From: Annie Alpert <miasaura-ccnis.net>from NIZKOR
Subject: Holocaust Conference Exploits (March 1997)
I just got back from three days in sunny Tampa Florida, attendingthe 27th Scholars Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches.I know it was sunny because I looked out the window a few times.
The Conference was held in the Marriott Hotel located insidethe Tampa Airport. I got off the plane, went down the elevatorthrough the mall and into the hotel. I only went outside onceto get on a bus to go a reception at the University of South Floridawhere Elie Wiesel received a honorary doctorate from USF (his85th!). Wiesel's speech was incredibly moving (even for a jadedold broad like me.)
I was there to present a paper about Nizkor during one of theHolocaust denial plenary panels (courtesy of an anonymous benefactor--verygreat thanks to him!) The conference was attended by almost 400teachers, professors, religious leaders and historians from allover the world, plus another 150 presenters. It is an internaitonal,interfaith conference. The conference was wonderfully well organizedand the accomodations were extremely comfortable.
From my point of view, the conference was a big success andmy part of it went over very well. I addressed a large audienceand shared the podium with Steve Feinstein of UW, Jeff Kleman,UW and Mark Weizman of the Simon Weisenthal Center in NY. It wasso great to have people come up to me and say, "Oh, I knowNizkor--You are a great resource!" or "You're AnnieAlpert? I wanted to meet you" <blush>.
The second denial panel featured Shelly Shapiro and Susan Pentlin,CSM and David Meier of North Dakota. Great group! (And Shelly,if you're reading this, how about that copy of "Truth Prevails"???)
I met a lot of folks from the mailing lists, like Joey Korn,Harriet Sepinwell, Rich Pierard, Harvey Kornberg and others whosenames escape me. I met Michael Berenbaum, formerly of the US HolocaustMuseum, now with Speilberg's Shoah foundation. I especially likedmeeting Richard Hooks' darling Uncle Sam who told me the beststories about his days in Westerbock and the Resistance.
Papers were presented on a wide range of subjects: Art, musicand literature and the Holocaust, Children of Survivors, teachingthe Holocaust, the Uniqueness debate, Christian leadership, Survivortestimony, rescue and heroism, emotional responsibility, and ofcourse, Holocaust denial. A group of Jehovah's Witness survivorscame from France to talk about their experiences. Most attendeeswere teachers and college professors who teach classes on theHolocaust, and they are very concerned about the rise in Holocaustdenial they are now seeing in their classrooms. It seems to havecaught them unawares--mainly because a lot of them are not comfortablewith Internet technology and haven't been exposed to the stuffwe see on the web every day. As you know, most of the newest deniersarekids and young adults who are being bombarded with neo-Nazipropoganda as soon as they log on. They are carrying those ideasinto the classroom. I tried to leave them with the thought thatNizkor is a place to go for help.
I had a lot of requests for teacher's materials about how torespond to denial and especially how to tell a 'good' web sitefrom a 'bad' one when using a search engine. Those of you whoare teachers and who can read this right now, are in the minorityamong teachers. If anyone has any questions or wants info, letme know
Nizkor (USA) - An Electronic Holocaust Educational Resource
Nizkor Web: http://www.nizkor.org/
European mirror: http://www1.de.nizkor.org/~nizkor/
And my own web page: http://www.ccnis.net/~miasaura
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