International Holocaust Remembrance Day Lecture: The Book Smugglers of the Vilna Ghetto

The University of Colorado Boulder’s Program in Jewish Studies and cosponsors will honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27) with a public lecture by visiting scholar David E. Fishman, Professor of History at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Fishman’s talk, “The Book Smugglers of the Vilna Ghetto: A Chapter in Spiritual Resistance to the Nazis,” will take place Thursday, January 24, 2019, at 7:00 pm, Old Main Theater, 1600 Pleasant Street, Boulder, CO 80302.

In his lecture, Fishman will discuss his new book, The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis, which tells the story of ghetto inmates who rescued thousands of rare books and manuscripts – first from the Nazis and then from the Soviets – by hiding them on their bodies, burying them in bunkers, and smuggling them across borders. Based on Jewish, German, and Soviet documents, The Book Smugglers chronicles the daring activities of a group of poets turned partisans and scholars turned smugglers in Vilna, “The Jerusalem of Lithuania.”

David E. Fishman is a Professor of History at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) where he is an authority on the history and culture of Jews in Eastern Europe. Fishman is also the director of Project Judaica, JTS’s academic program in Jewish Studies in the former Soviet Union, which allows students to pursue a major in Jewish history and culture at universities in Moscow and Kiev. Fishman is a native Yiddish-speaker and frequently travels to Ukraine, Lithuania, and Russia to conduct research and lecture.

This event is hosted by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Program in Jewish Studies and cosponsored by CU’s Department of History, Program for Writing and Rhetoric, Department of English, and University Libraries.

RSVP to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day Lecture

Professor Fishman’s visit is part of the Community Talks Series in the Program in Jewish Studies, made possible in part by a grant from the Rose Community Foundation. Community Talks features nationally and internationally renowned scholars, authors, artists, and performers for themed public events with the goal of enriching community learning and expanding access to academic programming on Jewish culture and history. Guarantee your spot at all events for the academic year by becoming a friend of Community Talks. To learn more, please visit our website at

Learn more about Professor David E. Fishman’s visit and the Community Talks Series at

About Vanessa Frye

Vanessa is the Communication & Outreach Administrator with the Program in Jewish Studies at CU Boulder.

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