SALINA – Kansas Wesleyan University will present the 11th annual Holocaust Remembrance and Genocide Awareness Week, beginning on Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 24. The week will be marked with the presentation “Dwight Eisenhower’s Greatest Achievement: Protecting the History of the Holocaust” from 6–7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, and a screening of “Protocols of Zion” from 6–8 p.m. Wednesday, April 26. Holocaust survivor Nathan Shaffir will close the week with a talk from 7–8 p.m. Thursday, April 27.
Tim Rives, acting director of the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home, will discuss how President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s efforts to document the reality of the concentration camps was a punitive strike against future deniers. Among his many achievements as commander and president, his battle to preserve the truth of the concentration camps may be his greatest. Rives is also the supervisory archivist at the Eisenhower Library and is an expert on many facets of the history of Eisenhower. The presentation will be in Hauptli Student Activities Center, Room 203.
Released after Sept. 11, 2001, the documentary “Protocols of Zion” explores the ongoing notion of a “Jewish conspiracy” to take over the world, first proposed in a forgery by the czarist secret police in 19th century Russia. The conspiracy theory has now expanded into a belief widely held by anti-Semites that Israel was behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A brief discussion will follow the screening, which will take place in Hauptli Student Activities Center, Room 203. The film is rated R for disturbing content and adult language.
Nathan “Nat” Shaffir will share his experiences during and after the Holocaust. Shaffir, originally from Romania, was 6 years old when pro-Nazi government agents and soldiers began persecuting Jews in Romania (including Nat and his family). This continued at the hands of Hungarian soldiers occupying parts of Romania and also after the war, as the new Communist government maintained a policy of anti-Semitism toward the Jews who had survived the Holocaust. This story sheds an important light on the reality of the Holocaust and the period afterward. Many nations, in addition to Germany, acted in collaboration with the Nazis or had programs and policies directed at their own Jewish citizens. The presentation will be in Sams Chapel, Pioneer Hall, and will be followed by a casual meet-and-greet at 8:30 p.m. in Brown Mezzanine, Hauptli Student Activities Center.
Holocaust Remembrance and Genocide Awareness Week is a series of events held in mid-April on the KWU campus to remember those who died in the Nazi Holocaust of World War II and to raise awareness of the ongoing problem of genocide throughout the world. Begun in 2007 as “Holocaust Remembrance Week” by the KWU Department of History, the annual event has grown every year. It is characterized by cross-campus participation, diverse programs and events, sponsorship by a wide variety of local and national entities, and draws an audience that includes students from KWU and other schools, as well as many guests from Salina and outlying communities. In 2012 the name of the event was expanded to “Holocaust Remembrance and Genocide Awareness Week” to better reflect the trend seen at Holocaust museums, cultural and survivor associations, and academic programs to link the two topics as a way of confronting the ongoing threat of genocide.