Lifelong Learning Academy Presents “The Convenient Scapegoat: Anti-Semitism Before and After the Holocaust” Oct. 8 Ÿ USF Sarasota-Manatee; “Impossible Circumstances and Impossible Choices” A Three-Part Film And Discussion Series About The Holocaust Oct. 29, Nov. 12 and Nov. 19 Ÿ USF Sarasota-Manatee

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Lifelong Learning Academy Presents

“The Convenient Scapegoat: Anti-Semitism Before and After the Holocaust”

Oct. 8 Ÿ USF Sarasota-Manatee

“Impossible Circumstances and Impossible Choices”

A Three-Part Film And Discussion Series About The Holocaust

Oct. 29, Nov. 12 and Nov. 19 Ÿ USF Sarasota-Manatee

Art historian and media psychologist Andre Krauss presents both the lecture and film/discussion series in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the liberation of prisoners from Nazi concentration camps.

 

(Sarasota-Manatee, Florida) Lifelong Learning Academy’s 2015-16 lecture series opens with a lecture and film/discussion series on anti-Semitism and the Holocaust presented by art historian and media psychologist Andre Krauss, Ph.D. The lecture, entitled “The Convenient Scapegoat: Anti-Semitism Before and After the Holocaust,” is October 8, 2:30-4 p.m., at Selby Auditorium at USF Sarasota-Manatee. The fee is $10 for the general public and free for LLA members. “Impossible Circumstances and Impossible Choices” is a three-part film and discussion series chosen in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the liberation of the Nazi death camps. The three films, “Fateless” (October 29; 2:30-5:15 p.m.), “Genocide” (November 12; 2:30-5:15 p.m.), and “Defiance” (November 19; 2:30-5:15 p.m.) represent but a few examples of the extraordinarily difficult choices that Jews had to make under the perverse Nazi social order. Each film will be followed by a discussion period with Dr. Krauss moderating. The fee is $25 per film or $70 for three films and discussions. For more information or to register for the lecture and the film series, call 941-359-4296 or visit www.lla-sm.org.

Only seven decades have passed since the liberation of the Nazi death camps, yet, in many parts of the world, and especially in Europe, we are witnessing a resurgence of the old anti-Semitic rhetoric, the stereotyping and vilifying of the Jew today with propaganda similar to that employed so successfully by the Nazi regime during its domination of Europe in the 1940s. Why were the Nazis so successful in rounding up the Jews of Europe, isolating them in ghettos, and systematically marching them to the death camps? Why did most of the people in Nazi-occupied Europe turn their backs on the Jews in their hour of need? In “The Convenient Scapegoat: Anti-Semitism Before and After the Holocaust,” art historian and media psychologist Andre Krauss examines the new faces of anti-Semitism and how the adaptation of old themes applies to new political expediencies by using Jews as a convenient scapegoat .

Dr. Krauss, a research fellow at the Institute of Sociology at the Romanian Academy, is a published art historian and media psychologist. He holds doctorates in art history from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and in social psychology from the University of Bucharest in Romania. Dr. Krauss has been teaching and conducting research for over 30 years in the U.S., Sweden, Israel and his native Romania. While teaching, researching and traveling throughout Central and Western Europe, he has observed the signs of a resurgence of anti-Semitism and even an increase in the number of Holocaust deniers, making him aware of the importance of presenting and discussing this phenomenon.

Krauss will also present the film series, “Impossible Circumstances and Impossible Choices,” featuring three stories of suffering, survival and defiance in the midst of the Holocaust. “Very few events in human history have been so richly documented by historians, analyzed by social scientists, written about by novelists, and depicted by film makers,” says Krauss. “The three films selected represent but a few examples of the extraordinarily difficult choices that Jews had to make under the perverse Nazi social order.”

In the 2005 film “Fateless” (Oct. 29, 2:30-5:15 p.m.), 14-year-old Gyorgy Koves, a Hungarian Jew, quits school to look after his family after Nazis deport his father to a labor camp. Koves himself is later seized and sent to three concentration camps, experiencing new and escalating varieties of torture and violence at each one. By the time American troops arrive to liberate him, Koves has been shocked into a placid serenity, and when he returns to the wreckage that is Budapest, his ravaged body and ghostly calm go mostly overlooked by the other survivors attempting to rebuild.

“Genocide” (Nov. 12, 2:30-5:15 p.m.) is a chilling and heartbreaking testament to the strength and suffering of the Jewish people and the courage and heroism of those who come to their aid. With narration by Orson Welles and Elizabeth Taylor, the film begins by providing a look at the flourishing Jewish community in pre-war Europe and then traces their grim trajectory through the ghettos, camps and prisons of the Nazi regime, introducing the lost victims and brave heroes along the way.

The final film in the series “Defiance” (Nov. 19, 2:30-5:15 p.m.), is based on an extraordinary true story of family, honor, ,vengeance and salvation in World War II. The year is 1941 and Jews in Eastern Europe are being massacred by the thousands. Managing to escape certain death, three brothers take refuge in the dense surrounding woods they have known since childhood. The brothers turn a primitive struggle to survive into something far more consequential—a way to avenge the deaths of their loved ones by saving thousands of others. The story has personal significance for Dr. Krauss, as his own cousin was just one of the many who were saved by hiding in the woods.

“We’re pleased to be able to open our new lecture season with this timely series commemorating the end of World War II and the Holocaust,” says Janna Overstreet, Lifelong Learning Academy’s executive director.

“With racial bias and stereotyping once again dominating world news, we encourage everyone to join us for this thought-provoking and informative series.”

Lifelong Learning Academy offers four course terms annually on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Each course lasts two to eight sessions; most classes meet for an hour and 20 minutes weekly. Students can also attend lectures and special events and participate in LLA’s popular Einstein’s Circle series of open forums moderated by experts on a variety of timely topics. For more information about Lifelong Learning Academy, call 941-359-4296 or visit www.lla-sm.org.

 

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