Fall 2018 Programs

Tuesday, November 13, 2018  • 4 p.m.
Dorothy Young Center for the Arts, Room 106, Drew University
In Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht
Also known as “the night of broken glass” and the Reich Pogrom, Kristallnacht occurred on November 9-10, 1938.  During these two days, the Nazis unleashed a wave of pogroms against Germany’s Jews, wreaking incredible damage on Jewish communities across “greater  Germany” which by 1938 included Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia.  Over 1000 synagogues were destroyed along with Jewish stores and homes.  Over 100 Jews were murdered; thousands were imprisoned in concentration camps. This program marks the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht through photos and film excerpts taken at the time as well as testimony by two first hand-witnesses:  Peter Lederman and Erwin Ganz, both small boys in November 1938.
Free and Open to the Public.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018  • 5:30 p.m.
Methodist Archives, Drew University
Book Launch Event
Join the Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study as we celebrate the publication of the English translation of an important book about forced labor in Nazi Germany at the end of World War II, newly edited by Drew Professor Emerita of German, Dr. Edwina Lawler. In August 1944, 800 Jewish women from Hungary and Poland were moved from Auschwitz to Bremen to undertake forced labor. This important book presents unique research on a forgotten camp and its forgotten forced workers. Originally published in German by Helmut Müller and translated into English by Elfriede Smith, a member of the Drew faculty in German from 1968 to 2014, this book presents a literary diary based on survivors’ written and oral accounts as well as archival documents. New to the English edition are reflections by Hedy Brasch, a member of Drew University’s Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study and survivor of Obernheide.
Free and Open to the Public.

Spring 2019 Programs

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 • 4:00 p.m.
Dorothy Young Center for the Arts, Room 106, Drew University
The Holocaust and the Human Rights Movement
Dr. Hans Morsink, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Drew, will give a talk based on his new book, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Holocaust: An Endangered Connection (Georgetown University Press; to be published January 19, 2019).  To sustain themselves, social movements need a master text, and the Universal Declaration is the master text of the human rights movement. It has the moral power it has because it was born in the shadow of the Holocaust.
Free and Open to the Public.

Monday, March 18, 2019 • 4:00 p.m.
Dorothy Young Center for the Arts, Room 106, Drew University
The Herero Genocide
Dr. Paul Edwards of Harvard University will explore questions of race in the German treatment of the Herero, an ethnic group in South West Africa, during the early twentieth century.  His talk is based on his scholarly essay about German satirical magazines and their response to German colonialism. In the essay, Dr. Edwards argues that the working class readership developed an ambivalence to the colonial project and a labor-related sympathy with African colonial subjects although this was fraught with racist overtones. The satirical magazines response to the genocide of the Herero shows an engagement with anti-colonialism, and there was even a special “colonial issue” that expressed widespread concern with German military action in South West Africa.
Free and Open to the Public.

Monday, March 25, 2019 • 4:00 p.m.
Dorothy Young Center for the Arts, Room 106, Drew University
Colonialism and Genocide: The Rohingya Refugee Crisis in Myanmar

Dr. Joshua Gedacht will discuss the situation of the Rohingya Muslims; since August 2017, over 700,000 have fled from the predominantly Buddhist nation of Myanmar to escape widespread military atrocities. Based on these actions, the United Nations has recently recommended that the Myanmar military should be “prosecuted in an international criminal tribunal for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.” This talk will provide an update on this ongoing refugee crisis and examine the historical roots of the conflict going back to the British colonial era. In particular, it will argue that the colonial-era construction of communal boundaries played a key role in shaping the troubled evolution of Buddhist-Muslim relations and the current crisis.
Free and Open to the Public.

Monday, April 29, 2019 • 4:00 p.m.
Mead Hall Founders Room, Drew University
Robert R. Max: Soldier and Survivor
In commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), Robert R. Max will share his powerful life story.  Historians believe he is the last living American soldier to have escaped and survived Nazi slave labor in World War II. His story is preserved at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, and in his memoir, The Long March Home: An American Soldier’s Life as a Nazi Slave Laborer. Captured behind enemy lines by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge, forced to march hundreds of miles and to repair bombed-out railroad tracks (work he and others sabotaged) in bitter winter cold, he endured nearly four months without a coat, gloves, or any shelter at night. There were many pivotal points at which his captors, following orders issued by higher command, could have swiftly ended his life. Bob remained alive because of the actions of an English-speaking German sergeant who, defying the orders, attempted to preserve his life in a prisoner of war camp–an effort overturned by a superior officer who assigned him, instead, to slave labor. Time after time, he managed to survive, despite being starved and brutalized, until, severely ill and emaciated at 89 lbs., he led a daring escape and was rescued, days later, by American troops. Mr. Max has been awarded the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, three Bronze Campaign Battle Stars, and the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal.
Free and Open to the Public.