The 27th Annual
Holocaust and Other Genocides Lecture Series
2004: The Fragility of Democracy
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-sixth
anniversary of the series is an appropriate time to reflect on difficult
and unresolved issues of justice and redress.
The difficulty of doing justice reflects the enormity
of the crime. By this standard, we are still struggling to take the measure
of the Holocaust. Almost sixty years after the end of World War II, we
continue to tax our ethical, legal, financial, political, and artistic
resources in an effort to redress the crimes of the Holocaust and make
whole the victims of Nazi atrocities. In this twenty-sixth annual Vanderbilt
University Holocaust Lecture Series, we focus our attention on the complex
issues of the unfinished business of justice, redress, and restitution
for the Holocaust and other genocides. What is the relation of financial
restitution and reparation to justice for the victims of the Third Reich
Do we need new forms of law and memory in the wake of state-sponsored
brutality, criminality, and denial Must art respond to genocidal destruction
with innovative aesthetic forms and values Need our moral norms, our
institutional practices, even our languages be rebuilt from the ground
up if we are to respond adequately to the ethical challenge posed by genocide
Even now, more than fifty years later, our predicament remains as uncertain
as it was in 1945: how to pay the debt of justice to the victims of the
About the 2004 Lectures
University Lecture Series on the Holocaust and other Genocides,"
reflects the diversity of work that is on-going in the fields of Holocaust
and genocide studies, as well as the failure of the international community
to uphold the credo and responsibility implicit in the oft-repeated phrase,
the world remembered the 1994 genocidal horrors of Rwanda and sub-Saharan
Africa, and is currently responding with tepid resolve in another on-going
crisis, deemed by some a genocide-in-the-making, in Western Sudan. The
urgency of this series comes to the fore as we attempt to address all
of the implications of these horrific current events, and it is a tragic
indicator that we have gathered so much potentially valuable knowledge
about the many murderous campaigns of the 20th Century.
series, entitled "The Fragility of Democracy," contributes from
a range of standpoints to the often insufficient and irresolute measures
aimed at the prevention and termination of genocide and human rights violations,
against a backdrop of democratic processes both current and historical.
This 27th lecture series is appropriately ambitious and wide-ranging in
scope and depth, and features an array of media and forums for education
and thoughtful reflection.
It is my
sincere hope that this will one day become a forum for purely historical
studies, and that we will someday live in a world more attuned to eliminating
the oppression, hatred and violence named by each
of the events we are addressing this year. --Robert Barksy
2004 HOLOCAUST AND OTHER GENOCIDES LECTURE SERIES
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2004 Wilson 126 7:30 p.m.
Thomas Childers, Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania
Childers is the author and editor of several books on modern German history
and the Second World War, including The Nazi Voter (1983), The Formation
of the Nazi Constituency (1987), and Reevaluating the Third Reich: New
Controversies, New Interpretations (1993). He is currently completing
a trilogy on the Second World War.
"The Serpent's Egg: Anti-Semitism and Nazi Electoral Popularity 1930-1933"
In elections held in the spring of 1928, Adolf Hitler?s NSDAP managed
to attract less than three percent of the national electorate in Germany.
It was an obscure party on the lunatic fringes of German politics with
little apparent appeal and little hope for the future. Four years later,
the Nazis had become the largest party in Germany and stood on the threshold
of power. How had they done it? In addressing this question, the lecture
will examine a number of questions: What was the appeal of the NSDAP?
Who were the millions who rallied to the Nazi banner? What was the role
of Nazi ideology? Of Anti-Semitism? Why was the German political system
unable to resist the onslaught of Hitler and what lessons can we in democratic
societies draw from the German experience?
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2004 Stevenson 5326. 5:00 p.m.
Courtney Angela Brkic
A short excerpt from my book, "The Stone Fields" will be read,
then I talk about the idea of memory and how silence causes traumatic
events to fester (using my book as context). I will be discussing this
vis a vis the Holocaust, both in a political sense as regards the former
Yugoslavia, and in a personal sense as regards my family. I will finish
by taking some questions.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2004 Wilson 126 5:00 p.m.
David Gewirtzman & Jacqueline Murekatete
"We Are Our Brother's Keepers"
Murekatete describes briefly her growing up in Rwanda, her experiences
during the genocide her subsequent arrival and adjustment in the USA.
