Ethical Responses to Genocide

David Pettigrew, PhD,
Philosophy Department,
Southern Connecticut State University


Holocaust Remembrance

A Week of Reflection
April 20-24, 2009

Our Program Included:

April 20, 1-2 p.m., Armen Marsoobian, Philosophy, presented a lecture entitled, "How Do We Memorialize Genocide?: The Case of the Berlin Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe." Engleman A120.

April 21, 3:30-4:30 p.m. A commemorative ceremony marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, featuring music performed by David Chevan, Music, and The Afro-Semitic Experience, and the poetry of esteemed Yiddish writer Irena Klepfisz ("A Child in the Warsaw Ghetto;" "Bashert"), read by Corinne Blackmer, English. Engleman C112.

April 22, 1-2 p.m. A book panel discussion was held in cooperation with Hilton C. Buley Library: Varian Fry's Surrender on Demand -- Fry's account of his efforts to save 2,000 Jewish artists and intellectuals from the Nazis in Marseille, France, 1940. Varian Fry was from the tri-state area. He was born in Harlem, October 15, 1907, and grew up in Ridgewood, N.J. He attended the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn., in 1922 and then attended and graduated from Harvard in May 1931. Fry was named Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur shortly before his death and was posthumously honored as "Righteous Among the Nations" at Yad Vashem in recognition of his heroic acts. In his later years he lived in Connecticut and passed away while teaching classical languages at a Connecticut high school. The book panel was moderated by Martin Laskin, Sociology, and the panelists included, Corinne Blackmer, English; Shirley Cavanagh, Library Services; and David Pettigrew, Philosophy. Engleman A120.

April 22, 7-10:30 p.m. A film presentation: Roman Polanski's Academy-Award winning "The Pianist" (as part of Cinéma du Monde), the true story of Wladyslaw Szpilman's survival in the Warsaw Ghetto. Introduction and discussion with Krystyna Gorniak, Philosophy. Engleman A120.

April 23, 1:50-3:05 p.m. Internationally renowned playwright Catherine Filloux presented a lecture entitled "Lemkin's House: Responding to Genocide," examining the life and work of the Polish-Jewish jurist who coined the term genocide and championed its inscription in the law. Engleman A120.

April 20-24: Varian Fry Surrender on Demand book exhibit at Hilton C. Buley Library

Note: Complimentary copies of Varian Fry's Surrender on Demand were available to be picked up at the library circulation/ reserves desk.

In addition, Varian Fry's Surrender on Demand and Wladyslaw Szpilman's The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945 were available to be purchased from the bookstore.

Varian Fry, Surrender on Demand (Boulder, CO: Johnson Books, 1997). Published in conjunction with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Wladyslaw Szpilman, The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945. trans. Anthea Bell (New York: Picador, 2000).

The program was sponsored by The Judaic Studies Program, The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, The Office of the Vice President for Student and University Affairs, and Hilton C. Buley Library













Commemorative ceremony
April 21, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

***LINK to Web Album***

to Hilton C. Buley Library's information web page for Varian Fry's Surrender on Demand book panel

LINK to Cinéma du Monde presentation of "The Pianist," hosted by Philosophy Professor Krystyna Gorniak

Coordinating Committee: David Levine, Interim Director Judaic Studies Program, Corinne Blackmer, English, David Chevan, Music, Martin Laskin, Sociology, David Pettigrew, Philosophy