WINNIPEG — Shoah Week in Winnipeg is scheduled for April 15 to 19 and this year’s program will feature talks by two young academics.
As is the norm, the week’s remembrance programs will begin with the annual Holocaust memorial service at Congregation Etz Chayim in Winnipeg’s North End, and will continue with the evening reading at the south Winnipeg Shaarey Zedek Synagogue of the Megillat Hashoah. The week concludes April 19 with the B’nai Brith-organized annual reading of names of Holocaust victims with family in Winnipeg and the annual public Holocaust commemoration in front of the Holocaust memorial on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature.
In between, the United Jewish People’s Order/Sholem Aleichem Community, as usual, will be having a program, this year featuring Karlee Sapoznik reprising her presentation of “The Holocaust by Bullets and Its Aftermath in My Shtetele of Berezne”, a recounting of the destruction her Zaida and Baba’s shtetl in Poland. Her grandparents, Sarah Hadassah Frankel and Moishe Sapoznik, are Holocaust survivors who came to Winnipeg after the war.
Karlee is a PhD candidate at York University and is also president, CEO and founder of Alliance Against Modern Slavery. She has written extensively on slavery and abolition, human rights, transnational history, genocide and memory, women’s and gender history, the Holocaust, and forced marriage. Among her other activities, she’s a member of the Canadian UNESCO Human Rights Education Ad Hoc Committee and a member of B’nai Brith Canada’s National Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research League for Human Rights.
For its annual Shoah Week program, the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada’s Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre, in co-operation with the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, is introducing a speaker with an impressive resume who is as of yet little-known to Winnipeg Jewish audiences.
“I first learned about Dr. Adam Muller from Yude Henteleff [a leading human rights activist] after he had invited Yude to speak to one of his university classes,” said Belle Millo, chair of the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre. (The course was titled Representations of the Holocaust.) “He is a modest fellow. No one I knew had ever heard of him before.”
Muller is an associate professor in the University of Manitoba’s department of English, film and theatre, with a special interest in the representation of mass violence and atrocity both in works of art and in such public spaces as the modern museum. In addition to his work in the faculty of arts, he is a research associate with the university’s Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, as well as its Centre for Defence and Security Studies, and the Mauro Centre for Peace.
As well, he has twice been a visiting scholar at Cornell University and recently completed a second fellowship at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
Muller’s topic will be “In the Footsteps of Monsters – the Perpetrators,” which will explore the tensions that have emerged between scholarly and popular conceptions of who was responsible for the Nazi genocide in trying to make sense of the Holocaust. Millo said that this year’s Annual Holocaust and Human Rights Symposium at the University of Winnipeg is scheduled for May 16 and will feature Holocaust survivor and educator Max Eisen of Toronto.