CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will host a series of speakers, plays, films and other events April 29 through May 6 as part of the 14th annual Holocaust Memorial Week.

The City of Corvallis and Corvallis School District 509-J also are participating.

Established in 1987, the Holocaust Memorial Program at OSU has provided a forum for internationally recognized scholars, Holocaust survivors, and performing artists to appear on campus and in area schools, according to Paul Kopperman, a professor of hist ory and OSU and chair of the Holocaust Memorial Committee.

"The university has undertaken this obligation in the belief that educational institutions can do much to combat prejudice of all kinds - and to foster respect for the diversity that is America - by promoting an awareness of the Holocaust, since it so cl early points out the high cost of prejudice," Kopperman said.

"This year's program is probably our most innovative, and complex yet," he added. "We are incorporating performing arts into the program as well as inaugurating a 'day of immersion' to inform the public about other 20th-century episodes of mass murder."

The 2000 program will open with a performance of "Kindertransport," a play by Diane Samuels about a pre-war effort by Jewish parents to send their children from Germany and Austria to Britain. Performed by veteran community theater actors, "Kindertranspo rt" will open at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, at the Withycombe Hall Theater. Performances also are scheduled at 3 p.m. on April 30 and at 7:30 p.m. May 5-6. Admission to the play is free but a $5 donation is suggested to help defray production costs.

On Sunday, April 30, a community vigil, sponsored by Hillel, the OSU Jewish Students Union, will be held at 8 p.m. outside the Memorial Union.

Helen Epstein, a well-known author and the daughter of Holocaust survivors, will give a free public lecture, "Why Remember the Holocaust?" It will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 1, in LaSells Stewart Center's Construction and Engineering Auditorium. E pstein is affiliated with the Center for European Studies at Harvard University and the International Research Institute on Jewish Women at Brandeis. In her lecture, she will discuss her quest for information on her mother's early years in pre-war Czechos lovakia, and why the Holocaust should be remembered.

Will Keim, a noted inspirational speaker who visits college campuses all over the country, will give a lecture on Tuesday, May 2, called "Buber and the Ghettos." The lecture, which begins at 12:30 p.m. in Memorial Union 208, will focus on Martin Buber, an intellectual who narrowly escaped the perils of the Holocaust.

On Tuesday, May 2, a lecture-concert will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Corvallis (114 S.W. 8th St.). The program will include a number of songs sung in Polish ghettos, and a series of works performed by Dana Mazurkevich that were composed during the war by inmates at Terezin. A Holocaust survivor, Mazurkevich also will discuss her experiences. Born in 1941, she and her mother survived 13 different "selections," any of which could have resulted in their deaths, before she was smuggled out o f the ghetto to live out the war. Admission is free but a $8 donation is suggested to help defray costs.

Kopperman said the Holocaust program will begin including an annual "day of immersion," during which a group of events will inform the public about another 20th century episode of mass murder. On May 3, the program will focus speakers and exhibits on the fate of Chinese civilians during Japanese occupation from 1931-45.

A lecture by Abraham Cooper, looking at the responsibilities of governments to acknowledge past atrocities, will be a part of that "immersion." Cooper is associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. His lecture, "The Moral Power of Memory," wi ll begin at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, in Milam Auditorium. In that lecture, he will discuss his experiences in speaking with a delegation from the Japanese Diet about atrocities during the occupation.

Several other events, including films, are scheduled. The program follows:


  • Saturday, April 29

    7:30 p.m.: Theater: "Kindertransport," by Diane Samuels. A play based on interviews with the "kinder," some of the more than 10,000 children transported out of Germany prior to WWII. OSU's Withycombe Hall Theater. (Also April 30, and May 5-6)


  • Sunday, April 30

    3 p.m.: "Kindertransport" performed again (see April 29).

    8 p.m.: A community vigil, at the Memorial Union quad, sponsored by Hillel.


  • Monday, May 1

    Noon: Recitation of Kaddish, sponsored by Hillel, Memorial Union lounge.

    7:30 p.m.: Lecture: "Why Remember the Holocaust," by Helen Epstein, a daughter of Holocaust survivors, a professor at Harvard and Brandeis universities, and author of "Children of the Holocaust." LaSells Stewart Center.


  • Tuesday, May 2

    Noon: Recitation of Kaddish, sponsored by Hillel, Memorial Union lounge.

    12:30 p.m.: Lecture: "Buber and the Ghettos," by Will Keim, an inspirational speaker from Corvallis who wrote his dissertation on Martin Buber.

    7:30 p.m.: Lecture/concert: Dana Mazurkevich will perform works composed by inmates at Terezin, as well as music by Ernest Bloch and Max Bruch. The Holocaust survivor also will talk about her experience surviving 13 "selections" during the war, any of whi ch could have resulted in the deaths of her and her mother. Musicians Rachelle McCabe, Hamilton Chaifetz and Richard Poppino will join her for songs from Polish ghettos and music by Oliver Messiaen.


  • Wednesday, May 3

    Noon: Recitation of Kaddish, sponsored by Hillel, Memorial Union lounge.

    3 p.m.: Films: "In the Name of the Emperor," about the massacre of Chinese residents of Nanking by the Japanese in 1937; and "What Did Hirohito Know?" about Unit 731, which engaged in human experiments and research on germ warfare, killing thousands. Kidd er Hall Room 364.

    7:30 p.m.: Lecture: "The Moral Power of Memory," by Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. The lecture will focus on governments' responsibility to acknowledge past atrocities, and Cooper's research on the Japanese Diet. M ilam Auditorium.


  • Thursday, May 4

    Noon: Recitation of Kaddish, sponsored by Hillel, Memorial Union lounge.

    7:30 p.m.: Film: "The Quarrel," about two friends who are separated during the war and endure concentration camps. After the film, OSU philosopher Courtney Campbell will lead a discussion. LaSells Stewart Center.


  • Friday, May 5

    Noon: Recitation of Kaddish, sponsored by Hillel, Memorial Union lounge.

    3 p.m.: Films: "My Knees Were Jumping," a documentary about kindertransport, and "Visas and Virtues," a 1997 Academy Award-winner for best short film, dealing with Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese consul in Lithuania in 1940, who single-handedly prepared tho usands of travel visas opening an avenue of escape for Lithuanian and Polish Jews. Kidder Hall Room 364.

    7:30 p.m.: Theater: "Kindertransport." (See April 29)


  • Saturday, May 6

    7:30 p.m.: Theater: "Kindertransport." (See April 29)


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Paul Kopperman, 541-737-1265