Kristallnacht Observance: The Future of Holocaust Memory in the 21st Century
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Kristallnacht Observance: The Future of Holocaust Memory in the 21st Century

James Young

Monday, November 9, 2016 at 7:00PM
Wilde Auditorium, Harry Jack Gray Center

Moderator - Avinoam Patt
Speakers - James Young, Joanne Rudof

On November 9 to November 10, 1938, in an incident known as “Kristallnacht”, Nazis in Germany torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed close to 100 Jews. In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, also called the “Night of Broken Glass,” some 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps.

“The Future of Holocaust Memory in the 21st Century,” panel discussion will feature University of Massachusetts Professor James Young, Yale University Archivist Joanne Rudof, and University of Hartford Professor Avinoam Patt. Following the panel discussion, the Hartford Remembers the Holocaust and Portraits of Survival exhibitions open to the public at 8:30 p.m. in the University’s Museum of Jewish Civilization located inside the Mortensen Library.

James E. Young is distinguished university professor of English and Judaic Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he has taught since 1988. He has also taught at New York University as a Dorot Professor of English and Hebrew/Judaic Studies (1984-88), at Bryn Mawr College in the history of religion, and at the University of Washington, Harvard University, and Princeton University as a visiting professor. He received his PhD from the University of California in 1983.

Young is the author of Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust (1988), The Texture of Memory (Yale University Press, 1993), which won the National Jewish Book Award in 1994, and At Memory's Edge: After-images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture (Yale University Press, 2000). He was also the guest curator of an exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York City, entitled “The Art of Memory: Holocaust Memorials in History” (March–August 1994, with venues in Berlin and Munich, September 1994–June 1995) and was the editor of The Art of Memory (Prestel Verlag, 1994), the exhibition catalogue for this show. In 1997, Young was appointed by the Berlin Senate to the five-member Findungskommission for Germany's national “Memorial to Europe’s Murdered Jews,” which selected Peter Eisenman’s design, which was finished and dedicated in May 2005. In 2003, he was appointed by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to the jury for the World Trade Center Site Memorial competition, won by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, completed and dedicated in September 2011. He continues to serve on the Academic Advisory Board of the National 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City. In 2000, he was appointed as editor-in-chief of The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, a 10-volume anthology of primary sources, documents, texts, and images (Yale University Press, 2012–17). At present, he is completing an insider’s story of the World Trade Center Memorial, entitled The Stages of Memory at Ground Zero: A Juror’s Report on the World Trade Center Site Memorial.

Joanne W. Rudof was archivist of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University from 1990–2016. From 1984–90, she served as project manager of the archive, and before that she taught in synagogue schools and held several volunteer positions dealing with the Holocaust and Holocaust education on the local, state, and national levels. At Yale, she became known as organizer and presenter at a number of significant conferences related to the Holocaust, genocide studies, and education and documentation about these topics. She has served in professional capacities for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Association of Moving Image Archivists, among others, and has consulted for a number of organizations in her area of expertise. The Greenberg Center recently signed an agreement with the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies (FVAHT) to make the Museum of Jewish Civilization a remote viewing location for FVAHT videos off-site.

The Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies has been preparing the Hartford Remembers the Holocaust exhibit for the last three years in collaboration with the Mandell Jewish Community Center and the Hartford Jewish Historical Society. It includes interactive iPad viewing stations where visitors can watch video testimony from the survivors, thought-provoking quotations and poems, and artifacts such as a concentration camp survivor’s uniform. Portraits of Survival is a photo exhibit of local Holocaust survivors by award-winning photographer, Lena Stein. Read more about the exhibition in a recent story published in the Hartford Courant. For questions about the upcoming program, please contact mgcjs@hartford.edu.