Wednesday, October 10, 2018
7:00pm – Dana Commons, Higgins Lounge
Screening: Etched in Glass: The Legacy of Steve Ross
Speakers: Michael Ross ’93 (Attorney, Prince, Lobel, Tye LLP and former Boston City Councilor) and Roger Lyons (Writer/Producer/Director)
A survivor of 10 concentration camps, Steve Ross immigrated to Boston after the Holocaust. He became a civic leader and the driving force behind the creation of the Boston Holocaust Memorial. We will screen the film Etched in Glass: The Legacy of Steve Ross, which shows how one remarkable Polish man found a second life in America, dedicating himself to helping people. Clark alumnus Michael Ross, whom President Obama appointed to serve on the United States Holocaust Museum Council, and Roger Lyons will introduce the film. Ross will discuss his father’s incredible journey drawing upon his memoir about the Holocaust, Broken Glass: My Story of Finding Hope in Hitler’s Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation.
Reception and book signing to follow
Sponsored by the Worcester Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, the New England Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, Clark University Hillel and the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
4:00pm – Rose Library, Cohen-Lasry House
Speaker: Mneesha Gellman (Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, at Emerson College, Boston)
Especially for Students Lecture
Professor Gellman examines six case studies in Mexico, Turkey, and El Salvador to show how memory-based narratives serve as emotionally salient leverage for marginalized communities to facilitate state consideration of minority rights agendas. Shaming and claiming is a social movement tactic that binds historic violence to contemporary citizenship. Combining theory with empirics, Gellman explores how democratization shapes citizen experiences of interest representation and how memorialization processes challenge state regimes of forgetting at local, state, and international levels.
Sponsored by the Undergraduate Program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Ina and Haskell Gordon Endowed Fund)
Speakers: Tun Khin (President Burmese Rohingya Organization UK), John Knaus (Associate Director for Asia, National Endowment for Democracy), Debbie Stothard (Director of Altsean-Burma and Secretary General of International Federation for Human Rights) and Matt Wells (Amnesty International Senior Crisis Advisor)
Who are the Rohingya? And why do so many people in Burma/Myanmar regard them as a threat to the nation? More than 900,000 Rohingya have taken refuge in Bangladesh after a series of attacks by the armed forces of Burma/Myanmar and Buddhist nationalists. Their plight is the fastest growing humanitarian emergency in the world. Panelists will present the historic roots of the contemporary crisis, which the UN has called a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing;” outline the broader political and military context in which the forced migration is occurring; and evaluate proposed solutions.
Sponsored by Judith T. ’75 and Lawrence S. ‘76 Bohn; the Departments of Asian Studies, Peace Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, International Development and Social Change ; IDCE; STAND (the student-led movement to end mass atrocities); the Political Science Department through the Chester Bland Fund; and the Department of Asian Studies at the College of the Holy Cross.
For Germany, the Armenian Genocide did not take place “far away in Turkey.” It was something very close to home. Relations between the German empire and the Ottoman Empire had been close since the 1890s. Since then Germany had become accustomed to excuse violence against the Armenians, mostly in distorted racial discourses. After World War I, a great genocide debate took place in Germany, centered on the Armenian Genocide. German nationalists first denied and then justified genocide in sweeping terms. The Nazis, too, came to see genocide as justifiable: In their version of history, the Armenian Genocide had made possible the astonishing rise of the New Turkey. This also means that the Armenian Genocide and the Nazi Holocaust were not separate by great distances in time and space as is so often assumed. But what does this mean for our understanding of the bloody 20th century?
Sponsored by the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Drawing on 25 years of experience investigating human rights violation and genocide in Guatemala, Sanford will discuss the theory and practice of forensic exhumations, victim identification, archival and testimonial research and their interplay in legal processes and community desires for justice. She will explore the ways in which science and law and justice complement and collide with one another as investigations move forward from the field to legal courts and the court of public opinion. She will also consider the role of the researcher as both documentarian and participant in the production of history as well as legal precedence.
