The Holocaust and Other Twentieth-Century Genocides: A Comparative Approach


The Berger Family Holocaust Lecture

Thursday, Nov. 3 / 7:00 pm / Colby: Diamond 122

Prof. Eric Weitz, The City College of New York, CUNY

In this lecture, Eric D. Weitz argues that we need to understand the Holocaust not as a singular, unique event, but as one of a number of genocides carried out by states in the twentieth-century. To compare does not mean that everything is the same. A comparative approach enables us to highlight similarities as well as differences among different cases, deepening our understanding of the tragic phenomenon of modern genocides.

Eric Weitz is Dean of Humanities and Arts and Distinguished Professor of History at The City College of New York. His publications include works on Weimar Germany, German Communism, and genocide. His book A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and NationĀ (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003) was selected as Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2003. Dr. Weitz received his doctorate from Boston University and served on the faculty of the University of Minnesota before joining CUNY.

Rachel Tzvia Back, Israeli poet-in-residence

Rachel Tzvia Back photoRachel Tzvia Back is a poet, translator, professor of literature, and peace activist. She resides in the Galilee, where her great-great-great-grandfather settled in the 1830s. Her residency in Maine is co-sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program, the Center for Small Town Jewish Life, and synagogues across the state.

The Mother Who Sends Her Son to War

Thursday, Nov. 17 / 4:00 pm / Colby: Wormser Room, Miller Library

Sunday, Nov. 20 / 11:00 am / Portland: Temple Beth El, 400 Deering Ave.

Israel of 2016 has become, in profound and disturbing ways, a nation that has wandered far from its original values and vision. Through poetry and personal framings, Rachel Back discusses the particular dilemmas and conflicts of life in Israel today.

On Language, Lies, and Truth-telling: Protest Poetry and Why We Need It

Friday, Nov. 18 / 6:00 pm / Bangor: Congregation Beth El, 45 French St.

Protest poetry may be considered a modern phenomenon, though the Jewish tradition of dissent and debate is an ancient one. Rachel Back considers the power of protest poetry in general, and in the Galilee region specifically, to protest and speak difficult truths in the face of ongoing conflict and lies.

A Meeting of the Dispossessed & Possessors: A Galilean Tale

Saturday, Nov. 19 / 10:30 am / Augusta: Temple Beth El, 3 Woodlawn Ave.

Saturday, Nov. 19 / 5:00 pm / Rockland: Adas Yoshuron Synagogue, 50 Willow St.

Sunday, Nov. 20 / 12:30 pm / Auburn: Temple Shalom Synagogue-Center, 74 Bradman St.

In this talk, Rachel Back will discuss a single tale of mutual recognition and reconciliation between a small group of Galilean Jews and Arabs, and what might be learned from it.