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.
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.
Dr Eunice Blavascunas
Peasants and Cosmopolitics in Poland’s Białowieża Forest: Historical and Ethnographic considerations
Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 4:15 pm
Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge and Resource Centre (GLRC)
(Polish Discussion Club | Global Lounge | CENES)
Until Poland joined the EU in 2004 the country had a larger number of small family farms, a legacy of a much longer historical development that this lecture will explore. But what does this legacy of small farms mean for how “Europe’s last primeval forest” would develop in the post communist period? This lecture explores two competing versions of the peasantry and how they interact with cosmopolitan ecotourist development and nature conservation practices as farming has becoming obsolete in the hamlets of the ancient woodland.
Dr Eunice Blavascunas
The Forester as a Figure: Between Communism and Nationalism in Europe’s “Last Primeval Forest”
Friday, October 11, 2019 at 12:00 pm
FSC 1221 | 2424 Main Mall, Forest Sciences Centre
(Faculty of Forestry)
The Białowieża Forest in north eastern Poland is frequently touted as” Europe’s last primeval forest.” The forest complex is split between a strictly preserved national park and a larger timber producing forest. In an ethnograhic and historical analysis this lecture explores the figure of the forester, a figure that is entangled in both nationalist and communist pasts. As a figure, the forester is more than a civil servant working neutrally for the common good or the state. In a part of the world which experienced violent twentieth century histories, forest aesthetics and historical truths appear to emerge when regional inhabitants conjure the forester.
Please note that the first lecture is organized by Polish Discussion Club and Polish language students (Global Lounge and the CENES department). The second lecture is a guest lecture at the Department of Forestry.
If you have any questions, please contact: Helena G. Kudzia at email@example.com
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.