Our World, Our Responsibility: Your Action! is the title of the 23rd Annual Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Foundation Symposium which will take place at Vanier College April 13-17, 2015.

Chelsea Clinton’s documentary film Of Many will have its Canadian premiere at Vanier College and is a main feature of the weeklong symposium. The film focuses on the relationship between an orthodox rabbi and imam, both of whom serve as university chaplains in New York City. Rabbi Yehuda Sarna and Imam Khalid Latif, will be present to answer questions after the screening.Auditorium, April 14, 1-2:30 PM.

Throughout the week, guest speakers will address the theme Our World, Our Responsibility: Your Action! These speakers include Holocaust survivors, filmmakers, social workers, educators and writers.

Holocaust survivors will include Al Gilbert, Hermann Gruenwald, Paul Herczeg, Eva Kuper and Yehudi Lindeman. Al Gilbert will recount his escape from Belgium and flight to England in 1940. Hermann Gruenwald, a Montreal businessman, will give testimony to having survived three concentration camps. Paul Herczeg describes his survival during the Shoah as a teenager. Eva Kuper was born at the outset of WW II in Warsaw, Poland and will present her film Hidden Children, Unknown Hereos (2009). Yehudi Lindeman, a Dutch survivor will discuss his life in hiding during the war.

Other participants during the Symposium will include Gina Roitman, whose documentary film My Mother, the Nazi Midwife, and Me tells the chilling tale of the systematic murder of 52 Jewish babies in a Displaced Persons’ camp. Also participating will be Heidi Berger, an award-winning producer who created a unique, 40-minute video, which chronicles her mother’s experiences during the Holocaust; and Corrie Sirota, a Clinical Social Worker who has helped schools and organizations address the issue of bullying. In her workshop, she empowers students to deal with bullies and discourages them from being mere bystanders.

Jacky Vallée teaches anthropology at Vanier College and is a co-founder of the Open Door Network and the Vanier Indigenous Circle. He will address the social and political persecution of gays before and after the Holocaust. Nakuset, the Executive Director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montréal, will speak about improving the lives of urban aboriginals; Morton Weinfeld, Chair of Canadian Ethnic Studies at McGill University will discuss Anti-Semitism in Canada; Jack Jedwab, Executive Vice-President of the Association for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration, will speak on racism in a Canadian context; and Benedikt Baratsits-Gruber, Austrian Holocaust Memorial Intern, will present a multi-media educational program entitled Moral Responsibility: Witnesses for the Future. The program examines the evolution of Austrians’ self-depiction from victims to perpetrators.

For the first time the Annual Symposium on the Holocaust and Genocide will reach students beyond the Vanier campus. This year we are partnering with LEARN Québec (a non-profit organization that serves the educational needs of the public and private Anglophone and Aboriginal, Youth and Adult Education sectors of Québec). Students in the remotest regions of Quebec will participate via videoconference.

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