CORVALLIS - A talk on "Genocidal Mentality - Nazi Doctors and the Holocaust," will be a focal point of Oregon State University's Holocaust Memorial Week observance this month (April).

The lecture, by Robert Jay Lifton, is one of a series of public talks, discussions, films and exhibits starting on Sunday, April 14, that focus on the political and social turmoil of the period, said Miriam Orzech, OSU's director of pre-college-SMILE programs.

Eighteen million people - Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, the disabled, Jehovah's Witnesses, leftists, artists - were locked in 520 Nazi camps before and during World War II, according to German government estimates. Eleven million, about half of them Jews, died.

Lifton's talk, which is free and open to the public, is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18, in OSU's LaSells Stewart Center, 26th Street and Western Boulevard. Lifton is a renowned professor of psychiatry and psychology from the John Jay College, City University of New York, Orzech said.

The week begins at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 14, with a dramatic reading of the novella "Address Unknown," also at LaSells Stewart Center, Orzech said. Directed by Charlotte Headrick and read by Neil Davison and Ze'ev Orzech, the story is based on an exchange of letters started in 1933 between an American Jew and a German who returned to his country after some time in the U.S.

The story reflects in personal terms the situation in Germany and the world as Hitler comes to power. Headrick is an OSU associate professor of speech communication; Davison is an OSU assistant professor of English; and Orzech is an OSU professor emeritus of economics.

Scheduled events, most of them free, include:

  • Sunday, April 14

    7:30 p.m.: "Address Unknown," a dramatic reading of letters between two business partners and friends. OSU's LaSells Stewart Center, 26th Street and Western Boulevard.

  • Monday, April 15

    7:30 p.m.: "Rescue and Resistance in Denmark During the German Occupation, 1940-45," a talk by Knud Dyby, a former member of the Danish police force who played a significant role in the rescue of Danish Jews. His talk is preceded by "Rescue in October," a short film. LaSells Stewart Center.

  • Tuesday, April 16

    7:30 p.m.: "German Historians Debate the Significance of the Holocaust in the History of Germany," a talk by Frank Unger, a professor of political science at the Free University of Berlin and currently a fellow of the OSU Center for the Humanities, working on a book comparing neo-Nazi movements in contemporary Germany and the U.S. (LaSells Stewart Center)

  • Wednesday, April 17

    7 p.m.: "Two," A play that explores good and evil as a former SS member and a rabbi interact in 1948. Cost, $5 to cover play royalties. Staged at Beit Am, 625 N.W. 36th St.

  • Thursday, April 18

    7:30 p.m.: "Genocidal Mentality Ä Nazi Doctors and the Holocaust," a talk by Robert Jay Lifton, professor of psychiatry and psychology at John Jay College, City University of New York, and an award-winning author. LaSells Stewart Center.

  • Friday, April 19

    Noon: "Reflections on the Holocaust," a community discussion about the Holocaust and its meaning, as well as reflection on the week's activities. Westminster House, 23rd Street and Monroe Avenue.

Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.


Miriam Orzech, 541-737-2388