For the past several decades, myriad scholarly works, memoirs, films, museums, and memorials of the Holocaust appear every year. Surely, there is nothing more to be said. Open a newspaper, turn on CNN, or go online, and take a look at the state of our world today. Then ask, "What have we done with all of these shared memories and facts?" This is not a new question. As France was erecting torture chambers and prison camps in Algeria, Alain Renais and Jean Cayrol concluded their great 1955 documentary Night and Fog. The camera pans the weed-covered remains of Auschwitz and the narrator intones:
"And there are those of us who sincerely look upon the ruins today, as if the old concentration camp monster was dead and buried beneath them. Those who pretend to take hope again as the image fades, as though there were a cure for the plague of these camps. Those of us who pretend to believe that all this happened only once, at a certain time and in a certain place, and those who refuse to see, who do not hear the cry to the end of time."
How much more difficult is it to hear that cry today on the beaches of Barcelona, along the postmodern boulevards of Berlin, at a former Native American encampment site, or even amid Vanderbilt University's lush arboretum? This year, the Vanderbilt Holocaust Lecture Series continues its quest for remembrance, with the added challenge of how to remember. (OVER)SITES OF MEMORY examines places that, perhaps unexpectedly, are infused with memories of genocide and challenges the audience to find effective ways to honor these memories in the here and now. On behalf of the Holocaust Lecture Series committee, we cordially invite you to attend the thought-provoking programs of the Thirty-first Annual Holocaust Lecture Series.
Shaiya Baer and Jeff Ewers, Co-chairs