Trent University History professor Dr. Carolyn Kay made her way to Washington D.C. June 19-23 for the 2017 Annual Seminar on Religion, Ethics and the Holocaust, hosted by the United States Holocaust Museum and sponsored by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Centre for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of the beginning of Martin Luther’s Reformation, the annual seminar selected the impact of Luther’s anti-Semitism on German thought as the topic.
After reading about the seminar in an online forum for Holocaust historians, Professor Kay was invited to attend the seminar to discuss Luther’s writings on Jews. Her current research is on German children and World War One, including the impact of nationalism upon young Germans, and thus Luther’s influence on Germany’s national identity is of especial interest.
The weeklong seminar featured discussions, lectures, and a tour of the Museum’s archives. As the upcoming fall semester approaches, Prof. Kay adds that the seminar also gave her the opportunity to expand her knowledge of the Museum’s research resources for postsecondary students.
“The U.S. Holocaust Museum is an extraordinary place of education and contemplation,” said Prof. Kay. “The generosity of this Museum is such that there are many programs for educators to come to Washington and learn more about how the Museum can be helpful in enhancing university education for students on the crucial topic of the Holocaust and of genocide. A section of the Museum also includes the current crises in the world today, such as the war in Syria, and thus present-day atrocities are also addressed. For students, the website of the U.S. Holocaust Museum offers an encyclopedia, videotaped testimonies by Holocaust survivors, and extensive information about the complex history of the Holocaust. It is a unique educational resource.”