Holocaust Commemoration Focuses on Bystanders

OGDEN, Utah – In the last century, more than 60 million people were murdered in government-sponsored genocide. Weber State University's 10th Annual Holocaust Commemoration, "Courage and Complacency in the Face of Evil," will focus on the role of bystanders in the Holocaust.

This year's activities will consist of speakers, performances and discussions addressing the different ways bystanders have responded to genocide. The commemoration will begin at 10 a.m., April 1, with Brent Scarpo's presention of an abridged version of his award-winning documentary, "Journey to a Hate Free Millennium." Additional lectures and events will further explore the topic, including a discussion on April 15 comparing Hollywood and Broadway depictions of bystanders and events with a Holocaust survivor's eye-witness account of Nazi Europe. The month-long series of activities will culminate with a student production of "Cabaret," April 28-May 1.

All events, except the "Cabaret" performances, are free to the public.  Tickets for "Cabaret" are available at 801-626-8500 or 1-800-WSU-TIKS.

This year's activities include:

Brent Scarpo – Scarpo produced and directed the award winning documentary, "Journey to a Hate Free Millennium." This film focuses on why hate crimes exist and explores hate in modern society. The documentary explores the subject of hate using examples such as Matthew Shepard, Columbine High School and the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas.

Oliver Griffin, Ph.D. — Former WSU history professor Oliver Griffin returns to Ogden to participate in the commemoration. A member of the faculty at WSU for four years, Griffin was active in Holocaust Commemoration planning and chaired the steering committee. He recently joined the faculty at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. His academic interests and teaching fields include European history since 1500, the Holocaust and genocide.

Honors Issues Forum - "Hollywood, Broadway & Reality" -- Holocaust concentration camp survivor Netty Havas will offer commentary on excerpts presented from various versions of Christopher Isherwood's book, "Goodbye to Berlin," a first-person account of life on the periphery of the fascist revolution in post-Weimar Berlin. The forum will examine the book and its antecedents, including the stage musical "Cabaret." Bruce Cohen, adjunct professor and Artistic and Managing Director of Utah Musical Theatre at WSU, will moderate the discussion.

Production of "Cabaret" - The student organization Associated Actors and Technicians present their production of "Cabaret." Following the production, Bruce Cohen, adjunct professor and Artistic and Managing Director of Utah Musical Theatre, will lead a discussion centering on the history of Broadway's take on this tumultuous era. The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions about the performance and to hear the director and creative team discuss their approach to portraying this poignant time period.

Commemoration Schedule

April 1

Brent Scarpo — "Journey to a Hate Free Millennium"
10 a.m.
Shepherd Union Ballroom

Oliver Griffin, PhD —"Bystander Apathy in the Face of Evil"
1 p.m.
Lindquist Lecture Hall
Kimball Visual Arts Center, 120

April 15

Honors Issues Forum -"Hollywood, Broadway and Reality"
Holocaust Survivor Netty Havas' comments on "Cabaret"
10 a.m.
Wildcat Theater
Shepherd Union

April 29

Production of "Cabaret"
7:30 p.m.
Eccles Theater
Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts


Susan Matt, Holocaust Commemoration committee chair
801-626-7325 • smatt@weber.edu

Barry Gomberg, Holocaust Commemoration committee
801-626-6240 • bgomberg@weber.edu

Suzanne Clayton, Office of Media Relations
801-626-7212 · jkowalewski@weber.edu