Center Lectures & Testimonies

Appalachian State University Welcomes Dr. Gerhard Weinberg

Dr. Gerhard Weinberg

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Appalachian State University Welcomes Susan Cernyak-Spatz

Auschwitz Survivor Dr. S. Cernyak-Spatz in Conversation 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Susan Cernyak-Spatz, née Eckstein, was almost 21, when the Nazis deported her to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943. She survived the extermination camp and death march to the interior of the Reich at the end of the war.  After a screening of audio-visual testimonies she has given over the years, Dr. Cernyak-Spatz, now 96 years of age,  will answer questions from the audience. The event, organized by the Peace and Genocide Education Club and supported by the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies, will start on Tuesday, October 2, at 7:00 pm in Plemmons Student Union, Room 201B Table Rock, on the ASU campus. The program is free of charge and open to the public.

Appalachian State University Welcomes Professor Konrad Jarausch

"Broken Lives: How Ordinary German Jews and Gentiles Experienced the Twentieth Century"

Thursday, April 19, 2018

On Thursday, April 19, eminent historian Prof. Konrad H. Jarausch, Lurcy Professor of European Civilization at UNC-Chapel Hill, will give an evening lecture entitled “Broken Lives: How Ordinary German Jews and Gentiles Experienced the Twentieth Century.” It will begin at 7:30 pm in Belk Library Room 114. His talk will also be part of the events co-organized by the Center to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. It is free of charge and no tickets are required. For more information, call 828.262.2311.

Appalachian State University Welcomes Eliot Nidam of Yad Vashem

"Living with the Other: Religious Congregations in France and the Hiding of Jews During the Holocaust"

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Center will open this year's Yom HaShoah commemorations with a talk by Eliot Nidam, the Head of the Academic Affairs Section of the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem. Nidam's talk is entitled "Living with the Other: Religious Congregations in France and the Hiding of Jews During the Holocaust" and will take place on April 11, from 7:00 until 9:00 pm in 201 AB Blueridge Ballroom at Plemmons Student Union. The event is free of charge and no tickets are required. For more information, please call the Center at 828.262.2311 or email Organized with the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C. 

This program is made possible by the Campus Outreach Lecture Program of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, supported by the Leonard and Sophie Davis Fund.

Appalachian State University Welcomes Dr. Mark Bray

“Antifa: The History and Theory of Antifascism"

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Dr. Mark Bray (Dartmouth College) will give a lecture entitled “Antifa: The History and Theory of Antifascism” on Thursday, March 29 at Belk Library and Information Commons, Room 114, beginning at 7:00pm. Bray is a historian of human rights, terrorism, and political radicalism in Modern Europe, who completed his PhD in Modern European and Women's and Gender History at Rutgers University in 2016. He is the author of The Anti-Fascist Handbook and Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street. The Center is pleased to partner with the ASU Humanities Council in organizing the visit. 

Appalachian State University Welcomes Professor Wolf Gruner 

“Defiance and Protest: Forgotten Individual Jewish Reactions to the Persecution in Nazi Germany" 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Gruner holds the Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies, is Professor of History at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and is the Founding Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research. He is the author of eight books on the Holocaust, among them his important study of “Jewish Forced Labor under the Nazis. Economic Needs and Nazi Racial Aims” (Cambridge University Press). As all Center events, it is free of charge and no tickets are required. For more information, call 828.262.2311. 

Appalachian State University Welcomes Professor Thomas Kühne 

The Murderers Are Among Us’: Images of and Inquiries into Holocaust Perpetrators since the Third Reich” 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Professor Kühne is an award-winning prolific scholar of German, Holocaust, Military, and Gender Studies. His essay collection on the history of masculinities in modern Germany, Men’s History—Gender History, 1996 (published in German) helped to establish this field in Central European history and stimulated a series of innovative gender studies. He also contributed to the flourishing of the new cultural military history (What is Military History, 2000, co-edited with Benjamin Ziemann, in German) and served as chair of the German Historical Peace Research Association from 1998 until 2001. Professor Kühne is the author of many other publications in these fields, most noteworthy his study Belonging and Genocide. Hitler’s Community, 1918-1945 (Yale University Press 2010) on how the Nazis used the human desire for community to build a genocidal society and his monograph on The Rise and Fall of Comradeship (Cambridge University Press, 2017) on the myth of comradeship and its shaping of the experiences and actions of German soldiers in the Second World War.

