The fifth annual Powell and Heller Holocaust Conference banner

Holocaust Conference looks at art thefts, complicity of church, university leaders during WWII

The fifth annual Powell and Heller Holocaust Conference at PLU will focus March 8 on the Nazi plunder of Jewish valuables, along with belated efforts at restitution. There will also be a session on German churches and universities, with speakers discussing Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Catholic Church, and postwar denazification.

Sessions on March 9 will focus on education. Holocaust research keeps the memory of these events alive and helps students understand the importance of speaking out against intolerance and the difference one person can make. Sponsored in part by the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center, these sessions will give teachers some tools and best practices to effectively place the Holocaust in its historical context and teach the critical lessons we need to apply to today’s world. A Holocaust survivor from the Warsaw Ghetto, George Elbaum, will speak Friday afternoon, as will PLU students and faculty who have been involved in Holocaust Studies.

Highlights include:

  • Professor Peter Hayes, Northwestern University, speaking March 8th on “What Took So Long? The Wrangle over Restitution since 1945”
  • The fate of famous paintings by Gustav Klimt.
  • George Elbaum, a child survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto. Elbaum and his mother were the only members of their family to survive the war.