Remembrance Celebrated at Colorado State University’s Tenth Annual Holocaust Awareness Week

Note to Editors: Keynote speaker Daniel Goldhagen is available for phone interviews Thursday, Feb. 23. Joshua Greene is available for phone interviews Friday, Feb. 17. To arrange an interview with either person, contact Lisa Cantrup or Hedy Berman of Hillel at (970) 491-2080 or Dell Rae Moellenberg at 970-491-6009.

Colorado State University’s Students for Holocaust Awareness present the 10th annual Holocaust Awareness Week from Monday, Feb. 27, through Friday, March 3. The week features speakers with tales of inspirational courage, war crime trials, unmasked Nazis and concentration camp liberation.

This year’s theme, "Justice, Justice Thou Shall Pursue," is in remembrance of Simon Wiesenthal, a survivor of the Nazi death camps, who dedicated his life to documenting Holocaust crimes and hunting down perpetrators still at large. Wiesenthal died in September of 2005.

      Hedy Berman, Colorado State’s Hillel director, describes the week as a time of remembrance and respect for all lives lost during the Holocaust as well as an opportunity to consider lessons from this ultimate expression of hate and intolerance.

"Simon Wiesenthal was a heroic champion of justice, not vengeance," Berman said. "His work stands as a reminder and a warning for future generations against allowing the destruction of hate to take a foothold in society."

This year’s keynote speaker is Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, who will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the North Ballroom of the Lory Student Center. Goldhagen is the author of the No. 1 international bestseller, "Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust," which is credited with generating more international discussion about the Holocaust than any book in recent history. Recently, his work, "A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair," offers a penetrating ethical inquiry into the Catholic Church’s role in the Holocaust.

Goldhagen holds a doctorate in political science from Harvard and is currently a member of Harvard’s Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. He is the winner of Germany’s highly prestigious triennial Democracy Prize.

Goldhagen’s presentation, titled "From Justice to Moral Repair," will pay tribute to Simon Wiesenthal’s search for justice. Goldhagen will expand the concept of justice to include repair.  

"Repair is the attempt to make amends with the victims and their families as best one can for the harm one did to them. The three components of repair are material, political and moral," he said.

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, Obie-award winning actress Rosina Fernhoff will perform a one-person play, "Snow People," based on her husband Av Inlender’s novel, "Zoa." The play tells the story of Anna Blake 50 years after World War II as she strives to restore her cultural legacy and unmask the Nazis who killed her grandfather.

     The play explores questions of guilt and restitution portrayed through a confrontation between Anna’s mother, a Holocaust survivor, and Anna. It will be performed in the Lory Student Center Theater. Fernhoff also will perform and speak at noon March 1 in Room 220 in the Lory Student Center for the university’s Women at Noon Program.

The second keynote speaker, Emmy award nominee and author Joshua M. Greene, will present "Justice at Dachau" at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2, in the North Ballroom of the Lory Student Center. Greene, author of "Justice at Dachau – The Trials of an American Prosecutor," will examine the largest but least known war-crimes trial in history in an audiovisual presentation. While the world press focused on proceedings at Nuremberg , which brought charges against 22 chieftains of the Nazi party, at Dachau, 1,600 guards, officers, doctors and other war criminals stood trial for personally aiding and conducting acts of starvation, torture and extermination.

Greene recreates the Dachau trials told through the eyes of the chief prosecutor, Col. William Denson, a 32-year-old lawyer from Alabama. Denson confronted issues that continue to challenge lawmakers today such as superior orders, degrees of guilt and the ability of a conquering nation to fairly judge its defeated enemy.

The week also features a Survivors Panel at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. The panel features three Holocaust survivors who will share their personal experience and answer questions from the audience. Panel participants are Eric Cahn, Walter Plywaski and "Hannah."

Hannah, who has requested that her full name not be used, is the last survivor of a group of 146 Jewish children liberated from Dachau in 1945. She was raised by German nuns in a convent in the Bavarian Alps, where she learned to ski and trained with the German Olympic team, although unidentified as a Jew. She participated in the 1956 games at Cortina, Italy. She currently resides in Northern Colorado.

