U Remembers reflects on the historical effects surrounding the Holocaust and invites us to make connections between the past and contemporary social issues. All are welcome to get involved and participate! U Remembers is planned by a volunteer committee of students, faculty, trainees, and staff collaborating across the university. If you’d like to join our committee, share any ideas, sponsor events, or volunteer for U Remembers, contact us at email@example.com.
Erasure of History
“Erasure of History,” highlighted how history can be whitewashed for nefarious purposes and proposes solutions to fight against that whitewashing. The Fall 2022 U Remembers consisted of three events: a keynote speech by Professor Hansen-Glucklich on museums and memory; a discussion of the recent Ken Burns documentary, “The U.S. and the Holocaust;” and a dialogue on coming to terms with our past. Together, these events urged us to consider the continuing impact of the Holocaust and antisemitism, to push back against Holocaust denial, and to work towards a more inclusive future.
Recordings from U Remembers can be found on EDI’s YouTube channel.
Protecting the Truth
With fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors alive to tell their stories, White supremacist and antisemitic groups have worked to erase, distort, and censor the horrors of the Holocaust. Inaccurately taught history classes and banned books – forms of historical erasure, censorship, and cultural control – have become more frequent across the United States. It is more urgent than ever to advocate and fight for historical events to be accurately taught and preserved for posterity. “Protecting the Truth” emphasized the importance of holding each other accountable for truthfully honoring the legacy of Holocaust victims.
Breaking the Silence
Breaking the Silence aimed to foster a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and inspire community members to combat the rise of antisemitism and White supremacy by moving from bystanders to active participants. The week included virtual discussions on the causes and consequences of antisemitism, the impact of bystander inaction on vulnerable victims, and observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
A Deadly Diagnosis
A Deadly Diagnosis explored traces from the Nazi worldview of othering found in medical and social realms today and how we can reflect on the harm these dynamics cause as we push forward into a more inclusive future. Guided by Dr. Edith Sheffer, senior fellow at the Institute of European Studies at the University of California – Berkeley and author of “Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna,” attendees gained insight into her research on recent developments regarding Dr. Hans Asperger’s controversial role during the Holocaust and “how societies assess, label, and treat those diagnosed with disabilities.”
Unified Resistance: Tales of the White Rose
Unified resistance groups seeking civil rights today are primarily led by our youth and influenced by our current social, economic, political and environmental climate. Keynote Jud Newborn, drew lessons and parallels of the Holocaust – particularly the German university students who formed the Nazi resistance group called the White Rose – to the resistance in today’s current events.
The Power of Propaganda
Although most agree that propaganda was a critical tool during the Holocaust, many don’t easily recognize the continuation of propaganda as a tool for promoting political agendas and shaping political climate. College students are constantly connected to mainstream media and are avid consumers of the narratives that shape the public perception of certain ethnic and religious groups. This year’s events analyzed 1940’s Nazi propaganda with Keynote Jason Stanley and examined how propaganda operates subtly, undermines democracy, and damages democracies of the past.
Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are two well-known phenomena that fuel religious discrimination. Though they stem from distinctly different histories and ideologies, both have historically and recently been triggered by economic, political and social stress, and its perpetrators relied heavily on misrepresentation and misunderstanding of a religious community. Guest speakers Professors Reuven Firestone and Simran Jeet Singh explored how these two phenomena differ, but also how they illuminate one another.
Policing Sexuality Then & Now
This year’s theme explored normalization and the oppression of non-heterosexual individuals during the German Holocaust. The events were a platform to discuss ways in which sexual desire and orientation are policed in the 21st century. The University of Utah’s U Remembers logo stands both as an act of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust and stance against genocide. The open hand asks for forgiveness while securing the eternal flame. We must not let history repeat itself. The U Remembers.
How does your community remember? This year’s theme, “U Remembers,” focused on communal memory – how people collectively look back at events through memorials, artwork, museums and other actions. The Holocaust epitomizes one of the darkest periods of world history – an example of human cruelty played out on a massive scale. It exemplifies a powerful majority’s refusal to tolerate minorities and to respect their right to survive. Commemorating the Holocaust provides an opportunity to reflect on this tragic failing and to understand that the victims were human beings just like us. Preventing this type of atrocity from reoccurring can only succeed if we can begin to recognize the other as ourselves.
70 Years Later: Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943
This year’s theme recalled the largest Jewish revolt of World War II. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising represents the indomitable human spirit rising up against impossible odds in the face of abject horror and inhumanity. Keynote Peter Black, Senior Historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, focused on genocide motivated by religious and ethnic hatred. Highlights included the significance of religious discrimination as well as the role that all religions play in resisting and combating intolerance.
70 Years Later: Remembering the Wannsee Conference and the “Final Solution”
“1942 was the most astounding year of murder in the Holocaust. One of the most astounding years of murder in the whole history of mankind.” On the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, Holocaust historian and keynote speaker Mark Roseman shared insights into the infamous January 1942 meeting in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee, where top Nazi leaders met to discuss and coordinate the Holocaust. “Wansee offers a window into a paradigm of a chilling, recognizably human, indescribably inhumane process of evolution and adaptation. [At Wansee] what we find is the capacity in individuals and the system to evolve and adapt into murder.”