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Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
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  • Our Mothers, Our Heimat, Our Holocaust: "Ordinary" Nazis on German Television, 1984-2014

    A Lecture by Offer Ashkenazi
    Monday, September 22
    4:00 p.m.
    1210 Heller Hall

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    Edgar Reitz's groundbreaking TV drama "Heimat" aired 30 years ago in an attempt to 'take back" German history from the American entertainment industry. Going back to this drama -- and to the sequel and prequel Reitz directed during the past decades -- I will suggest that "Heimat" subtly provided a revolutionary portrayal of World War II as a framework in which "German" and "Jewish" categories have been melded together to create a new nation (or a genuine alternative to "American" imperialism). In emphasizing this process, I will look at more recent productions, such as "Generation War," to argue that Reitz's implicit notion of German-Jewish symbiosis has been replicated in later mainstream TV dramas. The transformation of this image, however, replaced the self-criticism (or self-mockery) of "Heimat" with a melodramatic affirmation of Germany's "cure" from its violent past.

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  • Convert or Die Christian Persecution and the Rise of the Islamic State

    A round table discussion with French author Richard Millet

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    Thursday, September 18
    3:00pm
    Room 710 Social Sciences Building

    In recent months Christians in Iraq have been given a seriously stark choice by the terrorist group ISIS- "Convert, pay a religious tax, or die!" Forcing many to flee while others have been tortured and killed. Mainly unnoticed by the media the current crisis has hit peak levels and Iraqi Christians no longer feel safe in their homes or country.

    French author Richard Millet will discuss the current situation giving insight into the crisis. Millet has spent many years in Lebanon living among the Christian Maronites his latest work on Middle Eastern Christians will be published in Paris later this year.

    The lecture will be in French & English with a translation by Bruno Chaouat, Chair of the Department of French & Italian, and Monica Kelley, JD, PhD.

    This is the first and long-awaited visit of Richard Millet to the United States. Millet is the author of over twenty books of fiction, a prolific essayist, and a beacon of the contemporary French novel. His essays have provoked robust debate in Europe. His eclectic writings include autobiographical novels that explore questions of origin, mourning and dereliction. His most recent work is on Charlotte Salomon, a German Jewish artist murdered at Auschwitz.

    Sponsored by: Human Rights Program, Department of French & Italian and Program in Human Rights & Health

    Photo: Eddie Potros

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  • Call for Abstracts Special Issue of Gender & History

    Special Issue of Gender & History Volume 28:3 (November 2016)
    Gender and Global Warfare in the Twentieth Century
    Edited by Louise Edwards (UNSW Australia), Martha Hanna (University of Colorado), and Patricia M. E. Lorcin (University of Minnesota).

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    Gender & History calls for article abstracts for a special issue addressing 'Gender and Global Warfare in the Twentieth Century'. Although the occasion for this special issue is the centenary of the First World War, we are interested in contributions that provide a gendered analysis of modern warfare across the globe and throughout the twentieth century, as well as articles relating to the First World War era in particular. Scholarly contributions to the literature on gender and war are usually restricted to a specific war in a specific place, but the memory and trauma of past wars shape the politics, cultures and societies in post-war periods and create the basis on which future wars are waged, experienced or perceived.

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Community Events

  • Marek Edelman Dialogue Center to commemorate 70th anniversary of Litzmannstadt Ghetto liquidation

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    This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Litzmannstadt (i.e. Łódź) Ghetto, the second-largest ghetto (after the Warsaw Ghetto) established for Jews and Romani in German-occupied Poland. The Marek Edelman Dialogue Center will be hosting a commemoration of the ghetto's liquidation from August 28 - 31, 2014 in and near Łódź, Poland.

    A total of 204,000 Jews passed through the Litzmannstadt Ghetto. Despite reverses in the war, the Germans persisted in liquidating the ghetto and were able to transport the remaining population to Auschwitz and Chełmno extermination camps, where most died. It was the last ghetto in Poland to be liquidated. It is believed that the last transport took place on August 29, 1944.

    A full program of the commemorations can be found by clicking here. Registration is needed to take part in selected events and is available here.

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  • USC Shoah Foundation seeking 2014-2015 Center Research Fellow

    The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research (CAGR) has invited senior scholars to apply for its 2014-2015 Center Research Fellow. Applications will be accepted from now until July 14, 2014.

    The fellowship provides $30,000 support and will be awarded to an outstanding candidate from any discipline who will advance genocide research through the use of the Visual History Archive (VHA) of the USC Shoah Foundation and other USC resources. The incumbent will spend one semester in residence at the CAGR during the 2014-2015 academic year and will be expected to provide the Center with fresh research perspectives, play a role in Center activities, and to give a public talk during his or her stay.

    For more information, please see the USC Shoah Foundation Call for Applications.pdf

    The CAGR was launched in April 2014 and builds on the diverse and interdisciplinary genocide research programs established over the last several years at the University of Southern California to offer a unique research opportunity to students and scholars around the world.

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  • In Memoriam. Fred Baron (1924-2014)

    CHGS is sad to announce the loss of friend and Holocaust survivor, Fred Baron.

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    Fred Baron was born in Vienna in 1924. He was 15 when the German's annexed (Anschluss) Austria in 1938. Fred's father had died while his sister was sent to England as part of the Kindertransport in 1939. Meanwhile, he and his mother sought shelter and lived in hiding. In 1941 they managed to escape to Hungary. Fred was arrested in Hungary and imprisoned for a time while his mother was sent to an interment camp. In June 1944 he was deported to Auschwitz.

    After time in various labor camps, he was liberated by the British Army at Bergen-Belsen; in terrible health he was taken to Sweden for medical care. At the hospital he met his future wife Judith, who was also a Holocaust survivor, and was reunited with his sister. He resettled in Minnesota in 1947, attracted to the large Swedish population.

    With Judith he raised a family, started a successful business and was a great supporter of the community. He had a kind and gentle spirit and a very optimistic outlook on life. He spoke often about his experiences and generously supported Holocaust education.

    Fred died at the age of 91 on May 23, 2014. He will be sorely missed.

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