Renowned expert to discuss Impact of Eichmann trial


The University of Colorado Boulder’s Hillel and the Program in Jewish Studies are collaborating to present CU’s 29th Annual Holocaust Awareness Week, which will examine the long-term impact of the Israeli trial of Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann, one of the main organizers of the Final Solution.

The date coincides with the United Nations’ International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is Jan. 27 and commemorates the anniversary of the Soviet liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. With the creation of International Holocaust Remembrance in Day in 2005, every member nation of the United Nations has an obligation to honor the memory of Holocaust victims and develop educational programs as part of an international resolve to help prevent future acts of genocide.

CU’s 2013 Holocaust Awareness Week welcomes noted scholar and author Deborah Lipstadt as the inaugural Sondra D. Bender Visiting Scholar and Holocaust Awareness Week keynote lecturer. Lipstadt is the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta.

Her recent award-winning book, “The Eichmann Trial,” was called “a penetrating and authoritative dissection of a landmark case and its after effects” by Publisher’s Weekly. Professor Lipstadt will present her keynote lecture, “The Impact of the Eichmann Trial: A Perspective After 50 Years” on Friday, Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. on the CU-Boulder campus, University Memorial Center room 235.

Adolf Eichmann at his 1961 trial.

Fifty years ago Israel shocked the world when it announced that it had captured Adolf Eichmann, one of the main organizers of the Final Solution. His trial in Jerusalem is considered to have caused a major change in the world’s knowledge of the Holocaust.

How much of an impact did it really have? Did it really get survivors to speak about their experiences in a way that they had never spoken before? Does it have relevance for us today in terms of war crimes and the punishment of their perpetrators?

In addition to her vast scholarship, Lipstadt is known widely as the defendant in the David Irving vs. Penguin Books/Deborah Lipstadt case. Following the publication of her critically acclaimed 1993 book, “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,” the first full-length study of those who attempt to deny the Holocaust, Lipstadt and her British publisher were sued by author David Irving for identifying him as a Holocaust denier.

The judge found David Irving to be a Holocaust denier, a falsifier of history, a racist and anti-Semite. According to The New York Times, the trial “put an end to the pretense that Mr. Irving is anything but a self-promoting apologist for Hitler.” Her 2006 book, “History on Trial: My Day in Court with A Holocaust Denier,” is the story of that trial. The book won the 2006 National Jewish Book Award and was first runner up for the Koret Award.

Professor Lipstadt is also CU’s inaugural Sondra D. Bender Visiting Scholar, honoring the life of Sondra Dosik Bender. Bender was a devoted wife to Howard Bender, mother of four, including CU graduate Eileen Greenberg and grandmother of eleven grandchildren, including CU graduates Joshua and Rachael Greenberg, and current CU student Daniel Greenberg.

An active member of the community in Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, M.D., Sondra served on many boards and helped hundreds of nonprofits. She was a dedicated member and donor at Congregation Beth El, receiving many honors including the esteemed Women of Valor Award from Israel Bonds. The Bender Family Foundation has generously endowed the Sondra D. Bender Visiting Scholars Fund to honor the life of a woman who cherished Jewish culture, celebrated education, and lived life to the fullest.

CU’s 29th Annual Holocaust Awareness Week includes film screenings and testimonies from survivors. The schedule of events begins Thursday, Jan. 24. All events are free and open to the public. Details as follows:

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.

Survivor Testimony

CU-Boulder University Memorial Center, Room 235

Survivor testimonies will take place Thursday, Jan. 24 at 3:30 p.m. and Friday, Jan. 25 at 9:30 a.m. Please visit hillelcolorado.org or jewishstudies.colorado.edu for additional information.

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Screening of the documentary “The Hangman”

CU-Boulder University Memorial Center, Room 235

This critically acclaimed documentary encapsulates the story of Israel from the perspective of the “other”—the marginalized Sephardi prison warden, Shalom Nagar, who is forced to do the dirty work of hanging the nation’s arch enemy, Adolf Eichmann, and thus carry a national burden that dramatically shaped his life. His job in the abattoir (ritual slaughter house), together with his memories of his past, create a fascinating and complex portrait. Shalom’s clear, alternative voice from the margins of society carries a deeply humanistic universal message. Join Hanan Nayberg, Director of CU Boulder’s Hillel for a post-screening discussion.

Friday, Jan. 25, at 9 a.m.

Reading of the names and survivor testimony

CU-Boulder University Memorial Center, Room 235

CU’s Holocaust Awareness Week continues with CU students reading names of those who perished in the Holocaust from the Litany of Martyrs. It will begin at 9 a.m. in the UMC. This will be followed by a special presentation by Walter Plywaski. Plywaski was a young man living in the Lodz ghettos of Poland. After hiding for about six weeks, his family was one of the last to be transported to Auschwitz. He survived Auschwitz, work camps and death marches and went on to work with the U.S. Army at the end of World War II.

Friday, Jan. 25, at 11 a.m.

Keynote lecture “The Impact of the Eichmann Trial: A Perspective After 50 Years” with Deborah Lipstadt, author and Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University

CU-Boulder University Memorial Center, Room 235

Fifty years ago, Israel shocked the world when it announced that it had captured Adolf Eichmann, one of the main organizers of the Final Solution. His trial in Jerusalem is considered to have caused a major change in the world’s knowledge of the Holocaust. How much of an impact did it really have? Did it really get survivors to speak about their experiences in a way that they had never spoken before? Does it have relevance for us today in terms of war crimes and the punishment of their perpetrators?

A complete schedule of events can be found at www.hillelcolorado.org and www.jewishstudies.colorado.edu.

Holocaust Awareness Week is presented by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Hillel and co-sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies at CU, CU Student Government, and CU Arts & Sciences Student Government. Deborah Lipstadt’s visit has been made possible by the Bender Family Foundation through the endowment of the Sondra D. Bender Visiting Scholars Fund in the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.

For more information, please visit jewishstudies.colorado.edu or call 303-492-7143.

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