Spring 2019 Programs
(all programs free and public unless otherwise noted)

Friday, April 12, 2019 • 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Rainis Auditorium, the College of Saint Elizabeth
Holocaust and Genocide Research Symposium
The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education at the College of Saint Elizabeth and the Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study at Drew University invite the public to a half-day symposium exploring the latest trends in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. This interactive program will feature round-table discussions by faculty from universities throughout New Jersey. Discussants include Adara Goldberg (Kean University), Jonathan Golden (Drew University), Larry Greene (Seton Hall University), Joshua Kavaloski (Drew University), Peppy Margolis (Raritan Valley Community College), Jordan Nowotny (Fairleigh Dickinson University), Jennifer Rich (Rowan University), Kate Temoney (Montclair State University), and Amy Weiss (College of Saint Elizabeth). The keynote address, given by Nancy Sinkoff (Rutgers University), is entitled “Lucy S. Dawidowicz and the Beginning of Holocaust Studies in the United States.” This talk will explore the contribution of Lucy S. Dawidowicz (1915-1990), a postwar American Jewish public intellectual and historian, to the field of Holocaust historiography. Witness to the vital Jewish world of pre-war Vilna and to its destruction, Dawidowicz devoted her life to bringing this world to the attention of the American public. Her The War Against the Jews: 1933–1945 (1975), a classic of “intentionalist” Holocaust historiography that emphasized the centrality of Hitler’s antisemitic ideology to the Nazis’ “Final Solution,” burnished her reputation as an authority on East European Jewry, the Holocaust, and antisemitism, preparing her to play a principal role in the construction of postwar American Holocaust consciousness. This talk will analyze not only her role in establishing the field of “Holocaust Studies” in the United States but also how Dawidowicz conceived of her work–in the tradition of East European Jewish historians before her–as a secular means to commemorate the dead and to cultivate Jewish national identity.

This symposium is part of the New Jersey Working Group on Holocaust and Genocide Research. This program, funded by a Special Initiatives Grant from the American Academy for Jewish Research, is free to attend, but advance registration is required.

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.