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Days of Remembrance

April 2, 2010 – The University of Utah will commemorate the Holocaust of World War II during the 2010 Days of Remembrance week with the theme, “70 Years Later: Remembering the German Invasion of Poland.” Millions of victims, including over 6 million Jews, were murdered by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust.

The commemoration will feature a keynote address by an internationally known scholar of the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, and the premiere of “Remembrance,” a ballet performance symbolizing women and the Holocaust. Events take place April 7 – 10 and are free and open to the public with the exception of the ballet performance and a workshop taken for credit.

“The University of Utah has sponsored the Days of Remembrance for 26 years. It is one of the oldest such commemorations in the country,” says Ronald Smelser, professor of history and chairman of the Days of Remembrance planning committee at the University of Utah. “As members of the World War II generation–perpetrators and victims alike–pass away, it is more important than ever that we remember the tragic events of that era.”

Charles Sydnor, Ph.D., will present the keynote address, “Reinhard Heydrich: a Holocaust Perpetrator in Historical Perspective,” on Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 pm at the Marriott Center for Dance in the Hayes/Christensen Theater. Heydrich was a senior SS Officer in the German military and played a major role in the planning and implementation of the Holocaust.

Sydnor, the former president of Emory & Henry College and of the Commonwealth Public Broadcasting in Richmond, Virginia, is an internationally known and widely published scholar specializing in the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. He has also worked with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice since 1981. With OSI, he has served as an adviser and expert witness in researching Nazi documents, preparing historical reports on conditions in German concentration camps and wartime extermination complexes, and in testifying in denaturalization and/or deportation trials of former SS concentration camp guards and Nazi death camp collaborators who entered the United States illegally.

Utah Ballet, the University of Utah’s residential ballet company, under the direction of Sharee Lane, associate professor of ballet, College of Fine Arts, will perform “Remembrance,” which symbolizes the value of human life and the fragile nature of freedom. It is a tribute to the Jewish people and their miraculous story of survival and rebirth. Performances take place April 9 and 10 at the Marriott Center for Dance in the Hayes/Christensen Theater on the university campus.

The 2010 Days of Remembrance include the following events:

The Holocaust Workshop – April 7, 2:00 – 6:00 pm. Lecture, discussion and film clips on the Holocaust taught by Ronald M. Smelser, professor of history. The workshop may be taken for one credit by registering through Academic Outreach and Continuing Education, 801-581-8969. Workshop location: Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building, Auditorium, room 109, University of Utah.

Candlelight Vigil – Thursday, April 8, 6:00 pm. at the Price Family Holocaust Memorial Garden of the Jewish Community Center, 2 North Medical Drive. Rabbi Frederick L. Wenger will preside.

Keynote address by Charles Sydnor, Ph.D., – “Reinhard Heydrich: a Holocaust Perpetrator in Historical Perspective,” Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 pm. at the Marriott Center for Dance in the Hayes/Christensen Theater.

“Remembrance: a Feature Ballet Performance” by Utah Ballet – performances Friday, April 9 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, April 10 at 2:00 and 7:30 pm at the Marriott Center for Dance in the Hayes/Christensen Theater. Tickets are $10.00 for the general public and $7.00 for students. They may be purchased at the door or ordered through Kingsbury Hall at 801-581-7100.

Holocaust Commemoration by the State of Utah – Sunday, April 11, 2:00 pm at the Salt Lake City Public Library, Main Library Auditorium, 210 East 400 South. The presentation will focus on the lives of children during the Holocaust and will include youth readings, an introduction of survivors, witnesses and World War II veterans and a proclamation by the governor. Holocaust survivor Ruth Hartz, and historian, Charles Sydnor, will speak. That evening, 8:00 – 10:00 pm, KUED channel 7 will present a Masterpiece Classic, “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

During the Days of Remembrance week, yellow cloth stars will be distributed to commemorate identity badges that were imposed on Jews and other minority groups during the Holocaust. In Nazi-occupied Denmark, the underground produced replicas of the Nazi-imposed badge, which read: “Jews and non-Jews stand united in their struggle.”

Days of Remembrance at the University of Utah sponsors include the Office for Equity and Diversity, Department of History, United Jewish Federation of Utah and the Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center. For more information about Days of Remembrance visit: or call 801-581-4250.