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Holocaust Memorial Day to be marked at Sussex

An event at the University of Sussex to mark Holocaust Memorial Day is testament to the University’s commitment to ensuring that the mistakes of the past are never repeated or forgotten.

Organised by the Centre for German-Jewish Studies and sponsored by the Association of Jewish Refugees, the event on Wednesday 7 February features two special guest speakers: Professor Philippe Sands and Susan Pollack, a survivor of Auschwitz. The day will be rounded off with the showing of a documentary film about Zionist activist Peter Bergson.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adam Tickell, will introduce the event. He says: “Teaching and learning about the Holocaust is one of the aims of our Centre for German-Jewish Studies.

“Sussex was the first university to host a Holocaust memorial event, and what is now an annual event is testament to our commitment to ensuring that the tragic mistakes of the past are never repeated or forgotten.”

Philippe Sands QC is Professor of Law at University College London. His award-winning book East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity looks at the personal and intellectual evolution of the two men who simultaneously originated the ideas of “genocide” and “crimes against humanity; it is also a family memoir, as the author traces the mysterious story of his grandfather. For his film My Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did, Professor Sands visited the places where much of his Jewish family was destroyed. 

Professor Sands’ talk will be followed by a Q&A session, chaired by Andrew Sanders, Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at Sussex.

The chair for the talk by Susan Pollack, a survivor of Auschwitz, will be Professor David Tal, Yossi Harel Chair in Modern Israel Studies at Sussex.

Susan, who will speak about her experiences during the Holocaust, says: "Because I was there, I speak for those who can’t. The great evil that pervaded so many minds in a civilized country destroyed more than 50 members of my family.

“It is a lesson for all time: will later generations stand up for the rights of others, or remain the silent majority? My hope is for a unified protest against all evil, which diminishes not only the victim, but humanity as a whole.”

The day will be rounded off with the showing of a documentary film by Pierre Sauvage. Not Idly By, released in 2014, provides first-hand testimony by the charismatic and eloquent Zionist activist Peter Bergson, who comments on the response to the crisis by non-European Jews and describes his determined efforts to fight the Holocaust.

The event, from 1.30-5.30pm at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, is open to all students, staff and alumni; however, booking is essential as seating is limited. If you would like to attend just one of the sessions, email with details of your preferred session.

Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2018


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