Thursday, September 24, 2009

[106] 9th Biennial Holocaust Conference At MTSU Set Oct. 22-24

EDITORIAL CONTACT: Lisa L. Rollins, 615-898-2919

Many Events, Discussions Free & Open to Public; Organizers Urge Attendance

(MURFREESBORO)—“The Holocaust and World War II” is the theme of the 9th biennial International MTSU Holocaust Studies Conference, which will be held Thursday, Oct. 22, through Saturday, Oct. 24, on the MTSU campus.
Throughout the weekendlong event, which will get under way at 8 a.m. daily in MTSU's James Union Building, the conference will feature back-to-back presentations commemorating the Holocaust experience from cultural, educational and historical perspectives. University educators, authors and historians from throughout the United States, as well as from the Ukraine and Poland, among other locales, will lead conference sessions.
Sponsored by MTSU’s Holocaust Studies Committee, the conference’s guest speakers will include American liberators of various concentration camps as well as survivors of those camps, providing the public with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for to meet those who experienced the reality of the brutality of German Nazi policies.
Although those who wish to attend all of the weekend event’s sessions may register to do so, many of the three-day conference’s discussion and panels are free and open to the public, including an Oct. 24 presentation by guest speaker/school principal Linda Hooper on “The Paperclip Project,” a monument made from millions of paperclips by middle-schoolers in rural Whitwell, Tenn., and created to commemorate Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
The project, which originated in an eighth-grade class but expanded to involve the entire student body, has drawn international attention and was inspired by a historical lesson involving Europeans who wore paper clips on their lapels as a statement of protest against the Nazis.
Author and Holocaust historian Dr. Gerhard L. Weinberg, who will receive the prestigious 2009 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing on Oct. 24, will be a highlight and keynote speaker for the Holocaust event.
In 1958, Weinberg discovered Hitler’s unpublished book when he was combing through massive stacks of documents that the United States had captured from Nazi Germany. Hitler dictated the secret book, which includes his plans for global domination and an American invasion, in 1928. Since its discovery, the book has been authenticated and the documents are considered legitimate, as outlined in the History Channel documentary titled “Hitler’s Plan.”
Weinberg will deliver two free talks during his local visit, including a public pre-conference presentation, “Pope Pius XII in World War II,” at 3 p.m. Oct. 21 at Murfreesboro’s St. Clair Center, as well as a 7:15-8:15 p.m. talk Oct. 22 in the JUB titled “Roosevelt, Truman and the Holocaust.”


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Aside from Weinberg and Hooper’s sessions, the conference also will offer two open sessions on Friday, Oct. 23. The first, a two-hour “Survivors and Liberators” panel, will begin at 10:20 a.m. in the JUB and feature Holocaust survivors Frances Cutler of Nashville; Judy Cohen of Toronto, Ontario; and Eva and Eric Rosenberg of Nashville. Liberator panelists will be Jimmie Gentry of Franklin and James Dorris of Chattanooga.
The second free presentation on Oct. 23, “Racial Hatred: Black African Victims of Nazism, will begin at 1:50 p.m. in the JUB, with guest speaker Raffael Scheck of Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Then, on Saturday, Oct. 24, the conference—in addition to “The Paperclip Project”—will also provide a free “Second Generation” panel discussion in the JUB beginning at 11:25 a.m. This hourlong session will focus on what teachers can do in the classroom related to Holocaust education when survivors are no longer around to help tell the story.
• REGISTRATION/SESSION INFO: For more information on the conference, including a full schedule of programming events, or to download a registration form, please visit its Web site at and click on a related link.
For additional conference information not found on the Web site, please contact Dr. Nancy Rupprecht, history professor, at 615-898 2645.


ATTENTION, MEDIA: For editorial needs, including interview requests with conference organizers or selected guest speakers, including Randy Jackson who will deliver the free and open “Racial Hatred: Black African Victims of Nazism” panel Oct. 23, please contact Lisa L. Rollins in the Office of News and Public Affairs at MTSU at 615-898-2919 or via

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