March 23, 2010
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab
SRU Holocaust Remembrance lecture features Jud Newborn
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Jud Newborn, co-author of "Sophie Scholl and The White Rose," will deliver Slippery Rock University's annual Holocaust Remembrance lecture at 4 p.m. April 1.
The free lecture, formally titled "Speaking Truth to Power, Sophie Scholl and The White Rose, anti-Nazi Resistance - Role Models in the Fight for Freedom Today," will be presented in Miller Auditorium.
Newborn is a New York-based author, lecturer, cultural anthropologist and curator. He was a pioneer in the creation of Holocaust museums and helped build New York's Museum of Jewish Heritage by serving as its founding historian and curator. He has served as the museum's senior research historian and consulting curator. His responsibilities include shaping the form and content of its exhibits and ensuring their accuracy and credibility.
His most recently co-authored work "Sophie Scholl and the White Rose," published in 2006 by Oneworld Publications, provides a historical account of the White Rose, a group formed in part by German Christian students - some former Hitler Youth fanatics - who were part of the German anti-Nazi resistance in the 1940s. The book's co-author is Annette Dumbach.
Newborn is a wide-ranging lecturer who has spoken throughout North America and worldwide. He is known for dramatic multimedia programs that set unsung aspects of the Holocaust, among other subjects, within the context of such compelling, contemporary issues as the rise of extremism, oppression, fanaticism and genocide, in order to inspire audiences to join in the fight for freedom and "our shared humanity."
Educated at New York University, Cambridge University and the University of Chicago, which awarded him his doctorate with distinction in 1994 for his dissertation, "Work Makes Free": The Hidden Cultural Meanings of the Holocaust; (Work Makes Free: English translation of Nazi forced labor camp slogan Arbeit Macht Frei)."
Newborn uses the first leaflet distributed by the student group at the University of Munich in 1943 as the basis of his book and lecture.
The leaflet, reads in part, "Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct. It is certain that today every honest German is ashamed of his government. Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes - crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure - reach the light of day. If the German people are already so corrupted and spiritually crushed that they do not raise a hand, frivolously trusting in a questionable faith in lawful order of history; if they surrender man's highest principle, that which raises him above all other God's creatures, his free will; if they abandon the will to take decisive action and turn the wheel of history and thus subject it to their own rational decision; if they are so devoid of all individuality, have already gone so far along the road toward turning into a spiritless and cowardly mass -then, yes, they deserve their downfall."
"Goethe speaks of the Germans as a tragic people, like the Jews and the Greeks, but today it would appear rather that they are a spineless, will-less herd of hangers-on, who now find the marrow sucked out of their bones, robbed of their center of stability - are waiting to be hounded to their destruction. So it seems, but it is not so�We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!"
The students who distributed the flier were arrested, charged with treason, found guilty and beheaded.
The book describes the passionate young German university students who launched one of the most daring acts of anti-Nazi resistance. Proclaiming Hitler's mass murder of Jews to be "a crime unparalleled in history."
An accomplished public speaker, author and advocate of human rights, film arts and the environment, Newborn's lectures have been called "compelling." His works have been reviewed by Newsweek and The New York Times and by such institutions as the United Nations, Princeton's Jewish Center and the Hebrew Union College.
In addition to his museum and lecture work, Newborn worked at Oxford University Press before heading to the University of Chicago and served three years of European fieldwork as a Fulbright Fellow, where his work included hunting down former SS officers for interviews.
His parents Solomon and Rita Newborn founded Long Island's Plainview Jewish Center. The New York native discovered that many of his mother's family had been murdered by the Nazis.
He also authored "Shattering the German Night," published in 1986 by Little, Brown.
Since 1986, he has served as special consultant to the Cinema Arts Centre.
Richard Martin, professor of political science, arranged the program.
SlipperyRock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.