Annual Commemoration Will Explore “Lessons from the Past”

OGDEN, Utah – Organizers of Weber State University’s 2007 Holocaust Commemoration hope that lessons from history will generate greater awareness about current-day issues.

This year’s commemoration, “Lessons from the Past,” will feature presentations by Irene Katz, a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, and Suliman Giddo, co-founder and president of the Darfur Peace & Development organization, a humanitarian who is working to stop the genocide occurring in that troubled region.

“We want to encourage students to reflect on the atrocities of the Nazi Holocaust, and at the same time remind them that genocide is still happening in the world today,” said Sandy Sowerby, chair of the 2007 Holocaust Commemoration Committee.

In addition to the presentations by Katz and Giddo, the commemoration will feature a screening of the film “The Rape of Europa,” which chronicles the plundering of art by the Nazis, and the role that art and culture played in the Holocaust and in World War II. The screening will be held April 10 at 7 p.m. in the Val A. Browning Center Allred Theater, with a panel discussion afterwards featuring visual arts professor Angelika Pagel and assistant political science professor Leah Murray.

All three presentations will occur the week of April 9 and are free to the public.

For the first time, the commemoration committee sponsored a research
competition leading up to the April activities. The goal was to get students thinking about parallels between the Nazi Holocaust and genocides during the past 40 years.

Students were encouraged to submit work in one of two categories: scholarly or creative research, which incorporated the theme of this year’s event.

Michael B. Fisher, a freshman majoring in communication, won for best scholarly research for his submission “Living and Forgiving,” which explored the role of spirituality and God in genocide. Senior English major David Thacker’s poem “Salix Alba” was chosen in the creative research category. The authors of each winning entry will receive a $500 award and have their research featured during the commemoration activities.

For more information on this year’s presenters and a schedule of events visit

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Schedule of Events for 2007 Holocaust Commemoration


April 10: 7 p.m.:  “Rape of Europa”—Val A. Browning Center Allred Theater
April 11: 10 a.m.:  Suliman Giddo, “Darfur: Walking Towards Peace”—Wattis Business Building Smith Auditorium
April 12: Noon:  Irene Katz, “A Survivor’s Story”— Shepherd Union Gallery


John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
(801) 626-7212 •
John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
(801) 626-7212 •