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Religion and the Holocaust

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UMD's Baeumler Kaplan 2012 Holocaust Commemoration

The film, Weapons of the Spirit, tells the story of Protestant residents of a French village who saved 5,000 Jews. Photo from an exhibition in the Le Chambon-sur-Lignon train station.


The University of Minnesota Duluth's Baeumler Kaplan 2012 Holocaust Commemoration Lecture Series will focus on the religious response to the genocide of European Jews and others by the Nazis during World War II. Four events will help audiences further understand the far-reaching impact of the Holocaust: a lecture focusing on the European religious response, a presentation of one act of The Deputy performed by UMD theater students, a film presenting the story of Christian villagers in France who save 5,000 Jews, and a panel presentation on the religious response to the Holocaust featuring Kenneth Engel, the child of Holocaust survivors, and UMD professors.

Baeumler Kaplan Commemoration Lecture Series was established in 1993 "to remember, with dignity, the lives and sufferings of the victims and to encourage change through the dissemination of truth, justice, and peace."

The Spring 2012 Baeumler Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Events are listed below. All events take place on the UMD campus and are free and open to the public.

Leonora alexis  
Leonore Baeumler Alexis Pogorelskin  
deborah steve  
Deborah Petersen-Perlman Steve Matthews  
film concordat  
Image from Weapons of the Spirit "The Concordat" by Fritz Hirschberger  

  • European Religious Institutions and the Jewish Question
    Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 12:00 noon in The Rafters, Kirby Student Center
    Presented by Mrs. Leonore Baeumler, UMD Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Committee, and Dr. Deborah Petersen-Perlman, associate professor in the UMD Department of Communication.  This Alworth International Brown-Bag presentation will feature a review of international religious responses to the Holocaust.

  • The Deputy, Act IV
    Sunday, April 15 at 2:00 p.m. in The Rafters, Kirby Student Center
    Performed by UMD Theatre students, faculty and members of the Duluth community
    The Deputy, a Christian tragedy (German: Der Stellvertreter. Ein christliches Trauerspiel), also known as The Representative,is a controversial 1963 play by Rolf Hochhuth which indicts Pope Pius XII for his failure to take action or speak out against The Holocaust.  There will be a talk back session following the performance.

  • Weapons of the Spirit
    Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m.
    in Bohannon 90
    Weapons of the Spirit, Pierre Sauvage's documentary about the extraordinary French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon during the Nazi rule in World War II, is like a murder mystery in reverse. It's an examination of crimes that didn't take place, of atrocities averted, and in such a way that history itself seems to have been subverted by their absence.  The residents of this village saved 5,000 Jews from deportation to Auschwitz and other death camps. There will be a post-film discussion led by members of the Baeumler Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Committee.

  • Religious Institutions Responses to the Holocaust
    Thursday, April 19 (Yom Ha Shoah), 4:30 p.m. in the Weber Music Hall
  • This is a panel discussion featuring Twin Cities Attorney Kenneth Engel, a representative from the Jewish Community Relations Council; Dr. Alexis Pogorelskin, UMD professor of history; and Dr. Steve Matthews, UMD professor of history. Mr. Engel, a child of Holocaust survivors, will speak on how Jews perceived their Christian neighbors and Christian institutions with respect to protection/sanctuary, support, etc.  Dr. Pogorelskin will focus her remarks on the Vatican in the 1930s.  Dr. Matthews’ presentation will address the role of the Confessing Church and the Holocaust.

    For more information about the events, see Baeumler Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration, or contact Deborah Peterson Perlman, 218-726-7528.


    Written by Cheryl Reitan, April 2012

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