UMD will host the 25 th annual Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration activities April 17 -- 29. The featured lecture presentation will be "Zeit Zeuge: Time Witness" delivered by Leonore Baeumler, Duluth resident who lived in Germany during the Nazi regime.
Several events will be offered which illustrate the plight of German citizens, like Mrs. Baeumler, who were caught up in a regime that they could neither support nor control.
The public is cordially invited. All events are free.
The film, "The Nasty Girl," will be shown on Thursday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. in Montague Hall 80 at UMD. A post-film discussion will be held highlighting questions about citizen complicity, accountability and integrity in the face of evil.
A Reader's Theatre presentation of "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak will take place on Wednesday, April 23 at 4:30 pm in Griggs Center, UMD Kirby Student Center (2nd floor). "The Book Thief" is the story of a young girl in Nazi Germany whose life, in many ways, parallels the experiences that Leonore Baeumler will discuss. Members of the Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Committee will set the scene as they read portions of the book. A discussion will follow.
The featured presentation, "Zeit Zeuge: Time Witness" by Leonore Baeumler will take place on Tuesday, April 29 at 4:00 pm in the UMD Weber Hall. Born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1928, Mrs. Baeumler was four years old when the Nazis came into power. She has vivid memories of her childhood and how the Nazi rule influenced her life: her father losing his job because he was "politically unreliable," her mother keeping the family going with her skills as a seamstress, her secretly joining a neighbor to go to a Nazi rally and watch Hitler, the beginnings of World War II, the horrors of the war, and the end of it.
She was in Nuremberg during the war crimes trial. She finished secondary school in 1948, worked as an employment counselor, and was active in the democratic re-education of German youth.
In 1953, Leonore and Walter Baeumler were married and shortly thereafter, they immigrated to the United States. They moved to Duluth in 1965 when Walter took a position in the Department of Sociology at UMD. Upon Walter's death in 1993, Leonore, along with Goldie and Walter Eldot and Mortrud Kaplan, established the Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Program. Their goal was to insure that the lessons of the Holocaust could be disseminated to the public at large, and especially to young people in the Twin Ports area.
Leonore says, "It is most important to me that we acknowledge the truth about what happened and that we find the courage to stand up to hatred. For me, the Holocaust is a symbol and the most extreme manifestation of hatred, lack of empathy, and indifference to human values and to humanity. I want my children and grandchildren to know that I don't want to be idly standing by, but that I want to be a witness."
April 24 – 27 and April 30 – May 3
"Dear Finder," a play written and produced by UMD Theatre Professor Tom Isbell, is returning to the UMD stage for the 10th anniversary of its original production. Members of the Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Committee will lead a "talkback discussion" after each performance (except opening night). The play runs April 24 – 27 and April 30 – May 3. Tickets can be purchased through the UMD Marshall Performing Arts Center box office.