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Director’s Message – Professor Chris Mauriello

Three-quarters of a century since the end of World War II and the Holocaust, we are confronted again with shocking images of war crimes and acts of genocide on European soil. Mass graves dug by retreating Russian troops in Ukrainian towns such as Bucha and Izium are haunting reminders that war, the mass killing of prisoners and civilians, forced displacement and genocide continue to define our world. They challenge us to consider urgent questions: Why can’t the international community, despite decades of combating mass atrocities, stop the dynamics that lead to genocide? How are genocides reported on in social and online media? What can the world do to respond more effectively to genocidal regimes?

This fall, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies takes on the effects of the representation of the war in Ukraine in the media (view more information or register).

These questions guide other programs in the coming months. On November 17, we will host the Polish-Canadian scholar Jan Grabowski. Grabowski was recently charged with “defaming the Polish people” as the government defied his findings of widespread Polish collaboration. While only segments of the Polish population participated in the Holocaust, the Polish leadership is now trying to rewrite this story and silence historians such as Grabowski (view more information or register).  

As many of you are aware, the three-part Ken Burns documentary The U.S. and the Holocaust was just released on PBS. We are part of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Conference for Holocaust Education Centers (CHEC), which has been working closely to develop educational programs based on the film. On October 19, 2022, together with other organizations in the region, we will hold an educational workshop focused on the documentary’s context and educational uses (register for the workshop).

We are also preparing an exhibit on the history of the Russian-speaking community in the Boston area. The exhibit will trace the struggles of Jewish dissidents in the former Soviet Union, the international and local campaign on their behalf and their lives in the North Shore region and beyond (learn more about the project).

The CHGS continues to offer study-travel opportunities to students and community members. Recent trips have included Germany, Poland, Bosnia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Sponsored by the Cummings Foundation, the CHGS also takes students on an annual service trip to Rwanda.

See some of our spring/summer 2023 offerings:

Race and Rights in the American South and WWII and the Holocaust in Italy and Southern France.

Finally, please save the date of April 27, 2023, for our signature program, Yom HaShoah.

Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
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