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2013 Holocaust Lecture Series is Underway!

Posted by on Friday, October 11, 2013 in Holocaust Lecture Series, News.

The 2013 Holocaust Lecture Series is in full swing and the events thus far have been wonderful. With nine events in total, the series has a variety of events and focuses on a range of topics all under this year’s theme of “Neighbors”. Four events have taken place thus far and we have 5 more to come.

Justes de l’Isere – ON September 23rd, the Holocaust Series opened with an art exhibit that will be on display for the duration of the series. This exhibit is a shared venture between Vanderbilt and the Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation de l’Isère in France. A reproduction of the digital files sent, this exhibition is a rare opportunity to see those in Isere who were deemed “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem. With a small opening, this exhibit will be on display in different locations across Vanderbilt Campus through mid-November.

Jan Gross – The Destruction of the Jewish Community of Jedwabne, Poland – Our first speaker for this year’s series is the noted scholar Dr. Jan Gross. His book, and the title of his talk, gave us the theme for this year’s series. Held at the Ben Schulman Center for Jewish Life at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Hillel and Vanderbilt’s Muslim Student Association come together to co-host this special talk. Focusing on the theme of “Neighbors”, a packed audience of students, staff, faculty and alumni gathered to hear Dr. Gross.

In Darkness – A small group gathered in Vanderbilt’s Cohen Hall, home of the Fine Art Department for a special screening of the Polish film In Darkness. The story of a Polish sewer worker who made the decision to hide Jewish families in the sewers below the streets of the ghetto as it was being liquidated was a riveting look into the mindset of the neighboring people at the time of the Holocaust. With a small question and answer portion afterwards, this academy award nominated film was a story that those in attendance will not soon forget.

Dr. Helmut Smith – The History of Anti-Semitism in Germany – One of Vanderbilt’s best scholars and more popular professors, Dr. Helmut Smith gave a wonderful talk on his work discovering the history of Anti-Semitism and the development of people’s actions as time went on. From earlier accusations of ritual murder to later accusations of the country’s downturn, Dr. Smith showed how neighbors turned against one another and their varied reasons.

With five more events to come, the topic of Neighbors is going to be explored from more angles as well as the application if this mindset in other genocides. Be sure to come out to one of the remaining events.

Thursday, October 17th, Nelly Toll – Behind the Secret Window: A Memoir of a Hidden Child During World War II, 7pm at the Student Life Center

Tuesday, October 22nd, Sometimes in April (film), 7pm at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

Wednesday, October 23rd, Phillip Gourevitch – The Rwandan Genocide and Its Aftermath, 7pm at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

Tuesday, October 29th, Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home with director Ethan Bensinger and survivor Edith Stern, 7pm in the Commons Center MPR

Wednesday, November 13th, Dr. Annamaria Orla-Bukowska – Rethinking Poles and jews: Troubled Past, Brighter Future, 7pm in Alumni Hall 201