Northeastern University hosts Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week

Northeastern will host a series of events next week in remembrance of the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide of 1994, and to bring awareness in order to help prevent future genocides.

Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week, which runs April 1-5, continues the university’s annual tradition of remembering the Holocaust, and reflecting on its significance and the lessons that can be learned, according to Dov Waxman, the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies at Northeastern.

“It’s a commitment by the university to recognize and commemorate the Holocaust, but also learn from the tragedy of the Holocaust so it’s never repeated again,” said Waxman, a professor of political science, international affairs, and Israel studies and who chairs the committee that organizes the university’s annual Holocaust remembrance.

The week will feature talks by scholars and global figures, presentations by Northeastern students, and the public launch of a digital archive. Waxman said that this year’s theme—“From ‘Never Again’ to Again and Again—reflects the reality that genocides have occurred around the world in the years since the Holocaust, when Nazi Germans murdered millions of European Jews and others before and during World War II.

This year, the weeklong series of events, which was previously known as Holocaust Awareness Week, was renamed Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week. Remembering and honoring Holocaust victims and survivors will remain the principal focus of the week, but expanding the focus to include other genocides and ongoing threats of genocide in the world aligns with the committee’s original mission, Waxman said.

The events this year will also focus on the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, in which more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by extremist Hutus in the span of 100 days.

Click here for a full schedule of Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week events.

Monday, April 1

5:30 p.m., Raytheon Amphitheater

Adama Dieng, the U.N. secretary-general’s special adviser on the prevention of genocide, will deliver a talk titled “25 Years After the Rwandan Genocide: Challenges and Responses in the Prevention of Genocide.”

“He’s been at the forefront of international efforts to prevent genocide, and has tried people who’ve been responsible for it,” Waxman said of Dieng, who is the former registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Tuesday, April 2

6 p.m., Raytheon Amphitheater

Northeastern will publicly launch a digital archive that preserves, for future use and study, the videos, photos, flyers, and programs from the university’s weeklong Holocaust commemorations of years past. Northeastern student Elizabeth Levi will also present her work as this year’s Gideon Klein Scholar, an annual honor bestowed upon a student who conducts research, prepares a performance, or creates an original work focused on Jewish artists and musicians persecuted by the Nazis.

7:30 p.m.

Historian and Brown University professor Omer Bartov, who is considered a leading authority on the topic of genocide, will deliver the 27th annual Robert Salomon Morton Lecture. There will also be a book signing with Bartov, who is the author of Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz, at 7 p.m., prior to his talk.

Wednesday, April 3

12 p.m., 909 Renaissance Park

Gerald Holton, who escaped the Nazis in Austria as a teenager and came to America, where he became a professor at Harvard, is the featured speaker at the annual the Philip N. Backstrom Jr. Survivor Lecture Series. Holton’s talk is titled “How One Teenager and Thousands of Other Boys and Girls Escaped from the Nazis via the Kindertransport.”

Friday, April 5

12 p.m., second floor, John D. O’Bryant African American Institute

A group of Northeastern seniors will present their research on the Rwandan genocide at a student-led symposium titled “Reflections on the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda.”

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