The Holocaust remains an unparalleled instance in human history of industrialized, systematic genocide. In this class, we will examine the causes and legacies of the assault on humanity and violations of human rights during the Holocaust Era. The meaning, impact, and aftermath of the Holocaust will be explored through readings, literature, film, and eyewitness testimony of survivors and liberators. We will explore and discuss the behavior and perspectives of perpetrators, victims, bystanders, and ourselves as students, while seeking to understand the nature of this twentieth century event and its significance.
Imam Mohamed Magid has made it his personal mission to confront antisemitism and be a voice of reason amid extremism. A past president of the Islamic Society of North America and religious leader of one of the largest Muslim communities in greater Washington, DC. He encourages his constituents to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to see what evil can do and how far it can go when people are silent.
Shelly Weiner was born in the bustling city of Rivne—then in Poland, now in Ukraine. In 1941, 20,000 Jews lived in Rivne, but when the German Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS stormed into town, they planned on murdering every Jew they could find. How Shelly survived the massacre is a story she tells as an eyewitness to the “Holocaust By Bullets.”
Giving Face to the Victims: Profiles of Disabled Victims of Nazi "Euthanasia" Tuesday, November 1st-11:00 AM to 12:15 PM at Temple
From October 1939 until the last days of World War II in Europe, the “euthanasia” (T4) program claimed the lives of an estimated 200,000 disabled patients in institutional settings throughout Germany and German-occupied Europe. Who were the victims of Nazi “euthanasia” policy? Until recently, relatively little research has attempted to reconstruct the lives and fates of T4 victims. Lack of adequate documentation has presented a major obstacle: many patient files have been lost or destroyed, while until recently, German privacy laws have ensured that the bulk of these records remained inaccessible to researchers. Utilizing patient files from the Kaufbeuren mental hospital, formerly a notorious “euthanasia” facility near Augsburg, this presentation will offer a much-needed perspective to a field in which the analysis of process and perpetrator often precludes important questions about the victims. It will create a victim composite and offer illustrative case studies which document the lives and deaths of disabled patients in Nazi Germany.
Pastor Chris Edmonds said that it was only after his father's death that he discovered the incredible heroism that his father had demonstrated during World War II. Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds did something extraordinary when a Nazi commander pointed a gun at the U.S. POW and demanded Jewish American soldiers with him identify themselves. As the highest-ranking American non-commissioned officer at the Stalag IX A POW camp, Edmonds instead told all 1,000 U.S. servicemen to step forward and then declared, "We are all Jews here." This was an act that saved some 200 Jewish American soldiers and could have gotten him killed. Pastor Edmonds will share his Dad’s incredible story.
Hailed by The New Yorker as “among the most compelling documents to come out of the war,” From Day to Day is a World War II concentration camp diary—one of only a handful ever translated into English—secretly written by Odd Nansen, a Norwegian political prisoner. Arrested in January 1942, Nansen, son of polar explorer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen (Nobel Peace Prize 1922) was held captive for the duration of the war in various Nazi camps in Norway and Germany. Nansen’s diary entries detail his palpable longing for his wife and family, his constantly frustrated hopes for release, the quiet strength and sometimes ugly prejudices of his fellow prisoners, and his horror at the especially barbaric treatment reserved for the Jews. The diary brilliantly illuminates Nansen’s daily struggle, not only to survive, but to preserve his sanity and maintain his humanity in a world engulfed by fear and hate.