Indiana State University Library

Indiana State University Library Blog

November 9-14: Night of Broken Glass Events include Library Venue

Posted by isulib on November 1, 2015


Indiana State University, in collaboration with CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, is sponsoring a week of lectures, music, dramatic performances, exhibits and films to increase awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides.

Nearly 80 years ago — on November. 9-10, 1938 — Nazis in Germany and Austria torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed nearly 100 Jews. These violent events, called Kristallnacht or “Night of Broken Glass,” ended with nearly 30,000 Jewish men arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps.  While German Jews had been subjected to repressive policies since 1933 when Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany, until Kristallnacht, these Nazi policies had been primarily nonviolent. After Kristallnacht, however, conditions grew increasingly worse. The events are seen as a turning point in Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews, which culminated in the attempt to annihilate all of Europe’s Jews.

All programs are free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Dorothy Chambers, CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, 812-234-7881 or or Brad Venable, department of art and design, Indiana State University,

Monday, November 9th through Saturday, November 28th at Cunningham Memorial Library Exhibit: “Whoever Saves a Single Life: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust”“Whoever Saves a Single Life” showcases some of those rare but exceedingly important instances where people fought to safeguard their Jewish fellow citizens during the Holocaust. In a time of overwhelming death and destruction, rescuers did not stand by silently. They chose another way, and their bravery offers us a glimmer of hope.

This exhibit is presented courtesy of The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR), which provides monthly financial support to aged and needy non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust and preserves their legacy through its national Holocaust education program. The JFR is grateful to the Conference on Jewish Materials Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference ) for its generous support of this exhibit.

Monday, November 9 at 5:00 p.m. in the Bayh School of Ed University Hall Theatre, Indiana State University Keynote Address: “The Lesson of Kristallnacht: The Importance of Speaking up for All Groups Targeted with Bias, Hate and Violence” by Steve Wessler, human rights educator, trainer, and advocate

Steve Wessler works in the United States and Europe through conflict resolution, training, and advocacy to provide communities with skills and strategies to protect targeted groups from the devastating impact of bias-motivated violence.

Monday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the United Hebrew Congregation, 540 S. 6th Street, Terre Haute Two Presentations: “My Memories of Kristallnacht” by Walter Sommers, Holocaust survivor and docent at CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center; and “Czech Survivor # 32379” by Scott Skillman of the United Hebrew Congregation, about the extraordinary history of a special torah.

On November 9, 1938, 17-year-old Walter Sommers pedaled his bicycle home from the import-export office where he was an apprentice, surveying the broken shop windows and trying to understand what was happening. A few blocks down the street, Sommers passed the synagogue where he attended services. It was engulfed in flames. Firefighters stood by and Nazi storm-troopers supervised the people in the street to make sure they didn’t try to put out the blaze. On the 77th  anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” Walter Sommers will share his memories from that day and talk about his family’s choice to emigrate to the United States.

“From a town of 543 Jews in 1938, I am one of only sixteen survivors. All sixteen, like me, are torahs stolen from our home by Nazis and their supporters. We were given numbers, written on our bodies, and placed in a warehouse where we sat neglected for 22 years. I was liberated in 1964 by an English group who bought us from the communist government. All of the people in my town were transported to Terezin concentration camp in 1942, and none survived to return to use me. My 15 brothers and I are all that are left to tell the story of the Jews in Pardubice, Czech Republic. My story is long and my people were once numerous. The story of how I was saved when so many others were burned or trashed is remarkable and speaks to human nature itself, both the good and the not so good. Through it all, my words and the message they represent endure and continue to teach lessons.”

Tuesday, November 10 at 3:30 p.m. in Cunningham Library EVENTS AREA, Indiana State University | College of Arts and SciencesLecture: “Kristallnacht as Turning Point: Jewish Lives and Nazi Policy” by Christopher Fischer, ISU Associate Professor of History

Kristallnacht marked not just a night of violence, arson, and terror for Germany’s Jews, but a major watershed in both their lives and the policies of the Nazi regime. The regime used the opportunity to tighten the economic stranglehold on Jews and accelerate the pace of Jewish emigration; for Germany’s remaining Jews, Kristallnacht’s trauma served to hasten the drive to leave the country. Dr. Fischer’s talk will thus put the pogrom in its broader context and sketch out how it set the stage for what was to follow.

