OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Holocaust Memorial Week observed May 2-6

04/11/2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will observe Holocaust Memorial Week May 2-6 with a series of events including a reflection on a man who fought in the underground against the Nazis, a look at the relationship between the Catholic Church and Jews, and a discussion of violence in the Congo.

“While the Holocaust is the main focus of the annual program, Memorial Week regularly includes an event that is devoted to a different genocidal campaign or to comparative genocide,” said Paul Kopperman, OSU professor of history and chair of the Holocaust Memorial Committee.  “This event is intended to promote awareness of genocide and mass murder as a recurrent problem in recent history.”

OSU, in association with the City of Corvallis and School District 509-J, is undertaking this event “in the belief that educational institutions can do much to combat bigotry of all kinds, and to foster respect for diversity, by promoting an awareness of the Holocaust,” Kopperman said.

Many of the key events during Holocaust Memorial Week take place on campus, but the observances regularly include events in local middle and high schools. For a complete schedule and descriptions of the events, go to: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/holocaust/

The program will include the following OSU events, all of which are free and open to the public:

Monday, May 2, 7:30 p.m., C&E Auditorium, LaSells Stewart Center

Mark Wygoda, “Fighting Back against the Nazis: The Story of Comandante Enrico”

Wygoda, a professor at McNeese State University, will discuss the wartime experiences of his late father, Hermann, a Polish Jew who during the war fought the Nazis in many ways, eventually becoming a partisan commander in Italy who helped liberate a city and was subsequently honored by three nations. Hermann Wygoda later wrote, and Mark edited, an account of his career, “In the Shadow of the Swastika.”

Tuesday, May 3, 7:30 p.m.,C&E Auditorium, LaSells Stewart Center

Jacques Kornberg, “Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust: A Comparative View”

Kornberg, an emeritus professor of history at the University of Toronto, will draw on his forthcoming book, “Why Pope Pius XII did not Save the Jews,” in dealing with a controversy that continues more than 60 years after the Holocaust. He will address questions such as why didn’t Pius XII not openly condemn the Nazi campaign against European Jews.

Wednesday, May 4, 7:30 p.m., C&E Auditorium, LaSells Stewart Center

Eugene J. Fisher, “Memoria Future: Remembering the Shoah for the Sake of Future Generations”

More progress has been made in reconciling Christians and Jews since 1945 than in the nearly 2000 years preceding it, and Fisher has played a major role in promoting amity.  He  has encouraged interreligious understanding through several key Church offices and in many publications, including a forthcoming book on Pope John Paul II and the Jews.  In his talk, he will trace the development of Catholic teaching on the Holocaust, how it has evolved through dialogue with Jews, and how it is embodied in the official teaching of the Church. 

Thursday, May 5, 7:30 p.m., C&E Auditorium, LaSells Stewart Center

John F. Clark, “Understanding Mass Violence during and after the Congo Wars: Continuities of a Culture of Violent Repression”

In his talk, Clark will address the issue of why violence has engulfed the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1998, resulting in 5.3 million deaths, as well as widespread rape and other brutality. He will argue that these atrocities reflect a larger culture of violence, and trace the origins of that mindset. Clark is professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University. His publications include “The Failure of Democracy in the Republic of Congo.”