Speaker Series

Spring 2017 Speakers

YomHaShoah poster designYom HaShoah 2017/5777: ASU and Boone Communities Remember and Read Names of Murdered European Jews

Monday, April 24
10am - 6pm
Between ASU’s Belk Library
and the University Bookstore

 

 On Monday, April 24, Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), the Center for Judaic Holocaust, and Peace Studies along with the Temple of the High Country and ASU’s Hillel chapter will organize a public reading of the names of European Jews murdered by the Germans and their allies during the Holocaust. This reading is scheduled to take place from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm in the outside square between ASU’s Belk Library and the University’s Bookstore in Plemmons Student Union (end of College Street).

 After the readings, participants and other campus and community members will walk in silence to the Temple of the High Country (1043 West King Street), where a ceremony that encompasses the lighting of candles and the saying of the mourner’s Kaddish will conclude the day’s events, starting at 6:30 pm. ASU students, staff, faculty, members of the Temple and the Boone community at large are invited to sign up for one of the ten-minute reading slots ahead of time and participate. We hope that many members of the ASU and Boone communities will participate, linger and contemplate for as long as they like, and join us on the silent march and the ceremony at the Temple led by Hillel President Marisa Fernandez, Skip Rackmill and other members of the Temple.

 The United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as our nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. This genocide was the state-directed, systematic destruction of six million European Jews and millions of others, ranging from homosexuals and Soviet POWs to Roma and people with real and imagined disabilities by the Germans and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945.

Since 1982, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, created by Congress as a permanent living memorial to this genocide’s victims, has organized and led the national Days of Remembrance ceremony in the US Capitol Rotunda. Year after year, the museum staff marks this event together with Holocaust survivors, liberators, members of Congress, White House officials, the diplomatic corps, and community leaders.

The recalling of the names of the deceased and murdered is not only an important part of Jewish religious practices. It also serves as a practice for individuals of all backgrounds, faiths, and cultures to commemorate the victims. Much more than a devastating part of Jewish history, the Holocaust is truly an event in global history. The Holocaust’s crimes of unimaginable cruelty offer opportunities to recommit to the need for respect for all people and to reflect on the moral responsibilities of individuals and communities today.

To sign up for a reading spot, please follow this link and add your name to the calendar.

 For more information on the public readings, please contact the Center at 828.262.2311 or email holocaust@appstate.edu. For the ceremony at the Temple, please email templeofthehighcountry@gmail.com or Hillel President Marisa Fernandez at fernandezme@appstate.edu.


 

ASU's Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies invites the public to an evening talk by John K. Roth, Edward Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College.

Professor Emeritus John RothASU's Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies invites the public to an evening talk by John K. Roth, Edward Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College. Professor Roth's lecture will focus on "Failures of Ethics: Comprehending Genocide and Atrocity" and take place on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (423 West King Street) on the ASU campus in Boone. This lecture is part of a cooperation between ASU's Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies and Davidson College's Vann Center for Ethics, the Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University, as well as the Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies at UNC Charlotte. The visit is also co-sponsored by ASU's Hillel chapter and the Department of Philosophy and Religion. The event is free and open to the public.

Professor Roth is a renowned and prolific scholar of philosophy, religion, and Holocaust Studies. He served as the Founding Director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights (now the Center for Human Rights) at Claremont McKenna College. Professor Roth has published hundreds of articles and reviews, and authored, co-authored, or edited more than fifty books, including Approaches to Auschwitz; Ethics During and After the Holocaust; The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies; Rape: Weapon of War and Genocide; Encountering the Stranger: A Jewish-Christian-Muslim Trialogue; The Failures of Ethics: Confronting the Holocaust, Genocide, and Other Mass Atrocities; and Losing Trust in the World: Holocaust Scholars Encounter Torture. Roth has been Visiting Professor of Holocaust studies at the University of Haifa, Israel. He has also been honored with a Koerner Visiting Fellowship at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies in England and as the Ina Levine Invitational Scholar at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In addition to holding several honorary degrees, Roth was named the 1988 U.S. National Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Besides serving on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, he also has received the Holocaust Educational Foundation's Distinguished Achievement Award for Holocaust Studies and Research.

For more information, please contact ASU's Center at 828.262.2311 or holocaust@appstate.edu.


 

Dr. Edward Westermann will give a public lecture for the campus and community on his recent book, Hitler’s Ostkrieg and the Indian Wars: Comparing Genocide and Conquest 

Dr. Edward WestermannDr. Edward Westermann will give a public lecture for the campus and community on his recent book, Hitler’s Ostkrieg and the Indian Wars: Comparing Genocide and Conquest (University of Oklahoma, 2016) on February 2 at 7PM in 114 Belk Library, 218 College Street, Boone, NC, 28607. All are welcome to attend.

In Hitler’s Ostkrieg and the Indian Wars, Westermann critically examines the parallels Hitler drew between the Nazi quest for Lebensraum in Eastern Europe and the westward expansion of the United States known as Manifest Destiny.  Westermann shows how both projects linked national identity with racial stereotypes in order to justify a politics of exclusion and violence.  He also identifies crucial differences between these projects of national expansion.