Tuesday, November 10 at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in the Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts Recital Hall, Indiana State UniversityEvent: Coming to See Aunt Sophie, a play written by Arthur Feinsod, ISU Professor of Theater, and directed by Dale McFadden, IU Professor of Acting and Directing

The play is based on the true story of Jan Karski, a humble Polish-Catholic courier for the Underground during World War II, who risked his life many times to alert world leaders about the Nazi persecution of the Polish Jews. With the secret code phrase “Coming to see Aunt Sophie,” Karski worked his way through Nazi-occupied Europe, finally ending up in the United States and giving his report in July 1943 to FDR himself.  It is a remarkable story about a man who was a hero to everyone but himself and whose experiences of trying to alert the world and failing to prevent the Holocaust haunted him the rest of his life. This play has been performed in Germany, Poland, Australia, as well as in three American cities and has been translated into Polish and Hungarian.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in Tilson Hall Auditorium, Indiana State University Event: A concert of reflection performed by Indiana State University Wind Orchestra and guest artists Eric Rohde and Paul Green, conducted by ISU Associate Professor of Music Roby G. George

The special concert will feature an opening performance of the theme from Steven Spielberg’s epic film, Schindler’s List, performed by faculty with guest violin soloist, Erik Rohde. Also in the program is the composition Night by Robert Rumbelow, based on impressions evoked by the novel Night by 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Elie Wiesel. The first half of the program ends with a performance of Scott McAllister’s Black Dog, featuring clarinet soloist Paul Green. Mr. Green, a Jewish-American artist, performs the second half of the concert with a faculty jazz ensemble led by pianist John Spicknall, with music based on the klezmer style.

Wednesday, November 11 at 11:00 a.m. in the Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts Recital Hall, Indiana State University Lecture: “A Talk on Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time” (Performance will be held on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts Recital Hall) by Terry Dean, ISU Assistant Professor of Musicology and Gender Studies

Olivier Messiaen’s Quatuor Pour la Fin du Temps (“Quartet For the End of Time”) for cello, piano, clarinet, and violin was composed in a POW camp in Nazi-controlled Silesia. The composer recalled its premiere in early 1941 this way: “The Stalag was buried in snow. We were 30,000 prisoners (French for the most part, with a few Poles and Belgians). The four musicians played on broken instruments … the keys on my upright piano remained lowered when depressed … it’s on this piano, with my three fellow musicians, dressed in the oddest way … completely tattered, and wooden clogs large enough for the blood to circulate despite the snow underfoot … that I played my quartet.” This recollection has been challenged, even by members of the quartet itself: while Messiaen remembers thousands in the audience, the camp hall could hold at most 500; his piano was not as imperfect as he describes; and his insistence that the cellist only perform with three strings has been repeatedly denied by the cellist himself. Nonetheless, few dispute the significance of the work itself, one of the most important to be produced in the 20th century.

Wednesday, November 11 at 12 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Whitaker Room at ISU’s Bayh College of Education. Reception will follow. Lecture: “Arno Breker: The Afterlife of Fascist Aesthetics” by Brett Ashley Kaplan, Professor and Conrad Humanities Scholar in the Department of Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois

Brett Ashley Kaplan is the director of the Program in Jewish Culture and Society and holds affiliation with the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory. Professor Kaplan is the author of Jewish Anxiety and the Novels of Philip Roth (Bloomsbury Press, 2015); Landscapes of Holocaust Postmemory (Routledge 2010); Unwanted Beauty: Aesthetic Pleasure in Holocaust Representation (Univ. of Illinois Press, 2006). Arno Breker (1900 – 1991), German sculptor, gained notoriety as “Hitler’s favorite sculptor.” His public sculptures were prized during the Third Reich as representations of Nazi eugenic ideology. A reexamination of his work has been ongoing since a 2006 exhibit in Germany.

Wednesday, November 11 at 3:30-5:00 p.m. in Cunningham Library EVENTS AREA, Indiana State University Lecture: “Genocide: New Questions, Fresh Perspectives” a two-part lecture by Isaac Land, ISU Associate Professor of History, and Brendan Corcoran, ISU Associate Professor of English

Dr. Land’s talk, “What is the opposite of genocide?” considers genocide from an unfamiliar angle: What can we learn from communities where diverse groups seem to coexist for centuries without many problems? What qualities do they cultivate that make this possible? Is there such a thing as a genocide-proof society? Dr. Land will draw on theories about this subject, including cosmopolitanism, super-diversity, and Saskia Sassen’s “global city.” He will also discuss specific examples and anecdotes of tolerant port towns around the world, as well as many “formerly tolerant port towns” where coexistence ended in violence.

