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"Remembering The Holocaust" with Guest Speakers at Murray State, Thursday

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

The Department of Modern Languages at Murray State University hosts "Remembering the Holocaust" this Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 in Faculty Hall Room 208. The event features presentations by Holocaust survivor Arthur Pais and Holocaust scholar Dr. Joseph White. The presentation is free and the community is invited to attend. MSU Assistant Professor of French and German Dr. Roxane Riegler joins Kate Lochte on Sounds Good to talk about the speakers for this event.

The first speaker, Arthur Pais, is a holocaust survivor from Lithuania. Born in 1927, he survived the ghetto in Kovno and the concentration camp in Dachau. he spent four years in total from the ghetto until his liberation. When telling his story, he says it was pure luck that he survived - several times "arriving late" to shootings or killings. His mother and some close relatives, however, did not survive. Dr. Riegler says he tries to take a certain distance when talking about his experiences so as not to become too emotional.

The second speaker is Dr. Joseph White, a researcher at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. His research is in artwork stolen by the Nazis. He's also the editor of the Third volume of The United Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos. He brings to the forefront an unusual artifact, the Karl-Friedrich Höcker Album. Höcker was an SS officer at Auschwitz-Birkenau. His album of photos was found by an American soldier in 1947, who kept it until donating it the museum in 2007.

The collection of 116 photos, taken by different people, show the life of the Nazi officers, SS officers, administrators and support staff and what their life was like from June to December 1944, the height of the killings in Auschwitz. In contrast to the atrocities in camp within close proximity, the photos depict soldiers entertaining themselves in their free time: partying, relaxing on the balcony and having fun. One photo shows officers enjoying the singing of others to an accordion, another shows people eating blueberries. After the war, Höcker denied responsibility for the deaths in the camp and went to serve seven years in prison and later another four years for involvement in the organizing the gas chambers.

"Remembering the Holocaust" is at 3:30 p.m. in Faculty Hall 208 on Thursday, March 26. The event is free and open to the community.

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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