Oskar Schindler, Raphael Lemkin, and the Question of Genocide: The Trial of Amon Goeth

October 1 •7 p.m.
Wallace All Faiths Chapel, Fish Interfaith Center

Dr. DaDr. David Crowevid N. Crowe
Professor of History, Elon University
Professor of Legal HIstory, Elon University School of Law
Author of Oskar Schindler: The Untold Story of His Life, Wartime Activities, and the True Story Behind the List (2004)

In this groundbreaking lecture, Professor David Crowe explores the intersection among Oskar Schindler, a Nazi Party member who became a rescuer; Raphael Lemkin, a Jewish émigré lawyer from Poland who worked tirelessly to promote the concept of genocide; and Amon Goeth, the sadistic Nazi who implemented genocide.

The Plaszów concentration and forced labor camp is forever linked to the name of its brutal commandant, SS Hauptsturmführer Amon Goeth. In March 1943, Oskar Schindler persuaded Goeth to allow him to build his own sub-camp near his Emalia factory so that his Jewish workers would not be subjected to Goeth’s unpredictable brutality and random executions. By doing so, he saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews.

After the war Goeth was the first person charged, tried, and convicted for crimes of genocide – two years before the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was approved by the United Nations.

Dr. David Crowe is a professor of history at Elon University and professor of legal history at Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is president emeritus of the Association for the Study of Nationalities at Columbia University and was a member of the Education Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum from 1990-2004. His many books include Crimes of State, Past and Present: Government-Sponsored Atrocities and International Legal Responses (2010); A History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia (2nd ed., 2007), and The Holocaust: Roots, history, and Aftermath (2008). Dr. Crowe’s most recent book War Crimes, Genocide and Justice: A Global HIstory will be published by Palgrave Macmillian this year.

Dr. Crowe has testified before the Unites States’ Congress on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the New York City Council’s Subcommittee on Immigration. He has also appeared on CNN International, BBC radio, and numerous television and radio programs throughout North America, Europe, and Israel. Dr. Crowe has served as an expert witness in scores of court cases in the United States and Canada involving Roma, Russians and other ethnic groups.

Dr. Richard HovannisianComments by Dr. Richard Hovannisian
Emeritus Professor of Armenian and Near Eastern History,
University of California, Los Angeles
Chancellor Fellow, Chapman University
Author of The Armenian Genocide: Cultural and Ethical Legacies (2007)