CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University’s 34th annual observance of Holocaust Memorial Week next month will feature a talk by speaker and author Marion Blumenthal Lazan, a Holocaust survivor who spent nearly four years of her childhood in concentration camps.

In the late 1930s, the Blumenthal family escaped Nazi Germany and settled in the Netherlands. However in 1942, when Lazan was 4 years old, they were seized and deported to the first in a series of concentration camps, including Bergen-Belsen, regarded as one of the most notorious and deadly camps during the last phase of World War II. Lazan, known for her Holocaust memoir “Four Perfect Pebbles” and for giving talks around the world about her experiences, will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, April 5, via Zoom. To register, visit this link.

Holocaust Memorial Week is presented by the School of History, Philosophy and Religion in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. Major sponsors include Beit Am, the city of Corvallis, the Office of the Provost and the Center for the Humanities. All events are free and open to the public.

Holocaust Memorial Week event schedule:  

Monday, April 5
Talk: Marion Blumenthal Lazan, “Survival.” 7 p.m. via Zoom.

Tuesday, April 6
Play and Presentation: Roger Grunwald, “The Mitzvah Project.” Roger Grunwald's mother was an Auschwitz survivor who, in her later years, regularly spoke to young audiences about her experiences during the Holocaust. To honor his mother's memory, Grunwald, a classically trained actor, co-created The Mitzvah (“The Good Deed”), a Holocaust-themed one-act, one-person play, which he has been performing around the world since its premiere in 2014. This event will include a recorded performance of The Mitzvah and a talk on the broad themes of identity and on “Why do we demonize ‘the other?’” It will conclude with a Q&A. 7 p.m. via Zoom. To register, visit this link.

Wednesday, April 7
Talk: Jennifer Evans, “Social Media and the Long Shadow of the Holocaust.” Jennifer Evans, a professor of history at Carleton University (Ottawa), is currently working on a monograph on the intersection of social media and Holocaust memory. In this talk, she will discuss how platforms like Facebook are used to discuss the Holocaust — sometimes to minimize or even deny it, but often to spread knowledge of it and of the lessons that are implicit in it. 7 p.m. via Zoom. To register, visit this link.  

Thursday, April 8
Concert: “The OSU Choirs Sing of the Holocaust and of Healing.” This event will present the video recording of a concert that took place in 2019 at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., featuring the OSU choirs under the direction of Steven M. Zielke, Sandra Babb and Russell Christensen performing on tour. The choirs performed with the Children’s Chorus of Washington Concert Chorus, the Post-Classical Ensemble, soloists and Cantor. On the program: “Schlof Main Kind (Sleep, my child),” a traditional German lullaby, sung across the generations with a variety of lyrics and themes, some of them recalling Jewish culture; and “To Be Certain of the Dawn,” an oratorio with music composed by Stephen Paulus and a libretto authored by Michael Dennis Browne. This event is presented in collaboration with the School of Arts and Communication, OSU Choirs and Accent Concerts. Noon via YouTube Premiere on the College of Liberal Arts' YouTube Channel.

Thursday, April 8
Panel: Michael O’Malley and guests, “Teaching the Holocaust.” Moderated by Mike O’Malley of the OSU College of Education and specifically of interest to those who teach K-12 or plan to teach K-12, this panel will feature three educators who regularly teach units on Holocaust-related issues in elementary, middle and high school. The panelists will discuss their approaches to teaching this subject, what appears to have worked well and what has proven to be challenging. After the panel presentation, members of the audience will be encouraged to share their views on how Holocaust-genocide education can be provided most effectively in the schools. 7 p.m. via Zoom, Meeting ID 992 0025 7561, Password 053924.

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 36,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport, OSU Portland Center and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Story By: 

Erin O’Shea Sneller, [email protected]


Paul Kopperman, [email protected]

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