Gonzaga hosts Holocaust Museum exhibit
Gonzaga University is one of 50 sites for an exhibit of the American Holocaust Museum and the American Library Association, “Americans and the Holocaust,” from March 16 to April 27 in Gonzaga University’s Foley Library Rare Books Room.
Gonzaga’s Institute for Hate Studies, its Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the Spokane County Human Rights Task Force are planning three public events related to the exhibit. They are free, but will require tickets for security, said Kristine Hoover, associate professor of organizational leadership and director of the Institute for Hate Studies.
The opening reception and panel on “Hate Reflections and Action” will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Sunday, March 17, in Hemmingson Auditorium.
Panelists George Critchlow, Michael DeLand and Shannon Dunn, who are on the Gonzaga faculty, will examine hate from legal, sociological and religious perspectives. They will discuss collective memory, understanding the violence of the Holocaust and America’s role in it.
“Many Americans labor under the illusion that they would have done the right thing in similar circumstances and would not have tolerated or supported the Nazis,” said Kristine.
She said museums and exhibits are essential for maintaining history and encouraging people to reflect on what they would have done, what they are doing and what they will do related to current U.S. divisiveness.
Holocaust survivors Cora der Koorkanian and Carla Peperzak will share their insights for today in a “story court” from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Sunday, March 31, in Hemmingson Ballroom.
Cora, whose name at birth was Cora Clara Moscovici, survived the Holocaust with her immediate family. Two brothers, taken to labor camps, were released in August 1944, but half of her extended family from northern Romania and France did not survive.
Carla, who was born in 1923 in Holland, grew up in Amsterdam dreaming of becoming a doctor. When the Nazis invaded Holland in 1940, she was required to have an ID with a large “J” on it and later to wear the Star of David. She became active in the Resistance, hiding about 40 people, helping them obtain IDs, food and medical supplies. About 75 percent of her extended family were killed in the Holocaust. Carla has been sharing her story with students since 1992 and is active in the Seattle Holocaust Center for Humanity’s Speakers Bureau.
She was recently named Washington State Person of the year for her dedication to calling for people to respect each other. She will receive the award at 2 p.m., Feb. 20, at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia.
A panel with Ken Stern, Barbara Perry, Brian Levin and Kristine, directors from the consortium of academic centers for the study of hate, will discuss “Hate: Documenting It, Understanding It and Countering It” at 7 p.m., Monday, April 22, in Cataldo Hall, with a live webinar.
They will address why hate has always been a problem, the value of shining light on it, how current events help students understand the human capacity to hate, effective ways to counter it and how lessons from the past shape understanding of hate today.
Kristine hopes participants will leave considering “What would I have done?” and “What can I do?”
For information, visit www.gonzaga.edu/holocaustexhibit.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, February, 2020