Montreal, April 6, 2010. How often does ignorance of others lead to fear, and fear to violence? Likely, far too often. With that in mind, Overcoming Fear of the Other is the theme of this year’s annual Vanier College Kleinmann Family Foundation Symposium on the Holocaust and Genocide, taking place from April 12-16, 2010. Since 1994, Vanier College has organized this symposium to inform young people about discrimination, racism and genocide in its many forms and its locations around the globe.
Unique Symposium on the Holocaust and Genocide
“Vanier is unique. No other college or university holds a symposium dedicated to understanding these issues and to helping young people learn about history in order to avoid repeating mistakes of the past,” says Rivka Guttman, a Vanier Nursing teacher who has always been impressed with the seriousness of the Holocaust and Genocide Symposium at Vanier.
Eye Witness Accounts
The voices of eye witnesses to past atrocities always sound loud and clear during the Symposium when survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides share with students and audiences their accounts of what they have lived through and seen. Among the many speakers is Dr Hans Moller, a participant in the Danish underground during World War II who was active in the rescue of Jews.
Genocides around the world
A visiting Austrian student of the Gedenkdienst Programme, will make a presentation entitled: “Moral Responsibility: Witnesses for the Future.” Other speakers will examine the rape of Nanking, the genocides in Darfur and Cambodia, and the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust
Lessons in citizenship and courage
“One of the strengths of the Symposium,” says organizer Neil Caplan “is the way that ‘important real-life lessons of ethical citizenship and moral courage’ find their way through these special events into our Cegep courses in psychology, English, Humanities, journalism, history and sociology.”
For a complete list of survivor testimonies, lectures, and films, please consult the website. http://www.vaniercollege.qc.ca/events/holocaust10/