Sponsored by the Asher Family Fund
Clark University historian Taner Akçam has made landmark discoveries that prove the Ottoman government’s central role in planning the Armenian genocide. Despite decades of scholarly research, the scarcity of direct evidence has allowed Turkey to persist in its denial. Professor Akçam will discuss the findings published in his groundbreaking new book, Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide (2018). He will highlight a recently discovered document, a “smoking gun,”which removes the cornerstone of Turkey’s denialism. He will show that the killing orders signed by Ottoman Interior Minister Talat Pasha, which the Turkish Government has long discredited, are authentic.
Taner Akçam holds the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark’s Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. An internationally recognized human rights activist, Akçam was one of the first Turkish intellectuals to acknowledge and openly discuss the Armenian Genocide
Alexopoulos will discuss her new book, Illness and Inhumanity in Stalin’s Gulag, which is the first scholarly work devoted to health and medicine in Stalin’s forced labor camps. Drawing upon recently declassified Gulag archives, the book argues that the system of human exploitation in the Stalinist Gulag was willfully destructive. Stalin’s camps systematically worked prisoners to the point of near death and then discarded them en masse. The book argues that prisoner mortality in the Gulag was much greater than previously believed and that Stalin’s Gulag constituted one of the 20th century’s greatest crimes against humanity.
Reception and book signing to follow the lecture.
In the 1930’s, the Salvation Army operated around the world. As in other countries, the German branch of this Protestant organization offered social services and a spiritual community for Germany’s urban poor and working classes, as well as large-scale humanitarian aid. How did this organization fare after the Nazi Party came to power? Carter-Chand will discuss why the Salvation Army aligned itself with the Nazi government and how it continued to operate during the war. She will situate the Salvation Army in the context of other German churches and sects, as well as recent scholarship on internationalism and the Volksgemeinschaft (people’s community).
In the 1890s, a series of massacres targeted Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Two American Civil War veterans living in Istanbul reported on the killings, both comparing it to the violence against African Americans in their native country. One, a former Confederate general, thought reports of the Armenian killings were overblown, while the other, a former Union army soldier sounded the alarms, as tens of thousands were murdered. Dr. Owen Miller will examine these competing claims and discuss some of the underlying patterns behind mass violence against African Americans in the US and against Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.
During the Khmer Rouge’s brutal reign in Cambodia (mid- to late-1970s), a former math teacher named Duch served as the commandant of the S-21 security center, where as many as 20,000 victims were interrogated, tortured, and executed. In the 2009 UN-backed Khmer Rouge Tribunal, the prosecution painted Duch as evil, while his lawyers claimed he simply followed orders. Hinton will discuss Duch’s trial and how it might help us reconsider Arendt’s notion of the banality of evil in terms of “the banality of everyday thought.”
Sponsored by Judith T. ’75 and Lawrence S. ’76 Bohn
Attar’s lecture is part of a two-day conference that will explore the traumatic impact of mass violence on the most vulnerable segment of society-children and youth. Experts will examine the destructive strategies and methods of the perpetrators, the suffering of the victims, their agency, their coping mechanisms, and the lasting injuries of those who survived. They will discuss these issues through the lens of three historical cases: the indigenous children of North America and Australia who were forcefully removed from their families and communities and assimilated into the white settler culture; the orphaned and destitute children who survived the Armenian Genocide; and Jewish children during the Holocaust whom the Nazis deemed dangerous due to their role in continuing the “Jewish race.”
Listen to audio from the panel on Native American Genocide with Margaret D. Jacobs, University of Nebraska and Andrew Woolford, University of Manitoba.
Listen to audio from the panel on Armenian Genocide with Nazan Maksudyan, Leibniz Centre for Modern Oriental Studies, Berlin and Nora N. Nercessian, Harvard University
Listen to audio from the panel on the Holocaust with Joanna Sliwa, Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and Avinoam J. Patt, University of Hartford.
