Department ofHistory

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Genocide: Stories in the First Person

This year's Powell-Heller Holocaust Conference will focus on genocide, and personal stories of those who have registersurvived conflicts around the world, from Rwanda to the Congo. To start off the conference on Thursday,  co-directors of The Last Survivor will talk about the making of the documentary.  Discussion of the film will be led by directors Michael Pertnoy and Michael Kleiman and the young survivor from the Congo, Justin Semahoro Kimenyerwa.


The Last Survivor Movie Trailer from The Last Survivor on Vimeo.


On Friday, Carl Wilkens, the only American who stayed in Rwanda during the genocide, will give first-hand accounts of his experiences. Later in the day, a Holocaust survivor will talk on his experiences and story of survival, while the story of the rescue of the Jews in Le Chambon, France by the French Huguenots, will be discussed. On Friday evening, the Raphael Lemkin Student Essay Contest Awards will be presented, with a reception to follow.
Other topics featured during the conference include visual arts during the Holocaust, a dramatic presentation of the writing of Anne Frank and approaches to teaching Holocaust history. The conference will also showcase the work of PLU faculty and students.
This conference is free and all sessions are open to the public. Registration is requested. The program on Friday, March 18, is designed with educators in mind, and is focused on lessons of diversity and tolerance that can be learned through the Holocaust. Educator clock hours are available through the Washington State Holocaust Resource Center. Registration for the teaching classes is required. Please register here. The cost is $20.
For further information, please contact Brenda Murray at 253-535-7595 or the PLU Kurt Mayer Chair of Holocaust Studies, Robert Ericksen, at ericksrp@plu.edu.