Her story is told in the recently published "Hannah: From Dachau to the Olympics and Beyond," by Jean Goodwin Messinger. Messinger, a local author who lives in Windsor, will discuss the book and issues it raises about the Holocaust at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 28, in Room 224 Lory Student Center during the International Connections Brown-Bag Lunch Series. All events are free to the public due to funding provided by the Associated Students of Colorado State University, Hillel of Colorado, the Bohemian Foundation and Women at Noon.

      For more information, contact Hillel at Colorado State at (970) 491-2080 or visit

Parking for evening events is available in a campus lot north of the Lory Student Center. This lot may be accessed by turning south off Laurel Street onto Meldrum Avenue. Due to construction, the Lory Student Center must be accessed by walking through the north entrance of the engineering building. Signs will direct people to Holocaust Awareness Week events.

     Following are additional events.

Ongoing events

– Field of Flags, daily, Feb. 27-March 3, Natural Resources Building lawn: Display of flags representing the different groups murdered during the Holocaust. Each flag represents 5,000 victims.

– Litany of Martyrs, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 27-March 2, and 10 a.m.-noon March 3, Lory Student Center Sunken Lounge: Reading of the names of some of those who were murdered in the Holocaust.

Friday, Feb. 24:

– Cinema Colorado State and Film Matters Series featuring "Everything is Illuminated," starring Elijah Wood, at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Theater. The film depicts the story of a young man’s quest to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazi invasion of a small Ukrainian town. Tickets cost $3.50 for students and $4.50 for all others. Tickets available through Hillel at (970) 491-2080.

Monday, Feb. 27

– "Create Your Own Button," during the Litany of Martyrs, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at the Lory Student Center Sunken Lounge: An opportunity to design a message you can wear in a button proclaiming themes of justice, peace and tolerance.

– Survivor’s panel: Three Holocaust survivors including Eric Cahn, Walter Plywaski, and "Hannah" share their stories, 7 p.m., Lory Student Center Main Ballroom.

Tuesday, Feb. 28

– "Hannah: From Dachau to the Olympics and Beyond" presented by author Jean Goodwin Messinger and co-sponsored by International Connections, noon, Lory Student Center Room 224.

– "From Justice to Moral Repair" presented by keynote speaker Daniel Jonah Goldhagen. He explores the nature of justice and beyond it to repair and applies it to the Catholic Church as an exemplary case study. 7 p.m., Lory Student North Ballroom.

Wednesday, March 1

– "Communication Theater: The Holocaust on a Personal Level" presented by Rosina Fernhoff and sponsored by Women at Noon. Fernhoff will present a short monologue from "Shadows," a play written by her husband about a Russian choreographer and her life under Stalin and the Holocaust. From noon-1 p.m., Lory Student Center Room 220.

– "Snow People," a one-woman play that presents two opposing views of the controversy surrounding Nazi looting of art treasures and Swiss complicity in the thefts. Performed by Obie Award-winning actress Rosina Fernhoff at 7 p.m., Lory Student Center Theater.

Thursday, March 2

– "Responding Restoratively to Hate and Bias," 11 a.m., Lory Student Center Room 224: Shay Bright of Colorado State’s Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services explore the principles of restorative justice and hate crime offender motivations and discuss restorative responses to hate and bias incidents.

– "The Holocaust in the Middle East," 3:30 p.m., Lory Student Center Room 224: Seth Ward teaches Islamic History and Jewish Religion History at the University of Wyoming and the University of Colorado-Boulder. He will be discussing the affects of the Holocaust in North Africa and lands that were once part of the Ottoman Empire.

– "Justice at Dachau," Josh Greene, 7 p.m., Lory Student Center North Ballroom: Greene, author of "Justice at Dachau – The Trials of an American Prosecutor," will examine the largest but least known war-crimes trial in history.

Friday, March 3

– Memorial service at noon in the Lory Student Center Art Lounge: A service to remember the victims of the Holocaust with readings, songs, prayers and candle lighting.