She follows with her encounter with David Gewirtzman and the decision
to work together in the promotion of tolerance. Gewirtzman tells his own
story of growing up in pre-war Poland. The experience of a Jewish family
during the Holocaust in a small town in Poland where 16 Jews out of 8000
came back alive after liberation.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2004 Sarratt (ALL DAY) - Reservations Required
David Gewirtzman, Gahutu Aimable and Jerry Fowler will be participating
in the Educational Outreach Program for high school teachers and students.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2004 Wilson 115 5:00 p.m.
Staff Director, Committee on Conscience
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
"Creating a Constituency of Conscience: The Role of Holocaust Remembrance
and Education in Combating Contemporary Genocide"
Focusing on the relationship between memory, conscience and the
problem of genocide, Jerry Fowler addresses the question whether remembering
the past can change the course of the future.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2004 Wilson 126 7:00 p.m.
William Scheuerman, Professor Political Science, University of
The Hidden Dialogue: Carl Schmitt and Hans Morgenthau
Carl Schmitt aspired to become the "crown jurist" of Nazi Germany;
Hans Morgenthau was a German-Jewish refugee, forced to flee his country,
who became one of the most prominent critics of U.S. foreign policy between
the 1940's and '70's. The talk examines the dialogue that took place between
Schmitt and Morgenthau. Morgenthau was right to claim, in a 1979 interview,
that Schmitt plagiarized some of Morgenthau's own key contributions to
political and legal theory from the 1920's. Yet Morgenthau conveniently
downplayed a number of ways in which he borrowed from Schmitt's ideas
without acknowledging their source. The talk explains why Morgenthau's
own debt to Schmitt generates internal problems in Morgenthau's ideas
about international relations and international law.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2004 - ELECTION DAY
Democracy IS Fragile - PLEASE VOTE!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2004 Wilson 126 5:00 p.m.
Richard Weisberg, Walter Floersheimer Professor of Constitutional
Law; Director, Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Studies, Cardozo
School of Law, Yeshiva University
" From Vichy Deportations to Present-Day Anti-Semitism: France (Again)
at the Crossroads"
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5th - Sarratt 363 - 3:00 p.m.
Graduate Students from Vanderbilt University will present a Forum entitled
"Critical Approaches to the Holocaust and the Contemporary World,"
featuring talks and discussion. All welcome!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2004 Wilson 126 5:00 p.m.
Donald Horowitz, James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science
Professor Horowitz has been consulted widely on the problems of divided
societies and on policies to reduce ethnic conflict in such locations
as Russia, Romania, Nigeria, Tatarstan, and Northern Ireland. His recommendations
formed the basis of the electoral proposals adopted in 1996 by the Fiji
Constitution Review Commission. Among his numerous, award-winning publications
is A Democratic South Africa? Constitutional Engineering in a Divided
Society (1991), which won the 1992 Ralph J. Bunche Prize for the best
book in ethnic and cultural pluralism.
"The Deadly Ethnic Riot"
The mass killing of ethnic strangers, often by their onetime neighbors,
is a more common phenomenon than most people acknowledge. Based on his
studies of hundreds of such events, Professor Horowitz will try to explain
the who, how, what, when, where, and why of the deadly ethnic riot.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 7:00 p.m. Sarratt Cinema - Mephisto
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2004. 7:00 p.m. Sarratt Cinema
Mark Kurzem: The Mascot
Mascot" is based on events in the life of Alex Kurzem, who, as a
young Jewish boy of five, was adopted by an SS regiment in Latvia in 1942.
They gave the young boy a new false identity, dressed him in Nazi uniform
and, transformed him into their mascot. For nearly 60 years Alex remained
silent about these events, but in the late 1990s with his film-maker son
Mark, he begins his search for his original ?stolen? identity. The problem
is that he has no idea what his original name was, and where he came from.
He has only two words which he has kept locked away inside himself since
the war. These words may be the key to unlocking Alex?s past but their
significance is unknown. The Mascot details the journey Alex makes in
search of his past, and the opposition he faced as he sought to reclaim
the truth of his fate. Mark Kurzem, Alex?s son, and the writer and producer
of ?The Mascot? will introduce the screening of the documentary and take
questions after the screening.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2004, Sarratt Cinema - 7 p.m.
Film: Europa, Europa
to Chaplain's Main Event Page
Office Location: 2417 West End Avenue Nashville, TN 37240
Office Hours 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday
Home | Affiliated Chaplains |>Events
| Programs | Staff
| Student Religious Groups | Religious
Holy Days | Worship Services | Vanderbilt
© 2004, Vanderbilt University. Last Modified: Oct. 25, 2004. For more
For questions concerning this web site, please contact Cheryl