Students step away from a textbook Monday night to learn about the Holocaust


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Sean Proctor/Staff Photographer Rochester Hills junior Zac Kaczanowski listens while Dr. Gerhard Weinberg, a noted military historian, lectures on Hitler and the beginning of Holocaust on Monday evening in the Bovee University Center auditorium. Dr. Weinberg gave the inaugural lecture in the Central Michigan UniversityÕs Dr. Harold Abel Endowed Lecture Series in the Study of Dictatorship, Democracy and Genocide, which aims to bring distinguished scholars to campus to discuss the past, present, and future of worldwide genocide.

It was a time in Germany where people where enthusiastic about killing Jews.

It was that comment Holly senior Christine Hadley said stood out to her Monday night as Holocaust survivor Gerhard Weinberg spoke to a packed Bovee University Center Auditorium.

“It was surprising to me hearing people felt that way,” Hadley said. Weinberg, a 2009 recipient of the Pritzker Military Library Award for Lifetime Achievement, shared his experiences and knowledge of Adolf Hitler and Germany during World War II.

Weinberg has written many books about Hitler and WWII, and even edited for publication a book that Hitler himself dictated in 1928 but was never published.

Monday night Weinberg discussed the relevancy of the annihilation of the Jews with Hitler's plan for war.

Weinberg said Hitler planned to destroy all the Jews in Germany and Europe when addressing the German Parliament on Jan. 30, 1939.

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Gerhard Weinberg lectures on Hitler and the beginning of Holocaust on Monday evening in the Bovee University Center auditorium. Weinberg, a noted military historian, has edited or co-authored 10 books, including Adolf Hitler's book, based on notes dictated in 1928. Weinberg gave the inaugural lecture in the Central Michigan University's Harold Abel Endowed Lecture Series in the Study of Dictatorship, Democracy and Genocide, which aims to bring distinguished scholars to campus to discuss the past, present, and future of worldwide genocide. (Sean Proctor/Staff Photographer)

Students and guest unable to get into the auditorium huddled around the entrances of the doors listening in to what Weinberg said in his lecture.

Reed City graduate student Emily Miniear said she was impacted when Weinberg talked about the destruction of his synagogue during Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass.

Of all the horrible events throughout the Holocaust, this night affected him the most and remains with him still, Weinberg said.

“I felt that this was extremely powerful,” Miniear said. “It was the moment in his childhood that he lost faith in humankind. He spoke about this with great remorse, as if it was something he'd never regain.”

The world today is very much related too the events that took place in the period of 1939 to1945, Weinberg said. He believes the United Sates today grew out of the events from WWII.

He said education and teaching is key so that no one can forget what happened to bring the world at war.

“I lecture on this topic and time period because of the world today,” Weinberg said. “It is important to understand the Holocaust and war are the same.”

Weinberg's entire address will remain with her, Miniear said.

Ever since she read “The Diary of Anne Frank,” she realized the importance of education, she said.

“What else do we have left as individuals if not the ability to educate those generations that can make the difference?” Miniear said.

Stevensville freshman Josh Brummett was not really sure what to expect from the lecture, but he appreciated being able to get a first-hand experience on the time period without reading it in a textbook.

Weinberg said he knew at a very young age he wanted to teach.

“It was when I was kicked out of school in Germany at age 11,” Weinberg said. “We went to England and the teachers there were so nice I said then I want to do that.”

Miniear said one must always remember that education is key, and what Weinberg has done throughout his lifetime is a testament to that belief.


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