Open to the public by reservation. Please contact Robyn Conroy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsored by the Friends of the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor in Armenian Genocide Studies, Alan Edelman and Debbie Sosland-Edelman, and Fran Snyder and David Voremberg ’72
What does “home” mean to a child growing up as a refugee? What kind of future do we envision for the millions of people fleeing war, searching for sanctuary, and longing to belong? In this personal talk about the Syrian humanitarian crisis and its devastating toll on children, Attar describes living through the deep layers of unimaginable loss when conflict hits home and explores innovative and meaningful ways to nurture hope in a time of despair.
The wide-scale massacres of Armenians under Sultan Abulhamid (1894 – 1896) ushered in a period of mass violence that reached its acme during the Armenian Genocide. This genocide was the most brutal consequence of the articulation of Social-Darwinist theories and “Total War” practices. Far from being a “local event”, it also constituted a pattern for other 20th century genocides. It was also a decisive moment in the brutalization of Near-Eastern societies, which one-century later experienced new mass-violence and ethic/sectarian cleansings. Bozarslan will discuss the historical dimensions of the violence and place it in a long-term theoretical perspective.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Professor in Armenian Genocide Studies
Wolf Gruner will introduce the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive. A repository with over 55,000 video testimonies of survivors and other eyewitnesses of the Holocaust, the Rwandan, Armenian, Cambodian, and Guatemalan genocides, and the Nanjing Massacre in China. The interviews, conducted in 41 languages and 62 countries, are life histories and their subject matter covers the history and culture of the countries of the interviewees’ birth and their lives before, during, and after genocide. Gruner will describe how testimonies can enrich research and change perspectives and understanding of the Holocaust and other genocides.
Open to the public by reservation. Please contact Robyn Conroy at email@example.com
Sponsored by the William P. Goldman & Brothers Foundation
This lecture sheds light on the lives, experiences, and violent acts carried out by a group of twenty-eight women who worked as concentration camp guards at Majdanek in occupied Poland between 1942 and 1944. None of these women were innate agents of terror. Yet, at different stages of their “careers” each complied with the destructive Nazi policies of colonization, persecution, and extermination, which empowered them to perpetrate workday violence.
National Socialism – as an ideology and modus operandi – spawned new taxonomic relationships between the sexes that are best understood by applying the categories of race, class, and gender. This intersectional approach more accurately reveals the individual responsibility of these young women, who were mostly in their twenties, in perpetrating National Socialist crimes in occupied Poland. Although the positions of authority in the camps remained firmly in the grasp of men, the case of the female camp guards at Majdanek clearly exposes that the war radically modified the relationship between the sexes in Nazi Germany: German women acquired considerable power over camp inmates and occupied civilians. These women had license to give orders and maltreat individuals – and, in some cases, to kill.
This lecture is sponsored by the William P. Goldman and Brothers Foundation
Historian Barbara J. Merguerian, a founder of the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA), will moderate a discussion about women’s responses to the Armenian Genocide. Judy Saryan will present Zabel Yessayan’s groundbreaking work, In the Ruins: The 1909 Massacres of Armenians in Adana, Turkey. AIWA is a sponsor of the Zabel Yessayan Project, which is publishing the writings of this extraordinary Armenian author, the only woman among the Armenian intellectuals targeted for arrest and murder at the start of the Genocide. Dana Walrath will speak about her novel Like Water on Stone, a fictionalized account based on her family history during the Armenian Genocide. These works illuminate the history of the Armenians during the latter stages of the Ottoman Empire. Both books offer the point of view of women and children who are often the primary victims of mass murder and genocide.