Appalachian State University Welcomes Professor Dan Michman

“Holocaust Research Since 1990: Contemporary Contexts and Their Impact on the Comprehension of the Event” 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies has brought many distinguished scholars and historians to the ASU campus in recent years, but few -- if any -- have been as eminent as Professor Dan Michman of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, in Israel. Professor Michman is the head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research and incumbent of the John Najmann Chair of Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem. He is also a Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Israel and Golda Koschitzky Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry and the chair of the Arnold and Leona Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research and incumbent of the Abe and Edita Spiegel Family Chair of Holocaust Research at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel. Professor Michman has been at the forefront of Holocaust research in Israel, North America, and Europe for decades. He holds a Ph.D. from Hebrew University and started his career as a lecturer in Jewish History and Biblical Hebrew at the Dutch-Jewish [Ashkenazi Orthodox] Rabbinical Seminary in Amsterdam in the early 1970s. Born to Holocaust survivors in Holland in 1947, Michman and his family came to Israel in 1957, when his father, Joseph Melkman/Michman was appointed to head Yad Vashem as its general director.

Till van Rahden speaks as part of "Jewish Life in Germany Today" program

"History in the House of the Hangman: How Postwar Germany Became a Key Site for the Study of Jewish History"

Monday, September 25, 2017

Prof. Till van Rahden is a renowned specialist in the history of German Jewry who works on European history since the Enlightenment and is interested in the tension between the elusive promise of democratic equality and the recurrent presence of diversity and moral conflicts. He holds an M.A. in American history from Johns Hopkins University and PhD in history from the University of Bielefeld, Germany. In 2017, he is based at the "Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften" in Bad Homburg, Germany, as a senior research fellow. Van Rahden is the author of the award-winning Juden und andere Breslauer published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht in 2000. 

