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Panel Discussion to Explore Resistance during the Holocaust

Contributed by Austin Reid on 01/14/20 

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On Sunday, February 2nd at 3:00 PM in the Presser Room of the Whalen Center a panel discussion featuring three notable authors Eva Fogelman, Roald Hoffmann and Dan Schwarz will explore why some bystanders in the midst of the Holocaust were compelled to risk their lives and resist a state-sponsored genocide. The panel will also examine what role conscience and moral courage play in confronting hate today. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A session and a reception. 

Mykola and Maria Dyuk risked their lives to hide Roald Hoffmann, his mother Clara and other relatives in the attic of a schoolhouse from January 1943 until June 1944 in the village of Uniow, Ukraine. Hoffmann’s father had previously been killed by the Nazis for his involvement in a plot to arm camp prisoners. Roald is the author of ‘Something That Belongs to You’ (2015), an autobiographical drama and is a Professor Emeritus at Cornell University. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1981.

Eva Fogelman studied at CUNY with Stanley Milgram, author of ‘Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View’ (1974) which showed how both his experiment and Nazi Germany successfully transformed large numbers of “ordinary” and arguably indifferent people into willing inflictors of harm. She asked Milgram a question. She wanted to know why a small minority of people in his study disobeyed authority. This question, that he could not answer, began a twenty-year study that led to her book, ‘Conscience and Courage’ (1994). Fogelman bases her findings on over 300 interviews with rescuers of Jews whose acts of courage either have been confirmed by those they helped or substantiated and honored by Yad Vashem. What distinguishes her approach is her attention to ‘rescue’ as an evolving process. As a psychotherapist, Eva has worked with groups and individual children of Holocaust survivors. She is the founding director of the Jewish Foundation for Christian Rescuers (now the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous).

Dan Schwarz, author of ‘Imagining the Holocaust’ (1999) looks at the various contexts of documentary, testimony, fiction and art that contribute to our understanding of what is real and true about our understanding of the Holocaust and its impact on history, politics and mental health today. Dan Schwarz is Professor Emeritus of English at Cornell and will moderate the discussion about the “rescuers,” or as Israel’s Yad Vashem calls them, the “Righteous Among the Nations”.

This event is sponsored by Area Congregations Together, Cornell Jewish Studies, Hillel at Ithaca College, Ithaca Area United Jewish Community, Ithaca College Jewish Studies, Ithaca Descendants of Holocaust Survivors, Roitman Chabad Center at Cornell, Southern Tier Interfaith Coalition, Temple Beth-El of Ithaca and others. The event is free and open to the public.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Erik Kibelsbeck at ekibelsbeck@ithaca.edu. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.

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