College hosts Holocaust Awareness Weeks

Mesa State College is hosting Holocaust Awareness Weeks through April 27. All events are free and open to the public.

Events include a “Field of Flags” display that will be dedicated with a moment of silence at 11 a.m. today and feature flags of different colors. Each color represents a group of people killed during the Holocaust.

The cluster of more than 2,000 flags will correspond to how many people from each group died during that time. Each flag will represent 5,000 people from a particular group. The flags will be displayed through April 14 on the lawn east of Tomlinson Library.

Holocaust survivor and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum volunteer Louise Lawrence-Israels will discuss her memories of surviving the Holocaust at 7 tonight in Saccomanno Lecture Hall, Room 110.

Events continue next week with a presentation of the movie “Paragraph 175” at 7 p.m. Monday in Room 111 in the college’s Academic Classroom Building. The film features five survivors of the Holocaust who were sent to concentration camps or imprisoned because of paragraph 175 in the German penal code, which prohibited sodomy. Panel discussion and refreshments will follow the viewing.

Mesa State Assistant Professor of Criminology Michael Delaney will present “Reparations for Genocide Victims: The Whos, Hows and Whys of Compensation” at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Room 211 in the Academic Classroom Building. Delaney will present the topic, then lead a discussion with the audience on reparations.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, in Room 111 of the Academic Classroom Building, Mesa State English Professor William Brown will present “The Irreconcilability of Grief: Madness and Loss in ‘Adam Resurrected’ and ‘Sophie’s Choice.’” Brown will discuss the two novels and the movies based on them.

Congregation Ohr Shalom will host a Holocaust remembrance service at 7 p.m. April 15 at 441 Kennedy Ave. The next day, Ohr Shalom Rabbi Lewis Bogage will discuss the Holocaust’s enduring impact on Jews and Israel, and David Eisner will discuss modern genocide in Africa at 1 p.m. in Room 230 of Houston Hall.

The next week of events will begin with Mesa State Associate Professor of History Dr. Sarah Swedberg’s presentation on homosexuality in Nazi Germany at 7 p.m. April 19 in Science Lab 110 at Saccomanno Lecture Hall.

At 6:30 p.m. on April 20 in room 130 of Houston Hall on Mesa State’s campus, Phi Alpha Theta, the History Honor Society, will show the 1935 film “Triumph of the Will.” A panel discussion will follow the viewing of the controversial propaganda film.

At 7 p.m. on April 22, Susan J. Konantz will discuss and show how children’s book authors addressed the Holocaust and related fears of abandonment in picture books. Konantz is a developmental programs lecturer at Western Colorado Community College and Mesa State.

During the final week of events, the college will show a PBS program called “America and the Holocaust” at 7 p.m. April 26 in Room 111 of the Academic Classroom Building. The program discusses anti-Semitism in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s and the United States’ delayed entry into World War II. Audience discussion will follow the showing.

At 7 p.m. April 27 in Room 211 of the Academic Classroom Building, Mesa State History Instructor Elizabeth Propes will present “Denying Genocide,” a discussion of how and why some groups and countries deny the Holocaust or other instances of genocide happened.


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