Military museum to host Holocaust remembrance event
A former Brock University president will be the keynote speaker during an Honouring International Holocaust Remembrance Day event at Niagara Military Museum later this month.
Jack Lightstone, past president and current professor of history at Brock, will give an address titled: The making of ‘the other’ and its social and political consequences: lessons from the historical experience of the Jewish people.
The free event takes place Jan. 27 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the museum on Victoria Avenue in Niagara Falls. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m., with refreshments at 3:15 p.m.
The event will be held on the second floor. There is no elevator in the building.
It will be put on by The History Lab, a scholarly community engagement partnership between Brock’s department of history, Niagara Military Museum, and Seedling for Change in Society and Environment.
The goal of the partnership is to build, strengthen and promote collaboration between scholars and grassroots citizen organizations across Niagara to expand the knowledge economy.
This is the second year The History Lab and museum have partnered to present a Holocaust remembrance event and is part of a series of history-related functions on which both sides have collaborated.
Elizabeth Vlossak, a research fellow at The History Lab, said Lightstone is a scholar of early Jewish history. During his address, Lightstone will look at how “this long history” of treating Jewish people as “these outsiders or others” has had “these important social and political consequences leading up to the Holocaust.”
“What have we actually learned?” said Vlossak, associate professor at Brock’s department of history and director at Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.
“I think we tend to just sort of throw out the words of, ‘we shouldn’t forget, we can’t forget the Holocaust, we need to learn from the past and the horrors of what happened,’ but I think sometimes those words are kind of hollow because we don’t really understand what exactly was the Holocaust, how did it happen, how did we allow for it to happen.”
Vlossak said the event will not only provide attendees an opportunity to understand the Holocaust from a historical perspective, but also think about it in terms of more recent acts of genocide.
“Despite the fact that we keep saying we’re never going to let this happen again … we’re still allowing groups to be persecuted, so it really is an opportunity for us to … think about what are the lessons that we should be learning, how can we be preventing these types of atrocities from happening again.”
In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution designating Jan. 27 an annual international day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. It urged all member states to develop educational programs that will teach future generations about the lessons of the Holocaust to help prevent future acts of genocide.
A Holocaust Remembrance Day event is Jan. 27 at Niagara Military Museum in Niagara Falls.