Westermann’s book has been described as “comparative history at its best.”  One reviewer writes:  “This thoughtful, provocative book compares the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe with the United  States’ conquest of the American West. Its insights and conclusions are sure to stimulate new debates among a broad array of scholars.”  Robert Wooster, author of The American Military Frontiers: The United States Army in the West, 1783–1900

Edward Westermann is Professor of History at the University of Texas—San Antonio. He also serves as the Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio. Westermann has received numerous awards and distinctions. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the Free University of Berlin, a German Academic Exchange Service fellow on three occasions, as well as a fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Dr. Westermann also the author of Hitler’s Police Battalions:  Enforcing Racial War in the East (2006), and numerous articles and chapters.  He is a retired US Air Force Colonel with 25 years of service. 

Dr. Westermann’s visit is sponsored by the Humanities Council and the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies. For more information, please contact the Council at 828-262-2483 or the Center at 828.262.2311.


 

 

Fall 2016 Speakers

German Diplomat to Speak at ASU and Mark Kristallnacht Commemoration

Klaus BeckerThe ASU campus and wider Boone communities are invited to a gathering and commemoration of Kristallnacht, the November 1938 anti-Jewish pogroms in Nazi Germany. The event will feature Klaus Becker, the Federal Republic of Germany's Honorary Consul to North Carolina.

It will take place at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts on Thursday, November 10, from 4:00 until 5:00 pm.

Kristallnacht (or the "Night of Broken Glass") refers to the nation-wide pogroms instigated by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels in coordination with Adolf Hitler that began during the night of November 9, 1938. Mainly carried out by SA and SS units, the pogroms lasted throughout November 10and, at many places, even until November 12 and longer. In the process, the Nazis and other Germans and Austrians broke much more than the glass of synagogues and stores. They killed close to a hundred German and Austrian Jews. Many more were driven to commit suicide. Some 26,000 Jewish men were deported to concentration camps in the Reich. The SA, SS and their helpers, plundered and destroyed thousands of Jewish stores and homes as well as hundreds of synagogues. Unlike Imperial Russia, modern Germany had not been the site of a pogrom in modern times and this mass crime marked a key shift in the Nazi regime's anti-Jewish policies that culminated in a systematic genocide during the subsequent war.

The main speaker at the commemoration, representing the Federal Republic of Germany, will be Klaus Becker. A native of the university town of Marburg in Hesse, Klaus Becker grew up in the Ruhr Valley, site of Germany's main steel producing companies, where his father worked as a technician. He has lived in Germany, Italy, Brazil and the U.S. His international steel trading company, Nirosteel, is based in Charlotte. He has served as President of the N.C. Chapter of the German-American Chamber of Commerce for years. In 2013, he accepted the appointment as the Federal Republic of Germany's Honorary Consul to North Carolina. His remarks will shed light on the Federal Republic's coming to terms with the Nazi past, Jewish life in Germany today, and the present state of German-American relations. He will be joined by ASU Provost Dr. Darrell Krueger, the director of the Center for Judaic Holocaust and Peace Studies Dr. Thomas Pegelow Kaplan and the Co-President of the Temple of the High Country Ira Abrams.


UNC-Chapel Hill's Jewish Studies Center Director to Speak at ASU

Ruth von BernuthOn November 15, Professor Ruth von Bernuth will give an evening talk entitled "How the Wise Men Got to Chelm: The Life and Times of a Yiddish Folk Tradition."

The talk will start at 7:00 pm at the Reich College of Education, Room 124.

Von Bernuth examines the collected tales of the "wise men," or "fools," of Chelm, which constitute one of the best-known folktale traditions of Eastern-European Jewry. Since the late nineteenth century, Chelm has figured prominently not only as a real Eastern-Polish city, but also as an imaginary place onto which questions of Jewish identity, history and community have been projected. Her examination demonstrates how literary Chelm has function as a model of society, situated between utopia and dystopia. The imagined foolish town, von Bernuth argues, has allowed writers to entertain as well as to stress a variety of societal problems. Literary Chelm fulfills this function in Jewish literature to the present day. Professor von Bernuth's talk is based on her recently-published New York University Press book, which will be available for purchase after the lecture.

Professor von Bernuth serves as the director of the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, the most successful Jewish Studies Center in the UNC system. She is also an Associate Professor at UNC's Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, which she joined in 2008. Professor von Bernuth holds a Ph.D. in medieval and early modern German literature from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany (2005). She is also the author of Wunder, Spott und Prophetie: Natürliche Narrheit in den Historien von Claus Narren, a study of ideas of natural folly in early modern German literature.

On Wednesday, November 16, Professor von Bernuth and her work will also be at the center of the next Lunch Research Colloquium of ASU's Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies. This colloquium is based on two recent contributions by the speaker on Jewish conversion and identity and the carnivalesque in early modern Ashkenaz that are available from the Center upon request. The 2-hour colloquium will begin at 11:00 am.

Professor von Bernuth's visit is organized by the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies and co-sponsored by ASU's Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Philosophy and Religion and the university's Hillel chapter.