Wednesday November 11 at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in the Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts Recital Hall, Indiana State University Event: “Letters from Camp,” a staged reading of family correspondences of Laura Bates, ISU Professor of English, and directed by Arthur Feinsod, ISU Professor of Theater

Fifty million people became refugees during World War Two, having fled their homelands seeking safety from Nazi and Soviet atrocities. English Department Professor Laura Bates’ mother spent five years in refugee camps, searching for relatives, finding none, and facing post-war hardships alone. This play is based on the letters and journal writings from those years. It offers a glimpse into the kind of trauma that is being endured by more than fifty million refugees around the world today.

Thursday, November 12 | College of Arts and Sciences Event: “Children’s Art from the Terezin Concentration Camp” exhibit opening and reception, organized and curated by Brad Venable, ISU Associate Professor, Department of Art and Design

Monday, November 9 – November 20, from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Turman Gallery of the Fine Arts Department, Indiana State University

Reception: Thursday, November 12 from 4:30 p.m., followed by lecture (see below)

Only 69 kilometers from Prague, the fortress of Theresienstadt (Terezin) became a Jewish concentration camp after German forces expanded into Czechoslovakia during the late 1930s. Under the pretext of protecting the Jews from the horrors of war, Hitler sent thousands to be housed there, where the population swelled to over 55,000. Many were notable artists, writers, and musicians, who like the other inhabitants, eventually were transported to Auschwitz and killed. Over 97,000 Jews from Terezin died. Among them were 15,000 children, many of whom created art with the guidance of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, a former student of the Bauhaus School. This exhibit of 40 drawings from over 5,000 that were sneaked out of the camp offers a unique look at the tragic experience of these talented Jewish children. Along with this extraordinary exhibit, current students from Terre Haute North High School, West Terre Haute Middle School, and the ISU Community School of the Arts will display their own works of art that were created in response to the Holocaust.

Thursday, November 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts Recital Hall, Indiana State University Lecture: “Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and the Children’s Art of Theresienstadt: What the Pictures Reveal” by Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Art Education Program Susan K. Leshnoff, Ed.D., Department of Art, Music and Design, Seton Hall University, New Jersey

Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, a Bauhaus-trained artist and teacher who was transported to Theresienstadt (Terezin) in1942, committed herself to teaching art to the children in this Nazi ghetto camp until her murder two years later at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Dicker-Brandeis provides a powerful legacy of a heroic art educator working under the most heinous conditions to provide the children with an avenue for serenity through artistic self- expression.

Dr. Leshnoff’s slide presentation will focus on what the almost 6,000 drawings and paintings surviving the war reveal about the children’s experiences and the positive impact Dicker-Brandeis’ unique methods of teaching had on them.

Friday, November 13 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. in the Cunningham Library EVENTS AREA, Indiana State University Lecture: “Seen for Syria” by Soulaf Abas, ISU Lecturer in the Department of Art and Design

“Seen for Syria” is an art therapy and education initiative for the Syrian refugee children in Jordan. The project started in August 2013 when Ms. Abas was able to go to the refugee camps and work with the children for two-and-a-half months. During her stay, she worked with hundreds of children in Zaatari Camp as well as makeshift camps and host communities for Syrian refugee families in Amman. She worked on a daily basis with 75 children, planting gardens in the shape of the Syrian map (“Blooming Syria”); painting murals; and doing numerous art projects for groups and individuals to help the children channel the trauma they had been enduring through painting and drawing.

Friday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts Recital Hall, Indiana State UniversityConcert: “Quartet for the End of Time” by Olivier Messiaen and “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” by Director of ISU School for Music Paul Bro. Performed as part of the ISU School of Music’s Faculty Chamber Music concert

Saturday, November 14 at 1:00 p.m. at CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, 1532 South Third Street, Terre Haute. Admission: $5

Presentation: “Surviving the Angel of Death” by Eva Mozes Kor, Holocaust survivor, founding director of CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center

Saturday, November 14 at 4:00-6:30 p.m. at CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, 1532 South Third Street, Terre Haute  Film and Discussion: Ghosts of Rwanda, with discussion by Brendan Corcoran, ISU Associate Professor of English

Ghosts of Rwanda, a special two-hour documentary to mark the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, examines the social, political, and diplomatic failures that converged    to enable the genocide to occur. Through interviews with key government officials, diplomats, soldiers, and survivors of the slaughter, Ghosts of Rwanda presents groundbreaking, first-hand accounts of the genocide from those who lived it: the diplomats on the scene who thought they were building peace only to see their colleagues murdered; the Tutsi survivors who recount the horror of seeing their friends and family slaughtered by Hutu friends and co-workers; and the U.N. peacekeepers in Rwanda who were ordered not to intervene in the massacre happening all around them.

An open discussion with Professor Corcoran will follow the film.

List reprinted


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