Posts Tagged 'Holocaust Remembrance Day'

Holocaust Remembrance Day at Marquette

Dr. Peter Staudenmaier recently participated in Marquette’s hosting of a Holocaust survivor.  Today, Holocaust Remembrance Day, he reminds us of the importance of remembering the Holocaust and the multiple roads that led to the Holocaust.

Today, April 19, is Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorated in communities around the world. In preparation for observing this date, Marquette hosted a remarkable event at the beginning of the month with holocaust survivor Robert Behr. Born in Berlin in 1922, Mr. Behr and his family were interned at the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942 and managed to survive until the camp was liberated in May 1945. Now 90 years old and a resident of Washington DC, Mr. Behr agreed to come to Marquette to talk with students about his experiences. The chief event, an evening panel discussion on April 2 with Mr. Behr as the principal speaker, was organized at the initiative of a group of Marquette students and sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs. To the surprise of the organizers and panel members, more than 500 people attended the event and engaged in a searching discussion of this exceptionally challenging historical subject.

Along with Bonnie Shafrin of the Milwaukee Holocaust Education Resource Center, I was asked to participate on the panel with Mr. Behr. It was an honor to take part in the event, before the largest audience I have ever addressed, and I took the opportunity to examine some of the difficult questions which confront anybody who tries to come to terms with the seemingly incomprehensible Nazi campaign to exterminate European Jews. Mr. Behr himself provided much of the historical context, in the midst of a moving personal account, and encouraged Ms. Shafrin and myself to raise issues that would help illuminate this aspect of the past for the students. It was an occasion for both historical reflection and earnest consideration of the relevance of the past for present concerns.

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