Northeastern University’s commitment to promoting remembrance and awareness of the Holocaust is long and deep. Since 1977, the University has hosted an annual week-long series of events dedicated to remembering the Holocaust. The Holocaust Awareness Committee was organized in 1991, made up of Northeastern students, faculty, and staff from all parts of the Northeastern community. The Committee’s mission is to publicly remember the Holocaust each year, not only as historical fact and a memorial to its millions of victims, but also as a warning that the horrors of the past must never be repeated. In 2018, the event’s name was changed to Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week, to better reflect the mission of learning from the past.
Annual Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week Events
Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week events are designed to bear witness to the Holocaust and to explore issues arising out of the war of extermination against Jews and other groups targeted by the Nazis. Speakers ask how lessons learned from the Holocaust and other genocides can be further applied to contemporary issues. Annual Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week have included:
- The Robert Salomon Morton Lecture, which brings to campus a well-known scholar or public figure for a public lecture
- The Philip N. Backstrom, Jr Lecture series, which invites a Holocaust survivor or survivors to speak to students, faculty, and community
- The Northeastern Holocaust Commemoration, featuring a presentation by the recipient of the Gideon Klein Award, given to a student to study some aspect of music and the Holocaust
- The Bill Giessen Film Series, which screens a film focused on the Holocaust or its aftermath
There is generally another event, often student-focused, reflecting on genocide.
The Holocaust Awareness Committee Archives
In addition to serving as an archive of past events, the Holocaust Awareness Committee Archive is an important educational resource in its own right, with archival material relating to the Holocaust Awareness Committee housed at the Snell Library Archives and Special Collections using Northeastern’s Digital Repository Service. The Committee is pleased to have been chosen by the library’s Digital Scholarship Group for its 2015 DRS Project Toolkit Pilot Program to develop new tools for online scholarship.
Videos of Survivor Talks, Morton Lectures, Holocaust Commemorations, as well as many other archived materials, can be found on the website of the Holocaust Awareness Committee Archives.