This lecture is sponsored by the Kaloosdian Mugar Professor and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program
Genocide in the Carpathians presents the history of Subcarpathian Rus’, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious borderland in the heart of Europe. This society of Carpatho-Ruthenians, Jews, Magyars, and Roma disintegrated first under the pressure of state building in interwar Czechoslovakia and, during World War II, from the onslaught of Hungarian occupation authorities. Charges of foreignness and disloyalty to the Hungarian state linked anti-semitism to xenophobia and national security anxieties.
Drawing on Raphael Lemkin who coined the term “genocide,” Dr. Segal argues that genocide in the region unfolded as a Hungarian policy aimed at thorough social and cultural destruction, well before the German invasion of Hungary in March 1944 and the mass deportations of Jews to Auschwitz that followed it throughout the spring and summer. This perspective reorients our view of the Holocaust not simply as a German drive for continent-wide genocide, but as a truly international campaign of mass violence, closely related to violence against non-Jews unleashed by projects of state and nation building across Europe.
This lecture is sponsored by the Raskin Young Family Fund.
This lecture discusses the crossways and intersections between histories and memories of Holocaust, Genocide and forced deportations in the Caucasus. Focusing on the Circassian Genocide of 1864, the Holocaust, and the mass deportations of Chechens, Ingush, Meskhetians and ethnic group under Stalin in 1944, Dr. Bram will examine how these connections are manifested in two recent struggles for recognition as victims: that of the Caucasus “Mountain” Jews and that of the Circassians (Adyghe). Special attention will be given to the way such crossways appear in the testimonies and accounts of Holocaust survivors from the Caucasus.
This lecture is sponsored by Dana and Yossie Hollander.
Dr. Browning is the Frank Porter Graham Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ,and the author of several landmark works in the field of Holocaust history, including Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (Harper Collins, 1992); and Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave Labor Camp (W.W. Norton, 2010). His talk will examine the history of the Starachowice labor camp in central Poland, where between 1942 and 1944 thousands of Jews were forced to work under brutal conditions to produce munitions for the German war effort. The Testimonies of the nearly three hundred camp survivors comprise some of the only evidence of the camp’s existence, and Professor Browning’s lecture will pay particular attention to the methodological challenges historians face when using survivor testimony to document the crimes of the Nazi regime.
This lecture was made possible through the generous support of Clark University alumni Judi and Lawrence Bohn. Co-sponsored by the W. Arthur Garrity Sr. Professorship in Human Nature, Ethics and Society at the College of the Holy Cross, the Philosophy Department at Worcester State University, and the Departments of History and Political Science at Clark University.
Judy Dworkin is Head of Indian Law and Tribal Relations Practice Group for Sacks Tierney Law in Phoenix, Arizona. She is appellate justice of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council Court, judge pro tem for the Tohono O’odham Nation and special judge to the Fallon-Paiute Shoshone Tribe. She is also a solicitor to the Hualapai Tribe. She also teaches at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
David Pijawka is associate Director, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University. He is also Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. He has been involved in various community projects, including the evaluation of Scottsdale’s Green Building program and workshops on Tribal community planning.
Garo Paylan represents Istanbul as a deputy in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. He is a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (known as the pro-Kurdish party) and one of the first Armenian members of Turkey’s parliament in decades. Renowned as a thorn in the side of the Turkish government, especially ultra-nationalists, Paylan has delivered several courageous parliamentary speeches including one with the picture of Armenian deputies of the Ottoman Parliament during the genocide. As a result, he has been the subject of physical attacks and hate speech.
Paylan will discuss recent political developments in Turkey, including the latest coup attempt and subsequent developments, Kurdish questions, and his personal experience as an Armenian deputy in the Turkish parliament.
