The Program in Jewish Studies, the William A. Wise Law Library at the University of Colorado Law School and cosponsors at the University of Colorado Boulder will honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a public lecture by visiting scholar Professor Nils Roemer and the highly acclaimed international exhibit Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich. Both are free and open to the public.
Roemer’s public lecture, “The Holocaust: Then and Now, Spanning the Void,” will take place Jan. 26 at Wittemyer Courtroom in the Wolf Law Building one day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27). The lecture is the fifth annual event hosted by CU Boulder’s Program in Jewish Studies in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
RSVPs are appreciated, as space is limited. Please email CUJewishStudies@colorado.edu or call 303-492-7143 to reserve a spot.
The "Memory Void" symbolic space at Jewish Museum Berlin evokes destruction and absence and recalls the Holocaust, as well as the many lives that might have been had the millions of people who died in the Holocaust lived to see another day.
In his lecture, Roemer will explore absence and voids as important aspects of remembrance, which are apparent in communal and family remembrances but often obscured in public commemorations in museums and on Holocaust remembrance days. He will develop the theme of absence and advance models of remembrance that view the Holocaust as a past event within the context of an annihilated future.
Roemer is the Stan and Barbara Rabin professor in Holocaust studies and the director of the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. He received his PhD in history from Columbia University in 2000.
In addition to his numerous published articles, Roemer is the author of Jewish Scholarship and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Germany: Between History and Faith (2005) and German City, Jewish Memories: The Story of Worms (2010). He is currently finishing a book-length study on Central European Jewish travel writing in the 20th century.
Roemer serves as a board member for the Leo Baeck Institute in London and is an external reviewer for multiple scholarly journals. He has received numerous fellowships, including one from the Center for Advanced Jewish Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich exhibit will be on display Jan. 5 through Jan. 30 at the William A. Wise Law Library in the Wolf Law Building. The exhibit has been shown in nearly 100 cities across Germany, the United States and other parts of the world. It is sponsored in conjunction with the American Bar Association and the German Federal Bar.
The idea for the exhibit was conceived in 1998 when an Israeli lawyer asked the regional bar of Berlin for a list of Jewish lawyers whose licenses had been revoked by the Nazi regime. The exhibit begins to provide a portrait of the fate of Jewish lawyers in Germany—stories that speak to how the Nazis purged Jewish lawyers as one of the early steps to attack the rule of law in their country.
“The regional bar decided not only to research a list of names, but also to try to find out more about the fates behind all those names,” said Axel Filges, past president of the German Federal Bar.
“Some were able to leave the country after the Nazis came into power, but very many of them were incarcerated or murdered," Filges said. "The non-Jewish German lawyers of those days remained silent. They failed miserably, and so did the lawyers’ organizations. We do not know why.”
After the Berlin bar transformed its research into an exhibit, other regional bars began asking whether they could show it and add their own research.
“So, like a puzzle, a portrait of the fate of Jewish lawyers in Germany has emerged step by step,” Filges said.
For more information about the lecture or exhibit, please visit colorado.edu/JewishStudies or call 303-492-7143.