An Opera and Symposium Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

January 27th, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the largest Nazi death, labour and concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and is the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

On this occasion, the UBC Opera Ensemble (School of Music), the Modern European Studies Program (Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies), UBC Library and the Witnessing Auschwitz International Seminar (Go Global) will join efforts to remember and honour the victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and to further interdisciplinary education about the Holocaust. Following a four-day symposium at the UBC Vancouver campus, UBC Opera will stage the Canadian premiere of Mieczysław Weinberg’s opera ‘The Passenger’.

UBC Library will house a special exhibit from January 15th to February 28th in The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The invitation to the symposium is open to all UBC faculty, staff and students, as well as to the general public.

For more information please visit the web page

Tickets to the opera “The Passenger” are available at the UBC Opera Ticket Box (

Dr Bozena Karwowska presents at conference by World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust & Descendants

Associate Professor Dr. Bozena Karwowska was invited by the World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust & Descendants to present at their 31st annual conference in Vancouver on November 1-4, 2019. She presented on the panel, “Holocaust education: The antidote to antisemitism?” where she discussed the Witnessing Auschwitz Go Global course and Representations of the Holocaust CENS 303 course.

Panel description:

Alongside the rise of antisemitic incidents and rhetoric across the globe, including on university campuses, Holocaust educators grapple with the question: can teaching and learning about the Shoah play a role in combating the hatred of Jews? If so, what practices and resources can support educators in making a difference in their respective communities? Representing a number of esteemed organizations and post-secondary institutions, the panelists will offer perspectives on programs that seek to engage students in reflection about the causes and consequences of antisemitism, making connections between the history of the Holocaust and the present day.

Information Session for Witnessing Auschwitz International Seminar in Poland (May 2019)

Witnessing Auschwitz International Seminar in Poland (May 2019)

Information sessions are:
Wednesday October 10 – 12pm – Room 1505 – UBC Life Building
Tuesday October 16 – 1pm   – Room 1504 – UBC Life Building

This course will examine representations of the Nazi Holocaust and related aspects of Nazi Germany by focusing on Auschwitz. Auschwitz was a place in which several frequently conflicting agendas of the Third Reich intersected: it was an industrial compound, a concentration camp, a medical research site, and an extermination facility; it served to imprison, terrorize, enslave, and kill. Its operation as well as the so-called “twisted road” that led to it provide a horrific and revealing example of the strange ways in which the Third Reich ruled by a strange mixture of chaos and consent. More importantly, Auschwitz is a site of conflicting memories that raise the question how, and if at all, it can be remembered and commemorated in ways that resist both sentimentalization and the recourse to conventional literary or cinematographic imagery.
For more information please go to the Go Global web site:

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