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: The Twentieth-Century’s First Campaign of Racial Extermination 
Dr. Paul Edwards of Harvard University will explore questions of race in the German assault against 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.

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.
Free and Open to the Public.