“The Holocaust: Then and Now:” CU Boulder Honors International Holocaust Remembrance Day

December 20, 2016  – The Program in Jewish Studies, the William A. Wise Law Library at the University of Colorado Law School, and cosponsors at the University of Colorado Boulder will honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a public lecture by visiting scholar Professor Nils Roemer and the highly acclaimed international exhibit Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich. Both are free and open to the public.

Professor Roemer’s public lecture, “The Holocaust: Then and Now, Spanning the Void,” will take place Thursday, January 26, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, in Wittemyer Courtroom (Room 101) in the Wolf Law Building on the CU Boulder campus, one day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27). RSVPs are appreciated as space is limited. Please email CUJewishStudies@colorado.edu or call 303-492-7143.

The Lawyers Without Rights exhibit will be on display January 5 through January 30, 2017 in the William A. Wise Law Library in the Wolf Law Building on the CU Boulder campus. The exhibit is sponsored by the William A. Wise Library at the University of Colorado Law School and the CU Program in Jewish Studies, in conjunction with the American Bar Association and the German Federal Bar.

The Lecture

Professor Roemer’s lecture is the fifth annual event hosted by CU Boulder’s Program in Jewish Studies in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The voids and empty spaces in the Jewish Museum in Berlin evoke destruction and absence. The “Memory Void,” one of the symbolic spaces on the grounds of the museum, which was designed by Daniel Libeskind, recalls the Holocaust as well as the many lives that might have been had the millions of people who died in the Holocaust lived to see another day. In his lecture, Professor Roemer will explore absences and voids as important aspects of remembrance. An awareness is apparent in communal and family remembrances but often obscured in public commemorations in museums and on Holocaust remembrance days. Professor Roemer will develop the theme of absence and advance models of remembrance that view the Holocaust as a past event within the context of an annihilated future.

Nils Roemer is the Stan and Barbara Rabin Professor in Holocaust Studies and the Director of the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. He received his PhD in History from Columbia University in 2000.

In addition to his numerous published articles, Professor Roemer is the author of Jewish Scholarship and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Germany: Between History and Faith (2005) and The Story of Worms: German Cities – Jewish Memories (2010). He is currently finishing a book-length study on Central European Jewish travel writing in the 20th century.

Professor Roemer serves as a board member for the Leo Baeck Institute in London and is an external reviewer for multiple scholarly journals. He has received numerous fellowships, including from the Center for Advanced Jewish Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Exhibit

The Lawyers Without Rights exhibit has been shown in nearly 100 cities across Germany, the United States, and other parts of the world. The idea for the exhibit was conceived in 1998 when an Israeli lawyer asked the regional bar of Berlin for a list of Jewish lawyers whose licenses had been revoked by the Nazi regime.

“The regional bar decided not only to research a list of names, but also to try to find out more about the fates behind all those names,” said Axel Filges, past president of the German Federal Bar. “Some were able to leave the country after the Nazis came into power, but very many of them were incarcerated or murdered. The non-Jewish German lawyers of those days remained silent. They failed miserably, and so did the lawyers’ organizations. We do not know why.”

After the Berlin bar transformed its research into an exhibit, other regional bars began asking whether they could show it and add their own research.

“So, like a puzzle, a portrait of the fate of Jewish lawyers in Germany has emerged step by step,” Filges said.

For more information about the lecture or exhibit, please visit Colorado.edu/JewishStudies, or call 303-492-7143.

The Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder provides an outstanding liberal arts education, fosters critical thought and instills an appreciation of humanity’s interrelatedness and diversity by studying one of the world’s oldest global people. With internationally acclaimed faculty engaged in cutting-edge research and opportunities for students to study with leaders working in the field of Jewish Studies, the program offers an innovative curriculum designed to provide a strong foundation in cultural education and connect Jewish thought and text to action and people’s lives.  The Program in Jewish Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jewish Studies as well as minors in Jewish Studies and Hebrew/Israel Studies. For more information visit Colorado.edu/JewishStudies.

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