sealPurdue News

March 8, 2002

Holocaust Remembrance Conference focuses on terrorism

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Reflecting current international concerns, the Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Conference will feature three speakers from Washington, D.C., who will share their expertise on terrorism.

Hillel Fradkin

The 21st annual conference, entitled "Post-Holocaust Global Terrorism," will take place Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, in the Class of 1950 Lecture Hall at Purdue University. The speakers include Hillel Fradkin, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., who will open the conference at 1:30 p.m. with the lecture "Radical Islam and Global Terrorism." Fradkin is an authority on Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

Lt. Col. Joseph Corrigan, a former West Lafayette resident who serves as the Pentagon liaison to Congress, will discuss current efforts to eradicate terrorism. The third speaker from Washington, D.C., is Todd Rosenblum, senior foreign affairs and national security adviser to Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh. He will draw from his experience with the State Department and Central Intelligence Agency for his speech, entitled "Winning the War Against Terrorism." Purdue students also will express their thoughts on terrorism during a panel discussion.

Conference coordinator Rabbi Gedalyah Engel says he is pleased so many speakers with top credentials will appear at this year's conference, for which the theme, "Post Holocaust Global Terrorism," is especially significant.

"The topic has special meaning for Americans and the world since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon," Engel says. "The 20 conferences to date, in dealing with the terrorism of the Holocaust, reflected an 'over there' American view of the conflict. Now it is 'over here,' as reflected in the views of Greater Lafayette citizens. What once was the task of arousing the awareness of Americans by reflecting on the Holocaust is now accepted as an American problem."

The conference's focus on international awareness also includes a repeat visit from Jin Xu, daughter of Chinese political prisoner Wenli Xu. Since her participation in 1999, The Holocaust Remembrance conferees have annually adopted a resolution calling for Wenli's freedom. During her appeal for "Freedom for My Father," Jin will address how the United States recently accepted China as an unqualified trading partner without requiring an annual review of China's human rights violations.

Grace Feueverger, an education professor at the University of Toronto, will make a presentation on international conflict resolution. Her comments reflect her experience as a child of Holocaust survivors.

Harlington Wood Jr., a U.S. Court of Appeals circuit judge in Springfield, Ill., will speak about Native American concerns. Wood, of Native American ancestry, served as the chief government negotiator at Wounded Knee, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where he helped avoid a repetition of an 1890 massacre.

Concurrent workshops include, "Teaching the Holocaust," "Conscience vs. Conformity," "Sweatshops," "Conflict Resolution," "Recognizing Differences in Sex and Gender" and "Radical Islam." The conference also will feature presentations by Holocaust survivors and witnesses. Rudolf Graichen, a Jehovah's Witness survivor of the Holocaust, and Paul Parks, a Purdue distinguished engineering alumnus who served as an army engineer in World War II, will describe their experiences. As a soldier, Parks entered concentration camps and befriended survivors.

Norman Salsitz, whose Polish Jewish family was killed by Nazis, will present his eyewitness account of the Holocaust, including how he survived confinement in two ghettos and three labor camps. Posing as a Christian, Salsitz later became a Polish army officer. Salsitz's cousin, Robert Ringel, an audio and speech sciences professor at Purdue who also served as the university's executive vice president for academic affairs, will bring Holocaust history up to date with "A Post-Shoah Search for My Heritage," which relates his recent trips to Poland.

Recognizing that Americans should be mindful in the present of atrocities in the past, the mayors of Greater Lafayette will read a Holocaust Conference proclamation Sunday. Survivors and their children also will kindle the Memorial Flame of Remembrance and the Candle of Hope.

All lectures and workshops are free and open to the public. For registration materials, contact Engel at (765) 743-1716,

The conference is sponsored by the Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Committee in cooperation with the Diocese of Lafayette, St. Thomas Aquinas Center, the Hillel Foundation, Purdue University's Ackerman Center, the School of Liberal Arts, the Jewish Studies Program, University Religious Leaders and the Tippecanoe County Ministerial Association. The committee is chaired by Marla Bluestein and Myra Mason. Sue Prohofsky serves as secretary. Grants are provided by the CINERGY Foundation, PSI Energy, Eli Lilly and Co. Tippecanoe Laboratories, and the Journal and Courier of the Gannett Foundation.

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Source: Rabbi Gedalyah Engel, (765) 743-1716,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Photos of other speakers are available by contacting Marydell Forbes, Purdue News Service, at (765) 496-7704,

Related Web sites:
Holocaust Remembrance Conference
Holocaust Remembrance Conference itinerary

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page