Holocaust survivor who covered Nuremberg trials to speak on campus

A concentration-camp survivor who covered the Nuremberg trials for a German news agency will be among the featured speakers at a campus conference on the Holocaust Thursday-Sunday (March 23-26).

Ernest Michel, vice president emeritus of the United Jewish Appeal Federation of New York, will discuss his experiences as a correspondent for the news agency DANA at the trials of accused Nazi war criminals. His luncheon presentation, set for 12:15 p.m. Friday (March 24) in 207 Bowen-Thompson Student Union, is part of "Trajectories of Memory: Intergenerational Representations of the Holocaust in History and the Arts."

The conference will also feature artistic performances, as well as research from scholars who study the effects of the Holocaust on the present—and the ways the present understands, defines and represents the past.

All conference events are open to the public, and all are free except the Friday luncheon with Michel, which costs $10. Reservations for the luncheon are required and can be made by contacting Dr. Beth Griech-Polelle, a history faculty member and a conference organizer, at 2-9478 or

Dr. Marianne Hirsch
Dr. Marianne Hirsch
Keynote speakers for the event will be Dr. Marianne Hirsch, a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, and Dr. Leo Spitzer, the Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor of History at Dartmouth College. Their topic, at 7 p.m. Thursday in 206 Union, will be "Strolling the Herrengasse: Street Photographs in Archival and Personal Memory."

By exploring the relationship between Holocaust history and pictures of Jews taken by street photographers on the main avenues of Cernauti, Romania, Hirsch and Spitzer will examine the question of whether photographs are connectors to the past or flawed historical documents that promise more than they can reveal. The professors' presentation will also be part of the Provost Lecture Series, sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Culture and Society (ICS).

Also speaking at the conference will be Dr. Atina Grossman, a professor at New York City's Cooper Union, who will address "'Surviving Remnant': Jewish Displaced Persons and the Difficulties of Writing History in the Face of Memory" at 8:45 a.m. Friday in 206 Union.

Later that day in the same room, Dr. Henry Greenspan, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, will present "Remnants," a voice play based on testimonies by Holocaust survivors. The one-man performance piece will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Dr. Leo Spitzer
Dr. Leo Spitzer
That evening, the 2002 film "Geburtig" will be screened at 8 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater in Hanna Hall. Directed by Robert Schindel and Lukas Stepanik, the film deals with the lasting effects of the Holocaust on two men's lives.

Art and music in the McFall Center Gallery will highlight conference events on Saturday. An exhibition of the "Holocaust Series" artwork of Marty Kalb, a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University, will be accompanied by a performance of Ellwood Derr's song cycle, "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," based on poems written by children in the Terezin concentration camp from 1942-44.

Featured performers, all BGSU music faculty members, will be Dr. Ann Corrigan, soprano; Distinguished Research/Artist Professor Dr. John Sampen, saxophone, and Distinguished Artist Professor Dr. Marilyn Shrude, piano.

Closing the conference on Sunday, Abraham Pasternak, who, like Michel, survived Auschwitz and other concentration camps, will discuss his experiences from 10:15-11:30 a.m. in 207 Union.

Griech-Polelle and Dr. Christina Guenther, German, Russian and East Asian languages (GREAL), are organizing the program. Both are members of the ICS Remembering the Holocaust research cluster.

ICS and GREAL are also conference sponsors, along with the College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate College, College of Musical Arts, Ethnic Cultural Arts Program, Graduate Program in Policy History, Department of Theatre and Film, Fine Arts Center Galleries and English Graduate Student Fund.

The conference also is made possible with support from the Robert H. Jackson Center of Jamestown, N.Y. The center is named for the former U.S. Supreme Court justice who also served as chief American prosecutor at Nuremberg. A partnership with BGSU enables Bowling Green faculty and students to study and conduct research on original materials in the Jackson archives at the center.
March 20, 2006