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Moravian College to Offer 10-Day Holocaust Observance
(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) - The dean of Holocaust scholars, Henry Friedlander of the City University of New York, is the featured speaker for a series of Holocaust remembrance events starting next week at Moravian College, Bethlehem. Freidlander, a German-born Jew whose long scholarly career has been spent charting the manifold horrors of Nazi ethnic-cleansing policies, will speak on "Perpetrators and Victims in the Nazi Camps," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in Prosser auditorium.
Organized by Sayward Green '03 of Woodsboro, Md., a junior majoring in English and religion, "Thinking the Holocaust" (April 2-11) includes speakers, a film and a trip to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, which is devoted to the Holocaust and its aftermath.
The dates of the observance bracket Yom ha-Shoah, the international day of remembrance for the Holocaust, which this year will fall on April 7.
Green said she was 10 years old when her father let her stay up late to watch a television special on the Holocaust. "When the program was over, I thought my father had had me watch a horror movie," she said. "I sat on his lap, and he explained to me that it was a movie but that it really happened.
"From that point on, I wanted to know more about it and how I could help other people learn about it. . . . My heart still breaks when I watch a movie, or read a book or hear a testimony about the Holocaust."
Last year, Green participated in the March of Remembrance and Hope, a pilgrimage to the sites of the death camps in Poland. "I knew that it would change me," she said. "At first, it shook me to the foundations of my faith. Then I looked around to see the survivors that were with us, and I saw their strength, their courage, and their faith. I saw that life does go on, and there is hope."
Friedlander, a German-born Jew whose long scholarly career has been devoted to charting the manifold horrors of Nazi ethnic-cleansing policies, will speak on "Perpetrators and Victims in the Nazi Camps" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in Prosser Auditorium, Haupert Union Building (HUB).
Born in Berlin and deported in 1941, Friedlander received his B.A. from Temple University (1953) and his M.A. (1954) and Ph.D. (1968) from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught history at Louisiana State University/New Orleans, McMaster University in Montreal, Canada, the University of Missouri/St. Louis, and City College of New York. Since 1975 until his retirement last year, he taught in the department of Judaic studies at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.
His work in Holocaust studies began soon after World War II, when he microfilmed captured German documents for the Committee for the Study of War Documents.
His numerous articles and books include The Origins of Nazi Genocide: From Euthanasia to the Final Solution (1995), which won the Bruno Brand Tolerance Book Award of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and a prize from the German Studies Association.
He also is co-editor of several major compilations of primary source material on the events of the "Final Solution": The Holocaust: Ideology, Bureaucracy, and Genocide (1980), the Wiesenthal Center annual from 1984 to 1990 and the 26-volume Archives of the Holocaust (1988-93).
He will be introduced by Heikki Lempa, associate professor of history at Moravian, who teaches a course on the Holocaust at Moravian and at Lehigh University.
Other events of "Thinking the Holocaust":
Holocaust survivor Maud Dahme will describe "Growing Up in Hiding" at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in the HUB's UBC Room. Dahme was born in Holland. She and her sister were hidden, as children, from the roundup of Dutch Jews during the German occupation. (This event is best known to Americans as the background for The Diary of Anne Frank.) Now president of the New Jersey State Board of Education and a past president of the National Association of School Boards, Dahme has become an award-winning advocate for Holocaust studies and migrant education.
The film "Process B-7815: Bernard Offen and His Auschwitz Tattoo Number." 8:00 p.m. Thursday, April 4, Prosser. Auschwitz was the only camp to tattoo its inmates. The other concentration camps had prisoners sew their identification numbers to their uniforms.
"The Mass Murder of the Handicapped: The 'Euthanasia' Centers of Grafeneck and Sonnenstein Inside Nazi Germany." Hans Wuerth, professor emeritus of German. 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, UBC Room.
Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Battery Park City. Thursday, April 11. Bus leaves from the HUB at 10:00 a.m., returns at 5:00 p.m.
Vigil at the Peace Pole. 5:45 p.m. Thursday, April 11.
Poetry reading sponsored by the Zinzendorf Society. 8:00 p.m. Thursday, April 11, HUB Lounge.
"These events are for me as much as they are for the education of the college community and the community around the college," Green said. "Maybe someone will be changed because of the events I have planned. Maybe more will come to realize how important it is to remember, to learn, and to help change."
The observance is co-sponsored by the office of the president, IMPACT, and the departments of history and art at Moravian and the department of religion studies at Lehigh University.