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.

Ziegler Lecture Series | Dr.Jacek Lachendro

“Auschwitz. From Liberation to State Museum”

26 September 2019 5:00 pm
Venue: Buchanan Penthouse

Dr. Jacek Lachendro
Deputy Head, Auschwitz Birkenau Museum Research Centre

On January 27, 1945 the Red Army took over Auschwitz and liberated a few thousand remaining sick and exhausted prisoners. This lecture addresses the following: medical treatment for liberated prisoners in Soviet field hospitals and the Red Cross hospital, burials of the remains of the last victims of Auschwitz, committee documentation of German atrocities in Auschwitz, the soviet camps for German POWs, the 1945/46 transfer of the territories of Auschwitz to Polish administration, and the establishment of the Museum in 1947.

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:

Ziegler Lecture Series: Commemorating Jewish Heritage in Poland

Witnessing Auschwitz Student Conference: Sept 14 & 15

Please join us for the Witnessing Auschwitz Student Conference
Sept 14 & 15, Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge








Schedule (details may change):

Thursday Sept. 14
9:15-10:20—Panel #1
10:30-11:45—Panel #2
12:30-1:30—Panel #3
1:45-2:45—Panel #4
2:45-3:00—Closing for the day
4pm—Book launch for “The More I Know, The Less I Understand”
5pm—Dr. Setkiewicz lecture

Friday Sept 15
9:15-10:20—Panel #1
10:30-11:45—Panel #2
12:30-1:30—Panel #3
1:45-2:45—Panel #4

Yad Vashem: After the Uprising

Yad Vashem: After the Uprising: Life Among the Ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto

Even after the 16th of May, 1943, a number of undetected bunkers remained in the area of the former ghetto. It seems that hundreds of Jews still lived among the ruins of the ghetto, even after its official liquidation. Due to the harsh conditions and the presence of Germans in the area, only a small number of these Jews managed to survive for any extended period of time.

The photographs of Henryk Ross (Washington Post)

‘I buried my negatives in the ground in order that there should be some record of our tragedy.’ The photographs of Henryk Ross. Washington Post.


Women in the Third Reich

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
Women in the Third Reich

Women played a vital role in Adolf Hitler’s plan to create an ideal German Community (Volksgemeinschaft). Hitler believed a larger, racially purer population would enhance Germany’s military strength and provide settlers to colonize conquered territory in eastern Europe. The Third Reich’s aggressive population policy encouraged “racially pure” women to bear as many “Aryan” children as possible.

Please join us for the student conference on Witnessing Auschwitz!

On behalf of the Witnessing Auschwitz program, we cordially invite you to the 2015 Student Conference.

This conference will include student panels centred on the research they conducted whilst in Poland. The Witnessing Auschwitz program was an incredible opportunity in which students from UBC were able to participate in a multi-disciplinary program that allowed them to explore the complicated memory of the Holocaust and the context in which it affects the present.

This year will also include many different speakers.Their topics will be an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the Holocaust. With the generous sponsorship of the Polish Consulate of Vancouver, this year’s conference also has the pleasure of welcoming the exhibition The World Knew- Jan Karski’s Mission for Humanity. It is a 22 panel exhibit which tells of Karski’s lessons for humanity through photographs, documents and testimony.




Sept. 10th 4:30 pm

“Life and Extermination of the Warsaw Ghetto”
Ziegler Series lecture by Dr. Jacek Leociak

Sept. 11th 9:00 am

“On the Phenomenon of the Underground Archives of the Warsaw Ghetto”
Ziegler Series lecture by Dr. Jacek Leociak

Sept. 11th 11:50 am

“Jan Karski, Polish Diplomacy and the Holocaust”
Dr. Kryzstof Olendzki

Sept. 11th 4:15 pm

“ ‘Termite Craze’: The (De)Nazification of Social Insects. The Case of Karl Escherich”
Dr. Geoffrey Winthrop-Young





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