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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

March 26, 2013
Deborah Petersen-Perlman | Associate Professor | Department of Communication | 218-726-7528|
Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann | Communication Associate | External Affairs | 218 726-7111 |

UMD's Baeumler Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration: "Recognizing an Unsung Hero"

DULUTH, MN – This year's Baeumler Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration honors the work of a relatively unknown American journalist. Varian Fry was a well-educated antifascist who arrived in Marseille in the autumn of 1940, determined to be of assistance to Europe's intellectual elite. His efforts resulted in the rescue of well over 1500 artists, writers, and philosophers, including Marc Chagall, Hannah Arendt, and sculptor, Jacques Lipchitz, whose work Sieur du Lhut (Sir Du Luth) presides over UMD's Ordean Court. All Baeumler Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration events are free and open to the public.

On Monday, April 15, award-winning journalist, author, and adjunct faculty member at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Sheila Isenberg will present "Mission Impossible: Varian Fry in Marseille" at 4:30 pm in Montague 70. The St. Louis Post Dispatch named Isenberg's book, A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry, one of the best books of 2001. Isenberg's 2011 book, Muriel's War, also deals with a Holocaust-era story. Both books will be available for purchase at Isenberg's presentation.

On Thursday, April 18, at noon, the Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Institute for International Studies will co-sponsor a brown bag presentation on "Nazi Concentration Camps: Sadism and Strategies for Cultural Annihilation," in the UMD Library Rotunda. Over this past winter break, Deborah Petersen-Perlman, associate professor in the UMD Communication Department, and Cindy Christian, director of the Alworth Institute, traveled to Nazi concentration camps in Europe.

The Jewish ghetto in the city of Terezin, in the Czech Republic, was used by the Nazis as propaganda to convince the world that Hitler had established a city for the Jews to protect them from the war. The best known and most notorious of the death camps was Auschwitz, in Poland. At least 960,000 Jews, as well as other prisoners, were killed at this notorious labor and death camp. In Germany, Ravensbruck served as the major camp for women. This was a personal trip for both Petersen- Perlman and Christian, and they will share their reactions and reflections, as well as provide information about the camps.

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