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Powell-Heller Conference explores before, during and after the Holocaust

Powell-Heller Conference explores before, during and after the Holocaust

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A graphic image with text overlay of title of the 14th annual Powell-Heller conference. The text "Jewish Life in Poland before, during and after the holocaust"
October 7, 2022
By Veronica Craker
PLU Marketing & Communications

The 14th Annual Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education will occur on October 26-28, 2022 at Pacific Lutheran University.

This year the conference theme is “Jewish Life in Poland: Before, During and After the Holocaust.” The keynote speaker is professor of history Jan Grabowski from the University of Ottawa, Canada.  Grabowski’s research includes the issues surrounding the extermination of the Polish Jews as well as the history of Jewish-Polish relations during the 1939-1945 period. This year’s conference will also include a screening of “Three Minutes: A Lengthening,” a film based on the book by Glenn Kurtz, Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film. 

“This year’s conference explores the rich and varied history of Jews in Poland,” Beth Griech-Polelle, Kurt Mayer Chair of Holocaust Studies, said. “To be Jewish in Poland, a predominantly Roman Catholic country, meant experiencing both the highs of cultural life and the absolute low of persecution and discrimination, culminating in the world’s most notorious genocide, the Holocaust.”

The conference will attempt to cover what Jewish life was like throughout pre-WWII, during the war, and the postwar developments. Attendees will enjoy Klezmer music by the band Kesselgarden. Kesselgarden is a traditional band playing Eastern European instrumental Jewish music of the 19th and 20th centuries. Afterward, there will be a performance by the Tales of the Alchemyst Theatre Group. 

The annual Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education offers lessons on the Holocaust to challenge prejudices, violence, and other forms of dehumanization. Each conference features prominent scholars whose research focuses on the Holocaust. Conference sessions also highlight interdisciplinary approaches to Holocaust and Genocide Studies, with especially strong attention given to the arts, humanities, social sciences, health sciences and education. 

To register, visit

The Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education is made possible by the Powell Family Foundation, with special thanks to Nancy Powell and Carol Heller. We greatly appreciate the Mayer family for their support of the Powell-Heller Conference and the Kurt Mayer Summer Scholars Fellowship.