The University of Utah will observe Days of Remembrance in honor of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust during World War II. The Days of Remembrance committee has chosen the name of “Kristallnacht” the “Night of the Broken Glass” as the theme of the commemoration in memory of the infamous night that Nazi storm troopers destroyed Jewish shops and synagogues in Germany. Days of Remembrance will be presented April 13 – 16, 2009 at the University of Utah and will culminate with the Utah state observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 21, 2009.
“This year marks the 25th year the U has commemorated the millions of victims of the Holocaust, making it one of the oldest such events in the country,” according to University of Utah President, Michael K. Young. “This remembrance is one part of the university’s efforts to foster diversity on campus with the Holocaust being a particularly tragic episode in the history of human intolerance and hatred.”
“The Days of Remembrance commemoration has been an important part of the University of Utah for the past 25 years. The Office for Equity and Diversity is pleased to sponsor this historic commemoration to honor the victims of this terrible injustice and provide venues for reflection and study to ensure it is never forgotten and that it never happens again,” says Octavio Villalpando, associate vice president, Office for Equity and Diversity.
The week will begin on Monday, April 13, with a screening of “The Last Days of Sophie Scholl” a feature film remembering the life of a young girl who was a member of the “White Rose” a student protest group that stood up to the Nazi regime. Scholl was executed for participating in the protest. The film will be shown at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Auditorium at 3:00 pm.
On Wednesday, April 15, History Professor, Ronald M. Smelser, will teach a workshop with a lecture, discussion and film clips on the Holocaust. The workshop can be taken for credit by registering through Academic Outreach and Continuing Education at 801-581-8969. The workshop will be held at the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building, rm. 109, from 1:00 – 5:00 pm.
The week will culminate with a keynote address by Alan Steinweis, professor of history and director of the Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont. He will speak on the theme “The Kristallnacht Pogrom of Germany November 1938: Myths and Realities.” His presentation will be held Thursday, April 16, 7:00 pm, at the James Fletcher Building, rm. 103.
Days of Remembrance stars and posters are available from the Office for Equity and Diversity, Park Building, rm. 204. The stars, made of yellow cloth, will be distributed to students, faculty, staff and community members to commemorate the badges that were imposed on Jews throughout history. They are also a reminder of the Denmark underground produced replicas of the badge that read, “Jews and non-Jews stand united in their struggle.”
All 2009 Days of Remembrance events (except the workshop taken for credit) are free and open to the public. For more information, call (801) 581-7569 or visit http://www.diversity.utah.edu