Thursday Evening, March 1, 2018

Conference includes Keynote Speaker, Workshop Options and Dinner
$18 - General (Four Units of Continuing Education)
$12 (College Students)

4:15 PM - Registration
4:30 PM - Dinner
5:10 PM - Keynote Speaker
6:00 PM - Workshops



Keynote Speaker
Jeannie Opdyke Smith, Second Generation Holocaust Survivor

"One Person Can Make a Difference!"
Jeannie is part of a new generation of Holocaust Speakers who share life stories from their parent's first-hand experiences. Her mother, Irene Gut Opdyke, was a glimmer of light through the darkness that engulfed the world from 1939 to 1945. Against extraordinary odds, she hid a group of 12 Jews in the cellar of a Wehrmacht officer’s home. Israel honored her as a "Righteous Gentile"--one of thousands of non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. Jeannie is a member and speaker for the Oregon & Washington Holocaust Speakers Bureau, a regular speaker for the Bearing Witness Program, international speaker for the Jewish Federation of North America and various groups across the US and Canada. The story she tells, although filled with the horrors that the Holocaust holds, also relays the message that good triumphs over evil.

Session 1
6:00 PM - 7:25 PM



Nazi War Crimes Tribunals: What We Can Learn about the Holocaust from
Perpetrator Testimony? Ohlendorf’s Defense at the War Crimes Tribunal
Bjorn Krondorfer, PhD. Director,
Martin Springer Institute, Northern Arizona University

In this workshop, we will read and study together an extract from Otto Ohlendorf’s defense at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. Ohlendorf was the head of the Einsatzgruppe D (mobile killing unit) in the southern parts of the Soviet Union, including the Crimea. The records of his verbatim defense will be contrasted with other historical documents. This workshop offers materials for teachers to use in the classroom; it is open to anyone interested in this subject.


How to Teach Hitler's Rise?Volker Benkert, PhD, Philosophy, Arizona State University

Students often see the rise of Hitler as an inevitable outcome of Germany's defeat in WWI and the Great Depression. This presentation will argue that despite its obvious flaws the Weimar Republic withstood tremendous pressures and provided a significant amount of political, economical and diplomatic stability. Hitler's Rise thus emerges as the product not just of war and economic hardship but also because of deep-seated mistrust in the democratic order and its elites.


Book Discussion: In My Hands - Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke
Kim Klett, Regional Education Corps, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

This biography of Jeannie Opdyke Smith’s mother is one of the most remarkable books on the Holocaust. It details the life of an ordinary nursing student, thrown into adversity, who demonstrates extraordinary courage and humanity responding to a group of Jews in hiding. In My Hands helps answer some of the eternal questions about survival in Nazi-occupied Europe, as well as raising many questions. This book is a must-read for teachers and students.


Holocaust Survivor Testimony: Charlotte Adelman

Charlotte Adelman bears witness to the evils per-petrated by the Germans and their collaborators. She will tell the story of her life in hiding as a little girl during the Nazi occupation of France. It is a harrowing tale of survival. In the stories of the survivors, “there is conveyed that which cannot be transmitted by a thousand facts and figures”. Hearing Charlotte will enrich our understanding of this dark period in human history.


Why is the Holocaust a Touchstone for Teaching About Evil?
Mark Stern, PhD. Associate Emeritus Professor, Arizona State University

What makes the Holocaust important to teach and why? How does the study of the Holocaust impact the teaching of European and World history? How can educators effectively impart the enormity, complexity and lessons of the Holocaust to students? From the study of the Holocaust a whole field of genocide studies has developed and man’s inhumanity to man has been explored from the Armenian Genocide, Stalinist murders, Rwanda, Cambodia and, unfortunately, much more.


Session 2
7:35 PM - 9:00 PM


Choices, The True Story of One Family’s Daring Escape to Freedom
Judy E. Laufer, Children’s Author

This historical novel is the author's account of her Holocaust survivor’s family's remarkable escape from Hungary in 1956, during the Hungarian Revolution. With shattered lives and barely healing from the trauma of the Holocaust, Judy Laufer’s parents courageously risked everything in search of a better life. A not-to-be-missed book for teachers and students alike.


The Impact of World War I (The Great War) on Jewish and World History.
Larry Bell, PhD Director, Arizona Jewish Historical Society

To fully understand the Second World War and the Holocaust, one must first understand the impact of World War I. World War I gave new life to antisemitism and triggered the events leading to the Holocaust. 


The Effect of Unimaginable Horror Experienced by Holocaust Survivors on their Children
Livia Steingart, Psy.D, MBA and Janice Friebaum, MS, MA

From both a personal and professional vantage point, Livia Steingart and Janice Friebaum will relay how trauma affected the Second Generation – their lives, livelihoods and obligation to pass along their parents’ legacies and family history to their children, community and educators. 


The Long Arm of Nazi Propaganda
Sherman Elliott, PhD., Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, Grand Canyon State University

The Nazi Party used language, images, film and anti-Semitic stereotypes to appeal to German voters and influence political and cultural identities. Modern anti-Semites have taken a page from the Nazi propaganda playbook to organize destructive global boycotts against Jews and the State of Israel. This session will focus on gaining hands-on practice with primary source analysis that can be transferred to the classroom setting. 


The Woman in Gold
The Honorable Wendy Morton

The famous painting, Woman in Gold, by Gustav Klimt and the film by the same name, starring actress Helen Mirren, exemplify the ongoing legal battles over art treasures stolen by the Germans from Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust. Learn of the amazing efforts and tremendous challenges to recover and return these treasures from governments, museums and Individuals to their rightful heirs.