holocaust and Other Genocides Lecture Series

(for more information, visit the VU Holocaust web site)

October-November 2002
Theme: Living on . . . A Tradition of Reflection

In 1979 then University Chaplain, now emeritus, Beverly Asbury organized what would prove to be the first of the now longest continuous Holocaust Lecture Series at any American university. Under the rubric "Holocaust: Jewish and Christian Perspectives," prominent theologians and philosophers Irving Greenberg, Emil Fackenheim, and Franklin H. Littel as well as one of the leading survivor memoirists, Gerda Klein, spoke to the greater Vanderbilt community.

Since then our ongoing examination of ourselves and our society in the wake of the Holocaust has brought such notable figures as Elie Wiesel, Simon Wiesenthal, Terrence des Pres, Lawrence Langer, Nechama Tec, and Deborah Lipstadt, among many others, to campus and has addressed such themes as ethics, resistance, law, gender, art, and memory. In a world in which we still find racial and religious persecution and even genocide, more than half a century since the Holocaust, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the series is an appropriate time to reflect on the past of the series and of our society as well as to look ahead to the future of our community. To these ends this year's series examines the lives lived by the victims before and during the Holocaust as well as the lives and works made by those who survived. It also addresses the question of responsibility, the responsibility to teach and to learn. Please join the twenty-fifth annual Vanderbilt University Holocaust Lecture Series as it explores, through film, art, music, literature, lecture, and conversation what it means, 57 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, to be "living on..."

Wednesday, October 2
7:00 p.m., Sarratt Cinema
A Visitor from the Living (1997)
Directed by Claude Lanzmann
This documentary is constructed around an interview Claude Lanzmann conducted with Maurice Rossel in 1979 during the filming of his landmark documentary Shoah. In 1943 Rossel became the only International Red Cross Representative to visit Auschwitz. The following year he headed the IRC committee who inspected the so-called "model ghetto" and transit camp to Auschwitz, Theresienstadt. In this powerful 65-minute conversation with a "perfectly civilized" gentleman who happened to give a clean bill of health to these sites of mass murder, Lanzmann documents how the Holocaust happened in a world filled with "decent" human beings.

8:30 p.m., Sarratt Cinema
"Sobibor, Oct. 14, 1943, 4 p.m." (2001)
Directed by Claude Lanzmann.
The title of this fascinating film, refers to the place and time when Jewish prisoners in the Sobibor death camp staged a successful uprising against the Nazi captors. The film is drawn from an interview with Yehuda Lerner conducted by Lanzmann during the filming of Shoah. Lerner, who had already escaped from eight other camps before arriving at Sobibor, was one of the 47 prisoners who escaped and survived.

Thursday, October 3
Keynote Event
Opening Lecture of the 2002-2003 Chancellor’s Lecture Series
6:00 p.m., Langford Auditorium
A Conversation with Claude Lanzmann
Claude Lanzmann is the director of the preeminent Holocaust documentary, arguably the greatest documentary ever: Shoah. More recently, he has released two film-length interviews A Visitor from the Living and Sobibor October 14, 1943, 4:00pm.

Mr. Lanzmann is the longtime editor of one of France’s leading journals of thought and opinion, Les Temps modernes. He will address questions on his and other director's Holocaust films as well as on additional topics raised by the audience. French Professor Virginia Scott will moderate. Opening the conversation, Amy Jarman (Soprano), Christian Teal (violin), Cassandra Lee (clarinet), and Bradley Mansell (cello) perform "Merciful God (El Malei Rachamim)" composed by Professor Michael Alec Rose of Blair. A 5:00 p.m. reception in the Langford Foyer precedes Mr. Lanzmann's presentation.

Sunday, October 6
Lecture and Reception
3:00 p.m., Sarratt Cinema,
Kádár and the Art of the Holocaust
Lon Nuell
Professor Lon Nuell of Middle Tennessee State University and the Tennessee Holocaust Commission marks the official opening of the Sarratt Gallery exhibition of drawings from the Vanderbilt University Holocaust Art collection, "GYÖRGY KÁDÁR: Survivor of Death, Witness to Life," with a talk about Kádár and Holocaust Art. A reception in Sarratt Gallery follows Professor Nuell’s presentation.

Monday, October 14
Film and Discussion
7:00 p.m., Sarratt Cinema
Paragraph 175 (1999)
Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

This documentary, which won the Best Direction award from the non-fiction jury at the Sundance Independent Film Festival, is by the makers of the earlier films The Celluloid Closet and Common Threads. Survivors of gay persecution under the Third Reich are interviewed about their lives under the oppression-sanctioning German antihomosexuality statute, Paragraph 175 that both preexisted the rise of Nazi Germany and survived its fall. The filmmakers intercut their subjects' testimonies with extensive archival footage tracing Germany's progression from the wide-open Weimar era to Hitler's initial "don't ask, don't tell" tolerance to Nazi "degenerate" roundups and concentration camps. Gay Jewish resistance fighter Gad Beck, who participated in the lecture series in 1999, plays a prominent role in the film. Philosophy Professor Gregg Horowitz will moderate discussion afterward.

Wednesday, October 23
8:00 p.m., Steve and Judy Turner Recital Hall, Blair School of Music
Michael Rose
German-Jewish Music before the Shoah

Professor Michael Rose of Blair School will celebrate the wide variety of music composed and performed by Jews in Germany in the 1930s. His presentation is held in conjunction with the Vorbei… Beyond Recall: A Record of Jewish Musical Life in Nazi Berlin installation at the Ben Schulman Center for Jewish Life and the Vanderbilt Holocaust Lecture Series’ ongoing commitment to recognizing and appreciating the everyday life and culture of European Jewry before it met its destruction.

