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Belfast Senior College

Historians and the Holocaust

with Bob Rackmales



Like my earlier Senior College course "Historians and Racial Conflict in America", this course will examine a complex historical event as interpreted by leading historians. These will include several who were featured in Ken Burns' recent PBS documentary "The U.S. and the Holocaust", including Timothy Snyder ("Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin"), Daniel Okrent ("The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians and Other European Immigrants Out of America"). We will also consider recent works by historians Jeffrey Herf ("Israel's Moment: International Support for and Opposition to Establishing the Jewish State, 1945-1949) and David Kertzer ("The Pope at War: The Secret History of Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler"). A complete class schedule, with links to videos and recommended readings can be found here.

This will be my tenth Senior College course dealing with aspects of the Holocaust. My interest stems from a combination of family history (my ancestors' roots were in the "bloodlands"), academic background in German and Eastern European history, and my profession as a diplomat. Over the course of my career I represented the United States at a memorial service at the only Holocaust extermination camp in Italy, advised Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel during his visit to Belgrade during the war in Bosnia, and, as Director of the Office of Human Rights, provided policy guidance on matters relating to violations of international law.

  • Mar 30 - May 4th, 2023
    Thu for 6 weeks from 9:30 - 11:30 am

    Will run

Hutchinson Center


University of Maine Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave
Belfast, ME 04915 Get directions

Room: Auditorium

Location map for Hutchinson Center

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