University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance

Past Programs & Events

Aug 22, 2012

Student-Docent Training for High School Students

In this half-day workshop, conducted at the Institute in the exhibition hall, student-docents studied in depth both the origins of and teaching approaches to the permanent exhibition, “A Reason to Remember:  Roth, Germany 1933-1942.”  On successfully completing this workshop, Student Docents are invited to return as tour facilitators working in tandem with their supervising teachers to guide their high school peers and classmates through this exhibition.

Jun 14, 2012

The Minister’s War: Educators’ 25-minute Version

The Film-story of American Rescue during the Holocaust

Followed by Q&A with film-maker Artemis Joukowsky and reception! 

The Minister’s War tells the story of Waitstill Sharp, a Unitarian minister, and his wife Martha, a social worker, who just days prior to the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, left their young children and home in Wellesley, MA to begin what would become a perilous, heroic journey. At a time when most Americans were turning a blind eye to the gathering clouds in Europe, this pair rushed headlong into the storm, where they faced arrest, torture, and perhaps worse from the Gestapo had they been captured while aiding Jews and anti-Nazi dissidents escape Czechoslovakia and later France. Who were these “American Schindlers”? What lay behind their willingness to put the well-being of their fellow human beings ahead of their own comfort and family? What is their legacy for us today?”

“We realized that we were living at the front lines against Nazism. We had never felt such an urge to act before it was too late — to serve these brave people, to help them save their world and our own.” -- Martha Sharp

To find out more about THE MINISTER’S WAR Contact:

Artemis Joukowsky:

Sandri Valente:

Emma Blaxter:

Download a pdf flyer for this event

May 4, 2012

Present Company Excluded

The Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at UMass Amherst and the Yiddish Book Center are pleased to present a bold new play from The Drama Studio, inspired by the Institute’s powerful Holocaust teaching exhibit, “A Reason to Remember: Roth, Germany 1933-1942.”

Written by Doug Foresta and directed by Dan Morbyrne, Present Company Excluded will be performed at The Yiddish Book Center in the Applebaum-Driker Theater on Friday, May 4th at 12:00 p.m., Saturday, May 5th at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 6th at 2:00 p.m. The Yiddish Book Center is located in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building, at 1021 West Street, Amherst.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for students, seniors, and Yiddish Book Center members. Reservations are very strongly recommended and tickets can only be reserved online at Any additional questions regarding the performance can be directed to The Drama Studio at (413) 739-1983.

Apr 25, 2012

Roundtable on the Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe

With Omer Bartov, Joanna Michlic, and John-Paul Himka

In honor of the Spring publication of Bringing the Dark to Light:  The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe, co-edited by Joanna Michlic and John-Paul Himka, the IHGMS is very pleased to host a roundtable discussion of Holocaust reception in post-communist Europe , with the co-editors and one of their esteemed authors, Omer Bartov.  The roundtable will be moderated by James Young, Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at UMass Amherst.  Admission is free, but seating is limited to 100.  A reception and book-signing will follow.


Omer Bartov is the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at Brown University and chair of the department of History. He was born and raised in Israel and received his BA degree from Tel Aviv University. He was awarded his D.Phil. from Oxford University in 1983, and taught at Tel Aviv University until 1989. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His books include The Eastern Front, 1941-45 (1985), Hitler's Army (1991), Murder in Our Midst (1996), Mirrors of Destruction (2000), Germany's War and the Holocaust (2003), The "Jew" in Cinema (2005), and Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine (2007). His books have been translated into many languages. Bartov has also written for such magazines as The New RepublicThe NationThe Times Literary SupplementThe New York Times Book ReviewThe Washington Post, and other European and Israeli journals. He is now completing a new book, The Voice of Your Brother’s Blood: Buczacz, Biography of a Town, to be published with Simon & Schuster in the next couple of years.

John-Paul Himka is Professor of History at the University of Alberta. He served as co-editor for history for The Encyclopedia of Ukraine, Vols. 3-5. He has also written four monographs on Ukrainian history and edited or co-edited six other books. Currently he is working on Ukrainians and the Holocaust. His 2009 Mohyla lecture was published by Heritage Press (Saskatoon) as Ukrainians, Jews, and the Holocaust: Divergent Memories. In 2011 he received the J. Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research.

Joanna Beata Michlic is a social and cultural historian, and founder and Director of HBI (Hadassah-Brandeis Institute) Project on Families, Children, and the Holocaust at Brandeis University.  Her publications include Neighbors Respond: The Controversy about Jedwabne (2004), co-edited with Antony Polonsky;  and Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present (2006), and the forthcoming Bringing the Dark to Light: The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe, co-edited with John-Paul Himka (2013). She is also the editor of the forthcomingJewish Families in Europe, 1939-Present: History, Representation, and Memory (2014).  Her two current research topics are the history of rescuers of Jews and East European Jewish childhood, 1945-1950.

Apr 12, 2012

The Memory of State Terrorism in Latin America

A Roundtable Discussion

This discussion will take place at 4 p.m., with Max Page, Professor of Architecture, University of Massachusetts;  Karen Robert, Professor of History, St. Thomas University, Canada;  Ilan Stavans, Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture, Amherst College; and Joel Wolfe, Professor of History, University of Massachusetts.

This program is also a fundraiser for the publication of Memorias en la Ciudad (Memories in the City), an important work on the sites of state terrorism in Buenos Aires, which has been accepted for publication by the University of Massachusetts Press.  It will be edited by Max Page, with an essay on memory culture in Latin America by Ilan Stavans, and translation assistance by Karen Robert.  Max Page’s photographs of sites of memory in Buenos Aires will be available, as well as Ilan Stavans’ fotonovela Once@9:53am.  All proceeds will go toward the publication subvention.