Monday, October 28
Panel Discussion
7:00 p.m., Sarratt Cinema
Teaching the Holocaust: A Panel Discussion in Honor of Beverly Asbury

When Beverly Asbury conceived the Vanderbilt University Holocaust Lecture Series, he hoped to increase opportunities for teaching and learning about the events of the Holocaust and their implications for today. This year, as we celebrate and reflect upon past programs and look forward to future ones, we honor University Chaplain emeritus Asbury, bringing him together with educators from a variety of disciplines. This panel will address questions of how and why we teach the Holocaust more than fifty years after it ended. In addition to Beverly Asbury, the panel consists of Sara Eigen, Assistant Professor of German at Vanderbilt, Paul Fleming, social studies teacher at Nashville's Hume-Fogg Magnet High School, John Roth, Russell K. Pitzer Professor Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, and Helmut W. Smith, Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. This evening's program will be introduced by University Chaplain, Gay Welch.

Tuesday, November 5
7:00 p.m., Ben Schulman Center for Jewish Life
Arnost Lustig
Tales from a Scholar, Screenwriter, Storyteller, Survivor

Arnost Lustig is one of the Czech Republic's most distinguished and charismatic writers. As an adolescent, he experienced the horrors of Theresienstadt, Buchenwald, and Auschwitz. Lustig's books in English include the literary collections Children of the Holocaust and The Bitter Smell of Almonds, and his most recent novel is Lovely Green Eyes. He also played a prominent role in the Czech New Wave Cinema of the 1950's and 1960's. Lustig is currently professor of English and Film at American University, where he has taught since 1973. He is a recipient of the National Jewish Book Award, an Emmy, and the Czech Republic’s prestigious Karel Capek Award for Literary Achievement.

Wednesday, November 6
Film and Discussion
7:00 p.m., Sarratt Cinema
The Fighter (2000)
Directed by Amir Bar-Lev

This documentary chronicles two friends, both Jewish Czech Holocaust survivors, on a journey retracing an escape from the Nazis, from Prague to Slovenia to Italy. Together, boxer Jan Wiener and author Arnost Lustig reminisce about the loves, sex, and adventure they shared in their youth. As the journey progresses their friendship begins to unravel owing to the friction of two irreconcilable personalities. Stephen Holder of the New York Times calls The Fighter "a deeply reverberating film". Arnost Lustig will discuss the film following the screening.

Wednesday, November 13
Reading and Discussion
8:00 p.m., Ben Schulman Center for Jewish Life
Still Alive
Ruth Kluger

Ruth Kluger, Professor Emerita of German at the University of California at Irvine, is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered. Originally published in German as weiter leben: Eine Jugend in 1992, the book quickly became a bestseller in Germany and--after translation into Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, and Czech--throughout Europe, accruing prestigious awards that include Germany's Thomas Mann prize and the French Prix Mémoire de la Shoah. Still Alive recalls Kluger’s childhood experiences, from life in the Vienna home of her middle-class Jewish family, through her survival in the Theresienstadt, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Christianstadt (Gross-Rosen) concentration camps, to her new life in postwar America, arriving in New York on her 16th birthday. The recent English version, done by the author herself, has been declared "one of the ten best books of the year" by the Washington Post Book World. Kluger will read from her work and discuss issues of memory, Holocaust literature, and what it means to be a survivor.

Special Installations
Tuesday, October 1—Thursday, October 3, 8:00a.m.-11:00p.m.
Friday, 4 October 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Monitor in Stonehenge Media Lounge, adjacent to Room 189
Sarratt Student Center
Shoah (1985)
Directed by Claude Lanzmann

Shoah is nine-and-a-half hours of interviews with victims, bystanders, and perpetrators of the Holocaust who come from fourteen countries and speak in seven tongues as well as visits to the sites of deportation and mass murder. The film will be playing continuously.

Thursday, October 3-Wednesday, October 30
Sarratt Gallery, Vaughan Lobby, Sarratt Student Center
"GYÖRGY KÁDÁR: Survivor of Death, Witness to Life"
The Vanderbilt University Holocaust Art Collection

The Vanderbilt Holocaust Art Collection contains 73 drawings by Hungarian artist György Kádár (1912-). They document the horror he witnessed as a survivor of five concentration camps. The works were completed in two very different series. Kádár began the first cycle of 57 drawings "Survivor of Death, Witness to Life" at Buchenwald in 1945 immediately after his liberation. "The Haunted Imagination," Kádár’s second cycle of 16 drawings, was created over forty years later in 1988 and acquired by the University through the efforts of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee and the Vanderbilt Holocaust lecture Series. The exhibition at Sarratt Gallery contains work from both series and is cosponsored by the Sarratt Visual Arts Committee. The Gallery is open to the public free of charge seven days a week. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9p.m. weekdays and 10a.m. to 10p.m. on weekends.

Monday, October 7—Friday, November 15
Ben Schulman Center for Jewish Life
"Living on . . . A Tradition of Reflection"
Brochures and posters from previous Vanderbilt University Holocaust Lecture Series will be on exhibit.

Monday, October 14-Friday, October 18
Ben Schulman Center for Jewish Life
Vorbei . . . Beyond Recall: A Record of Jewish Musical Life in Nazi Berlin, 1933-1938

From Klezmer to classical to cantorial, the sounds and voices of Jewish artists performed and recorded during the Third Reich can be heard continuously.

In Conjunction
Oct. 19-21, 2002
Guided Tour
Trip to U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C. During the academic semester’s Fall Break, the Office of the University Chaplain will sponsor a Vanderbilt student trip to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The trip will be led by Vanderbilt Hillel Director, Shaiya Baer. For more information, call 322-2457.

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