18th Annual Symposium on the Holocaust and Genocide

April 4-8, 2011

Confronting Genocide: 1915-2011

“Confronting Genocide: 1915-2011 is the theme of the 18th Annual Kleinmann Family Foundation Symposium. The underlying aim of the Symposium, which runs at Vanier from April 4th to 8th, is to alert young people to discrimination, racism and genocide in their many manifestations, and to help them learn about history in order to avoid repeating mistakes of the past. Eyewitness and first-hand accounts are often the best motivators to spark students into awareness, concern and action, and we are fortunate to have among us Holocaust survivors and one rescuer to offer their stirring personal testimonies. This year’s lineup also includes a remarkable new film, The Last Survivor, a feature documentary that focuses on the survivors of four different genocides and mass atrocities (the Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur, and Congo) and their struggle to make sense of their tragedy by working to educate, motivate and promulgate a civic response to mass atrocity crimes. One of the main strengths of the Symposium, in my view, is the way that important real-life lessons about ethical citizenship and moral courage find their way into the classroom. Participating students and teachers alike wrestle with these challenges in the context of their courses in psychology, sociology, English, Humanities, journalism, and history. The events listed below take place in ongoing courses; they are open to all, but seating may be limited. As always, we are grateful for the generous support of the Burman-Wajcer Foundation, the VCTA and VCSA and the teamwork of many services within the Vanier community.” – Neil Caplan