The Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches (ASC) hosted by the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at The University of Texas at Dallas recently brought together global leaders in Holocaust studies, attendees from universities, industry, nongovernmental organizations and members of the DFW community. In its 53rd year, the conference remains a pivotal forum for interfaith, international and interdisciplinary scholarship.
Scholars addressed the conference’s theme of “(Dis)Continuities in the Third Reich,” marking the 90th anniversary of Hitler’s rise to power, the 85th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogroms and the 80th anniversary of significant military losses and uprisings against the Nazis. Additionally, attendees discussed major turning points in the history of the Third Reich, their impact on the persecution and systematic extermination of European Jews and their subsequent remembrance.
Keynote guests included Dr. Martin Dean, who presented the Michael and Elaine Jaffe Lecture. Dean discussed how seismic shifts in Nazi policy in 1933, 1938 and 1943 dramatically impacted the trajectory of the Holocaust. A renowned scholar and member of the Academic Council of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, Dean remarked, “I was most impressed with the high quality of the presentations, and the ASC provided an excellent forum for junior and senior scholars to learn from each other.” Glenn Kurtz, who presented the Mitchell L. and Miriam Lewis Barnett Lecture, discussed his book, “Three Minutes in Poland,” his journey to identify those depicted in film footage that his grandfather recorded in 1938 Poland. Before the lecture, the Ackerman Center screened “Three Minutes — A Lengthening,” an award-winning documentary produced by Steve McQueen and narrated by Helena Bonham Carter based on Kurtz’s book.
“Of the many conferences I have attended, this one was something special. I am grateful to the Barnett family for the opportunity to share my research and the impact this story has had on the local population in Poland, with such an insightful, inclusive and learned community,” Kurtz said.
Plans for the 54th Annual Scholars’ Conference, scheduled for March 2-4, 2024, at The University of Texas at Dallas, are underway. For more information, visit ackerman.utdallas.edu.