Holocaust Lecture Series examines echoes of the past in 2011 and beyond

(Vanderbilt University)

Vanderbilt University’s 2011 Holocaust Lecture Series will focus on remnants of past atrocities and other acts of genocide perpetuated around the world today and likely to occur in the future.

“Holocaust Remains” is the theme for this year’s event, which runs through Nov. 13. Vanderbilt’s is the longest continuous Holocaust lecture series at an American university.

Seventy years after the “final solution to the Jewish question” became Nazi Germany’s official policy to annihilate the Jewish people, forgotten mass graves of the victims continue to be discovered.

“These burial sites are not all that remains of the Holocaust, nor are these reminders limited geographically or historically,” said Shaiya Baer, who is co-chairing the lecture series with Veta Greenstone, a junior in the College of Arts and Science.

Baer, who is assistant director of the Office of Active Citizenship and Service, noted that genocide has never been limited to the West-East Axis that connects Amsterdam to Auschwitz and beyond. For example, the Jewish populations along the Mediterranean, called the Sephardim, did not escape persecution. Also, incidences of genocide persist today in places such as the Congo, Rwanda and Darfur.

The 2011 Holocaust Lecture Series schedule:

Tuesday, Oct. 25, 7 p.m.
Student Life Center
Avraham Burg will discuss “The Future of the Holocaust.” The former speaker of the Israeli parliament and son of a Holocaust survivor wrote The Holocaust Is Over: We Must Rise From Its Ashes.

Thursday, Oct. 27, 7 p.m.
Sarratt Cinema
The documentary The Last Survivor will be screened as part of Vanderbilt’s International Lens Film Series. Directed by Michael Pertnoy and Michael Kleiman, the film follows the lives of survivors of four different genocides and mass atrocities: the Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur and the Congo. Two of the survivors featured in the film, Jacqueline Murekatete and Justin Semahoro, will be part of a post-screening panel discussion.

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m.
Wilson Hall, Room 103
Aron Rodrigue, director of the Stanford University Humanities Center and the Eva Chernov Lokey Professor in Jewish Studies, will address “Sephardi Jewry and the Holocaust.”

Sunday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m.
The Commons Center Multipurpose Room
Isaac Nehama, a Holocaust survivor from Greece, will recount his experiences as a traditional Sephardic Jew. When German troops began to occupy the area in 1943, Nehma fled to Thessaly. Most of his other family members went into hiding. Nehama returned to Athens in 1994 and learned that only his father had survived in hiding. The others were sent to Auschwitz. His brother Samuel was the only one to survive two concentration camps and a death march.

All of the events, which are sponsored by the Office of Religious Life, are free and open to the public. Podcasts of selected events will be posted at http://news.vanderbilt.edu.