Dr. Rebecca Erbelding speaks at the 2017 Annual Holocaust Symposium
Dr. Rebecca Erbelding, an archivist from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum speaking during the 2017 Symposium
Ralph Preiss speaks at the 2017 Annual Holocaust Symposium
Ralph J. Preiss, Holocaust survivor who escaped to the Philippines with his parents in the late 1930s, speaking during the 2017 Symposium
Dr. Michael Berenbaum Speaks at the 2017 Annual Holocaust Symposium
Dr. Michael Berenbaum is currently the director of the Sigi Ziering Institute and Professor of Jewish Studies at American Jewish University. He has also been the executive editor of the New Encyclopaedia Judaica, a second edition of the monumental 1972 work, which now consists of 22 volumes. For three years, he was president and chief executive officer of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. In addition, he served three years as director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and from 1988-93, he served as its project director, overseeing its creation. Dr. Berenbaum has authored and edited 16 books, scores of scholarly articles, and hundreds of journalistic pieces.
The Volkswagen Factory and the City of the KdF Car: Nazi Histories and the Politics of Memory 
The panel focuses on the history of Volkswagen, the City of the KdF Car, and the wartime employment of slave laborers, including Jewish prisoners from Auschwitz. It also explores how citizens and employees of the city and company remembered these events and crimes after 1945. Panelists include Peter Kassel (Chair of the CDU City Council Faction, Wolfsburg), Ilse Bormann (former Hitler Youth Member and Wolfsburg native), and Mechthild Hartung(Spokesperson, Lower Saxony, for the Society of Persons Persecuted by the Nazi Regime – Federation of Anti-Fascists, VVN-BdA e.V.).
A talk by John K. Roth, Edward Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College 
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.
Dr. Edward Westermann on his recent book, "Hitler's Ostkrieg and the Indian Wars: Comparing Genocide and Conquest"
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.
UNC-Chapel Hill's Jewish Studies Center Director, Ruth von Bernuth, Speaks at ASU
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.
Prominent Holocaust Historian from Yad Vashem, Guy Miron, Visits ASU
The Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies and ASU hosts 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.
World-Renowned Holocaust Scholar C. R. Browning Gives a Talk at ASU
The 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.
How Can Muslims, Christians, and Jews Get Along? An Interfaith Dialogue
Islamophobia is once again on the rise in the United States. Anti-Judaism never disappeared. Christian thought has repeatedly been appropriated by religious extremists even in attempts to justify murder--for example of abortion providers. It is, thus, more than time to continue a much-needed interfaith dialogue. Please join us at the Reich College of Education (Room 124) on the ASU campus for a thoughtful and nuanced discussion and Q-and-A with an Imam, Rabbi, and Christian Reverend.
The Freedom Struggle and Fight Against Racism During The 1960s and Today
White American-Jewish activists made key contribution to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. As members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), progressive Jewish organizers in the Atlanta office, for example, helped launch the successful 1964 "Genocide in Mississippi"-campaign that decisively contributed to the failure of a proposed sterilization law targeting working-class African-American women. In the late 1960s, increasing African-American support for Palestinian struggles against Israel and the pronounced anti-Zionism voiced by critical freedom struggle leaders from Stokely Carmichael to Huey Newton ended many of these Jewish-African-American collaborations. Racism and anti-Semitism in American society and on U.S. universities campuses that these collaborations and activists addressed, however, have not vanished. If anything, they are on the rise today.
Charles E. Cobb, Jr., "This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed"
The presentation explores the complex relationship between the civil right movement's ealy commitment to non-violence and the long tradition of African American armed self-defense against the terror of white supremacy.
A lecture by Charles E. Cobb, Jr., entitled "This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible" at the Plemmons Student Union.
Si Kahn Event At The Jones House
Si Kahn enlivened the discussion by sharing a unique perspective that transcends social activism, scholarship, music, and the arts. Born in 1944, Si Kahn has worked for over 50 years as a civil rights, labor and community organizer and musician. He began his organizing career in 1965 in Arkansas with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, more popularly known as SNCC, the student wing of the Southern Civil Rights Movement.
Mugabo Yves at Appalachian State University, Sharing His Experience of the Rwandan Genocide

After the Holocaust, survivors and representatives of the international community powerfully intoned a "never again." Yet, genocides became a recurring reality in the post-Cold War worlds. The 1994 genocide in the East African country of Rwanda is but one of too many examples. In roughly three months, the Hutu Power genocidaires slaughtered some 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates. "Repeating the phrase 'never again,'" acting UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson stressed in his 2014 remarks to commemorate the Rwandan genocide, "is, in itself, a sign of continued failure."

Mugabo Yves spoke about these mass murders in Rwanda from the perspective of a child survivor. In April 1994, he was seven years old. His Tutsi family lived in the capital Kigali that became one of the key sites of the killings. His mother and many close relatives perished. Yves survived with the help of moderate Hutus.

Alon Confino on "A World Without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide" 
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 

Professor Confino is one of the most innovative and vibrant scholars in the fields of Modern German History, Holocaust and Memory Studies. He grew up in Jerusalem and attended Tel Aviv University. Having completed his undergraduate studies in Israel, he moved to the U.S., where he entered the graduate program in history at the University of California at Berkeley, earning a Ph.D. Alon Confino currently holds full professorships at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Alon Confino: Question-and-Answer Session
Wednesday, October 21, 2015

On Wednesday, October 21, Alon Confino presented his talk "A World Without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide." Afterwards, he took questions from the audience and dealt with provocative and challenging issues.
Auschwitz Survivor Susan Cernyak-Spatz on "Nazi Perpetrators Through The Eyes of the Victims"
Thursday, September 17, 2015 
Cernyak-Spatz, who is a Professor Emerita of German Literature at UNC Charlotte, was born in Vienna and in 1929, moved with her family to Berlin, where they witnessed Hitler's rise to power. They fled to Prague in March 1938. Her father managed to escape to Belgium shortly before the German invasion of Poland, but the Nazis arrested and eventually deported Cernyak-Spatz and her mother.