Attendance is free to ASU faculty, students, and staff, but an RSVP is required. A lunch (free of charge for participants) will be served. To RSVP and for more information, please contact holocaust@appstate.edu or call 828.262.2311.


Prominent Holocaust Historian from Yad Vashem to Visit ASU

Guy MironIn early November, the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies and ASU will be host to Professor Guy Miron, one of Israel's most prominent Holocaust scholars of the generation that followed the field's founding cohort of Dan Michman, Yehuda Bauer and the late Israel Gutman. Guy Miron is Professor of Jewish History and Chair of the Department of History, Philosophy and Jewish Studies at the Open University of Israel. He is also the director of the Research Center for the Study of the Holocaust in Germany at the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, the World Center for Holocaust Research, Documentation, Education and Commemoration in Jerusalem. Furthermore, Professor Miron is the head of the Research and Publications Committee of the Leo Baeck Institute for the Study of German and Central European Jewry. His important publications include German Jews in Israel: Memories and Past Images (in Hebrew, 2004); and The Waning of the Emancipation, Jewish History, Memory, and the Rise of Fascism in Germany, France, and Hungary (2011). His visit is part of the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies' ongoing international outreach and research collaborations.

At ASU, Professor Miron will give an evening lecture entitled "Modern Jewish historiography – Between 'Usable Past,' National Narrative and the Trans-National Challenge." It will take place at ASU's Belk Library, Room 114, on Tuesday, November 1, from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Until the Holocaust, German-Jewish history was, his lecture will demonstrate, associated with Jewish enlightenment, emancipation and assimilation, new religious movements, modern Jewish politics, as well as the escalating threat of anti-Semitism. Jewish historians and intellectuals of this pre-Holocaust period, predominantly from Germany and Eastern Europe, have dealt extensively with German-Jewish history as a "Usable Past," which was a major part of their coming to terms with fundamental questions of modern Jewish identity. After 1945 German-Jewish history became a topic for a trans-national Jewish debate and was reinterpreted predominantly by scholars from Britain, Israel and the US. In addition, non-Jewish historians, mainly from Germany, started to deal with this complex history whose interpretation has also major implications for German history. Professor Miron's lecture will analyze this development and its meanings. The lecture is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

On Wednesday, November 2, Professor Miron and his work will also be at the center of the fall term's first JHP Lunch Research Colloquium. This colloquium evolves around reconsiderations of the significance of space and time in German-Jewish and Holocaust history. It is based on two recent contributions by the speaker that are available from the Center upon request. The 2-hour colloquium will begin at 11:00 am. Attendance is free to ASU faculty, students, and staff, but an RSVP is required. A lunch (free of charge for participants) will be served. To RSVP and for more information, please contact holocaust@appstate.edu or call 828.262.2311.

Professor Miron's visit is organized by ASU's Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies and co-sponsored by UNC's Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, Duke University's Center for Jewish Studies, Duke University's Center for European Studies and the North Carolina German Studies Seminar & Workshop Series.


The CAB and the Temple of the High Country Present:
"Talks from the Temple" by Dr. Simon Sibelman, former Director of the Center for JHP Studies

Simon SibelmanTo be held at the Temple of the High Country
1043 West King Street, Boone

Wednesday, October 19
5:30pm - "Who Are Jews?: What is Judaism?"

Thursday, October 20
10:00am - "Anti-Semitism: The Longest Hatred"
1:00pm - "The Righteous Gentiles of the Shoah"

Co-sponsored by the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies.

For more information and to RSVP, email Suzanne Lasky Gerard at videomydog@aol.com or Floris Leipzig at floris15@aol.com.

 


World-Renowned Holocaust Scholar C. R. Browning to Give a Talk at ASU

Browning holocaust lecture poster by Anna CantrellThe keynote lecture of the 2016 annual meeting of the North Carolina Jewish Studies Consortium at ASU will be given by Frank Porter Graham Professor Emeritus Christopher R. Browning of Tacoma, Washington State. Browning is one of the foremost experts and key pioneers in the field of Holocaust Studies. His impressive publications include influential works such as Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, which has redefined the subfield of perpetrator studies, and Origins of the Final Solution. He has given expert witness testimony for Canadian, Australian, and British prosecutors in trials against alleged Nazi perpetrators and Holocaust deniers. Browning is the Frank Porter Graham Professor Emeritus at the History Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A gifted lecturer, he speaks on his research around the globe.

Professor Browning's talk will take place from 2:00 until 4:00 pm on Sunday, September 25, at Belk Library, Room 114, on the ASU campus. It examines the suffering and memories of the Jewish inmates of a factory slave labor camp in German-occupied Poland during the Second World War. Entitled "Holocaust History and Survivor Testimony: The Starachowice Factory Slave Labor Camps," Browning investigates a crucial part of the Nazi genocide that had not received sufficient attention. His work largely draws on accounts from survivors of the Starachowice camp many of which originated in oral history interviews he conducted with former camp inmates. Browning's talk is based on his recent book Remembering Survival.

Professor Browning's visit is organized by ASU's Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies and co-sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and the Duke Center for Jewish Studies.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please email holocaust@appstate.edu or call 828.262.2311.


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