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Northeastern kicks-off Holocaust Awareness Week with heartrending presentation

Photo of Jeffrey Burds giving his lecture at the 2016 Holocaust Commemoration

Associate Professor Jeffrey Burds' keynote presentation shed light on the capri­cious nature of vio­lence through powerful images and videos of the July 1, 1941 pogrom in Lemberg, Ukraine.

The images sear them­selves into your heart and soul,” said Jef­frey Burds, asso­ciate pro­fessor of his­tory at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. “They bring you to a cer­tain level of consciousness.”

It was Monday, and Burds was giving a slideshow pre­sen­ta­tion at Northeastern’s Holo­caust Com­mem­o­ra­tion in the Raytheon Amphithe­ater, clicking through heartrending pho­tographs taken during the July 1, 1941 pogrom in Lem­berg, Ukraine.

Using photos, film clips, and eye­wit­ness tes­ti­mony from archives and pri­vate col­lec­tions, he has spent years recon­structing the mur­ders of more than 3,000 Jews at the hands of Ukrainian civilians.

Men and women, he told the audi­ence of stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff, were dragged from their homes, beaten, and then exe­cuted in the streets. Some were even chased by Ukrainian Boy Scouts and then clubbed to death.

The images sear them­selves into your heart and soul,” – Jeffrey Burds

His keynote presentation—titled “The Pogrom in Lem­berg, 1 July 1941: A Local Atrocity as Inter­na­tional History”—shed light on the capri­cious nature of vio­lence. “When we focus on indi­vidual cases, we learn lessons about humanity and inhu­manity,” said Burds, a former Charles H. Revson Foun­da­tion Fellow at the Center for Advanced Holo­caust Studies. “Nobody dreams of becoming a per­pe­trator of vio­lence,” he later added, “but once they do, they jus­tify it in some way.”

Read the full recap at news@Northeastern. 

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