Holocaust Living History Workshop Launches 2020-2021 Series Virtually

The University of California San Diego’s Holocaust Living History Workshop (HLHW) is returning this fall with a yearlong series of seven lectures that underscore the theme “Witnessing the Past: Holocaust Histories.” Now in its 12th year as a collaborative project between the UC San Diego Library and the UC San Diego Jewish Studies Program, the HLHW aims to broaden understanding of the past, foster tolerance and preserve the memory of victims and survivors of the Holocaust while also emphasizing their continued relevance in the world today.

This year’s workshop is dedicated to the topic of “witness.” What does it mean to witness rather than merely study the past? How have film and music been used to make sense of the Holocaust? In what ways do personal testimony and historical scholarship enhance our understanding of the Shoah? These are the questions that will be explored and addressed throughout the lecture series.

All events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. In accordance with San Diego County and California public health orders, the two events taking place in fall 2020 will be held virtually and take place from 5 to 6 p.m. PT. View the full calendar of events

All in the Family: Jonas Noreika and the Quest for Truth about the Holocaust in Lithuania with Silvia Foti and Grant Gochin
Wednesday, October 14, 5 p.m. PT 

What do you do when you discover that your grandfather, whom you viewed as a national hero, was a Nazi collaborator and mass murderer? This was the question confronting Silvia Foti, an American-Lithuanian from Chicago, after unearthing the shocking truth about her grandfather Jonas Noreika. Foti began a campaign to set the historical record straight alongside Grant Gochin, a Lithuanian Jewish American whose family was at the receiving end of Noreika’s murderous actions. At this event, UC San Diego Professor of Literature Amelia Glaser will interview the descendants of the perpetrator and the victims and discuss their efforts to challenge the official World War II narrative in Lithuania to secure historical justice. 

Foti is a journalist, activist and teacher of high school English. Gochin, a Californian diplomat and wealth manager, has long been actively involved in Jewish affairs, especially those pertaining to Lithuania. Registration is required.

Kristallnacht on Film: From Reportage to Reenactments, 1938-1988 with Lawrence Baron
Thursday, November 5, 5 p.m. PT

What is the visual evidence of the brutal pogrom that shattered Germany’s remaining Jewish community in November 1938 and that was euphemistically labeled “Crystal Night?” Contemporary newsreel reports featured condemnations of the attack by prominent contemporaries and stills of the destruction. Later, documentary and feature films dramatized the November pogrom with the help of reenactments, photographs and survivor interviews. It was only with the discovery of German home movies of Kristallnacht that authentic footage appeared in documentaries made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the pogrom. In this talk, Lawrence Baron reconstructs an intriguing chapter of recent Jewish and German film history. 

Professor emeritus at San Diego State University, Baron is the author and editor of four books including “The Modern Jewish Experience in World Cinema” and “Projecting the Holocaust into the Present: The Changing Focus of Contemporary Holocaust Cinema.” His contribution to Holocaust studies was profiled in “Fifty Key Thinkers on the Holocaust and Genocide.” Registration is required.

Mark your calendars and stay tuned for registration details for these additional HLHW 2020-2021 events:

In addition to the public lecture series, the HLHW engages local students, teachers, interested community members, and Holocaust survivors and their families through use of USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive. The Archive is the world’s largest online database of videotaped testimonies by Holocaust survivors and witnesses, and the UC San Diego Library is the only institution in the San Diego region to have access to its resources. 

For more information about UC San Diego’s Holocaust Living History Workshop, contact Susanne Hillman at shillman@ucsd.edu. If you have questions or would like to register by phone, contact us at UCSDLibrary@ucsd.edu or (858) 534-1183.