Dallaire opens Holocaust Education Series

September 1, 2005
27 Av, 5765

Retired general Roméo Dallaire, whose pleas to the international community to intervene in the impending genocide in Rwanda in 1994 fell on deaf ears, will open the eighth annual Holocaust Education Series sponsored by the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre Sept. 11.

Dallaire, now a senator, was commander of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in Rwanda at the time of the massacre of approximately one million people over 100 days.

His topic at the opening event, to be held at the Imperial Cinema at 7:30 p.m., is “The Eternal Return of Indifference: From the Holocaust to Rwanda.”

Justice Minister Irwin Cotler will also speak on “The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights: What Have We Learned and What Must We Do?”

The series includes more than 40 events until Oct. 2, held at various venues, including religious and academic institutions, cultural centres and museums. Most are open to the public free of charge.

There are lectures, films, exhibits, survivor testimonies and other presentations, which use the lessons of the Holocaust to raise awareness of the importance of fighting not only anti-Semitism but also all forms of hate, intolerance and injustice.

Highlights include appearances by Robert Jan van Pelt, a witness against Holocaust deniers because of his expertise on the architecture of Auschwitz; war-crimes prosecutor Donald MacIntosh, who was a key figure in Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel’s case; Concordia University professor Donald Boisvert, who is speaking on the persecution of homosexuals by the Nazi regime; and York University professor Sara Horowitz on women and the Holocaust.

“We can’t change the past, but each of us can become an agent of change for the future,” said series chair Miriam Schuster. “We hope this year’s program will raise awareness of human rights and moral responsibility, while fostering a keener appreciation of the sanctity of life.

The complete program is available on the website: www.mhmc.ca, or phone 345-2605.


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