8:45 am: Welcome
Thomas Kühne, Clark University
9-10 am: “The History of Violence, the Violence of History: Locating Genocide in the North American Past”
Karl Jacoby, Columbia University Listen to the audio
10:15-11:15 am: “The U.S. Legal History and the On-Going Genocide of Native Americans”
Angelique EagleWoman, University of Idaho Listen to the audio
11:30-12:30 pm: “The State is a Man: Theresa Spencer, Lorraine Saunders and the Gendered Cost of Settler Sovereignty in Canada”
Audra Simpson, Columbia University Listen to the audio
2-3 pm: “Genocide in the Americas: Complexities, Contradictions, and Contested Narratives”
Alex Alvarez, Northern Arizona University Listen to the audio
3:15-4:15 pm: “Historical Trauma as the Legacy of Genocide in American Indian Communities: Complications and Critiques”
Joseph P.Gone, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Listen to the audio
4:30-5:30 pm: “So-ver(y)-e(mp)ty in the Space of Abjection: U.S. sovereign immunity, Indigenous Truth-seeking and historical clarification the Shadow of the Wall, Ndé narrative, memorialization, and reparation processes, 2007-2015.”
Margo Tamez, University of British Columbia Listen to the audio
A member of the Te-moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada, Blackhawk is a Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, where he coordinates the Yale Group for the Study of Native America. He is the author of Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West (Harvard, 2006), a study of the American Great Basin, which garnered numerous professional prizes, including the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize from the organization of American Historians. In his lecture, he will examine approaches to the study of genocide in native North America. He will chart the increased attention to the indigenous genocide in Canadian history and explore the reasons for the ongoing erasure of the subject in the study of U.S. history.
Keynote Lecture for a Special Symposium of the Strassler Center
With the generous support of Ellen Carno ’79 and Neil Leifer ’76
The question of how communities address painful legacies through memorial construction is the starting point for a discussion between architect Julian Bonder and Clark Professors Deborah Martin and Kristina Wilson. Bonder’s well-known Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery in Nantes, France, a port from which hundreds of Atlantic slave-trading expeditions set forth, will serve as the cornerstone. The trio will also look at Bonder’s Holocaust-related work and other memorials to mass atrocity.
Co-Sponsored by the Graduate School of Geography and Department of Visual and Performing Arts
Ronald Suny (University of Michigan) and Peter Holquist (University of Pennsylvania) discuss genocide in the comparative contexts of the Ottoman and Russian Empires respectively. Recent scholarship, including that of Suny and Holquist, challenges the common understanding of the Armenian Genocide in the context of the Young Turks’ plan to eliminate Christians and homogenize Anatolia as part of the founding of Turkey. Instead, scholars are coming to understand genocides of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (including the Armenian Genocide) as a reorganization of empire based on new demographic policies.
Co-sponsored by the Political Science and History Departments
Closing thoughts by senior scholars about ideas discussed during the Third International Graduate Student Conference- Emerging Scholarship in Holocaust and Genocide Studies 100 Years after the Armenian Genocide
In partnership with the Danish Institute for International Studies
Dean Weitz opened the conference, Emerging Scholarship in Holocaust and Genocide Studies 100 Years after the Armenian Genocide. Comparative genocide research and education are now rooted in university centers, scholarly associations, and journals. Weitz argued that the field should grow to include the issue of human rights. Genocide is about human destruction, in response, systems of rights to protect human life and culture have emerged and deserve close attention. Weitz’s book, A World Divided: A New Global History from the French Revolution to the Present, is a history of human rights and the segmentation of populations defined by nation or race in the modern era. This lecture commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
In partnership with the Danish Institute for International Studies
As part of its series on Public History, the Strassler Center brought together three eminent scholars to examine how historical events, particularly genocide, are interpreted, used, or manipulated toward specific ends. Harold Marcuse, University of California, Santa Barbara; “Teaching the Holocaust to the Millennial Generation: The New Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.” Andrew Port, Wayne State University; “To Intervene or not to Intervene — in Foreign Genocides; The Political Use of the Holocaust in German Intervention Debates in the 1990s.” Simone Schweber, University of Wisconsin; “Mystifying History: Holocaust Narratives in Fundamentalist Schools.”