Department ofHistory


Host: Robert P. Ericksen, Kurt Mayer Chair of Holocaust Studies, Pacific Lutheran University

Chris Knutzen Hall, University Center

March 8

12:30 pm -1 pm Registration and refreshments, Garfield Book Company Kiosk Open

1 pm - 1:15 pm Welcome and Introductions

1:15pm -2:45 pm The Nazi Theft of Art. Comment and discussion led by Professor Heather Mathews, Department of Art and Design, Pacific Lutheran University

Our conference opens with a focus on this dramatic case with Tacoma connections. Maria Altmann was the niece of Adele Bloch-Bauer, who was famously painted by Gustav Klimt in 1907. Five Klimt paintings owned by the Altmann family were stolen by the Nazis. Maria Altmann went all the way to the Supreme Court in the United States, and then to courts in Austria. She finally secured the return of these five Klimt paintings. The “Portrait of Adele” was then purchased for $135 million by Ronald Lauder, and it now is a centerpiece in his Manhattan museum, the Neue Gallerie. Maria Altmann’s son, Peter, a longtime resident of Tacoma, helped us discover this story. Professor Heather Mathews, who teaches art history at PLU, will show some documentary film footage on this case and lead our discussion.

2:45 pm -3 pm Break, late registration, refreshments

3 pm - 4:45 pm Complicity in the Holocaust? A look at German Churches and Universities

This session will explore the historical and theological dynamics of the complicity of churches and universities in Nazi Germany. How widespread was the complicity in the German churches during the Nazi era? What were the causes? What was the role of the leadership of the churches? How did this history influence postwar discussions in Germany about guilt and responsibility? How has this issue been addressed in the general historiography of the Holocaust?

  • The Churches, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the "Jewish Question" by Victoria Barnett, Director of Church Relations, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Catholics in Nazi Germany: Competing Versions of the Story by Mark Ruff, Assoc. Prof. of History, St. Louis University
  • Churches and Universities in the Denazification of Germany by Robert P. Ericksen, Kurt Mayer Chair in Holocaust Studies, PLU

4:45 pm to 7 pm- Dinner Break

  • Emerging Leaders Dinner (Iinvitation only, tickets required) Coordinated by the Diversity Center and Student Involvement and Leadership for PLU students, select high school attendees, this time will include a preview of Tunnel of Oppression, conversation and social advocacy discussion. For more information please email
  • VIP/Essay Award Recipient Dinner (Invitation only, tickets required)
  • Dinner on your own: Or please join us in the University Center Commons for an all you care to eat buffet style meal. Vegetarian and vegan options are available. Engage in conversation with other conference attendees. Special price of $11 per meal, which includes a refillable non-alcoholic beverage.

Thirteenth Annual Raphael Lemkin Lecture

7 pm - 9 pm “What Took So Long? The Wrangle over Restitution since 1945” by Peter Hayes, Theodore Z. Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation Professor at Northwestern University. Presentations will also be made by the first and second place 2012 Raphael Lemkin Essay Contest winners.

March 9

Scandinavian Cultural Center, University Center

WSHERC presentation on Holocaust Education: These sessions, in cooperation with the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center (WSHERC), are intended for public school teachers, as well as students, faculty, and the general public. Clock hours will be available for teachers. A mid-morning break will be planned, with refreshments.

8:30 am - 9 am Registration and Refreshments - Scandinavian Cultural Center

9 am - 9:30 am Welcome and Introductions - Scandinavian Cultural Center

9:30 am – 10:15 am “With My Own Eyes: Holocaust. Genocide. Today.” Film and discussion with Ilana Cone Kennedy, Director of Eduation, Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center

10:15 – 11:00   Coffee break, Visit Exhibits, Networking

10:30-11 a.m.  University Chapel (Lagerquist Hall, MBR) - Kurt Mayer, Guest Speaker

11:00-11:35   Using literature and memoir to teach about the Holocaust -  Kelly Wheeler, Literature Teacher, Spanaway Lake High School

11:35 – 12:15   Perpetrator, Victim, Colaborator and Bytander: Studying the Holocaust through Photo Analysis. Branda Anderson, History Teacher, Kamiak High School.

12 pm - 1 pm Break for lunch on your own. A la carte available for purchase in the University Center

Chris Knutsen Hall, University Center

1 pm - 2:30 pm Holocaust Survivor speaker George Elbaum

2:30 pm - 2:45 pm Refreshments, Break

Scandinavian Cultural Center, University Center

2:45 pm - 4:30 pm  Never Again: Community Conversation - with Nancy Powell, Nick Coddington and George Elbaum.

4:30 pm to 5 pm Now What: Past Present and Future of Holocaust Studies at PLU. President Loren J. Anderson, Pacific Lutheran University