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April 18, 2005

Coming To Campus

Coming to Campus is a section announcing visiting speakers of note.

Those who wish to submit items for this section should send a brief description (maximum 300 words) of the event, including the date, time, and place, and giving the name, title, outstanding accomplishments and, if available, a color photo of the speaker to: Visiting Speaker, Advance, 1266 Storrs Road, Storrs, CT 06269-4144 or by e-mail:, with Visiting Speaker in the subject line.

The information must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, a minimum of two weeks prior to the event.

Publication will depend on space available, and preference will be given to events of interest to a cross-section of the University community.

Speakers to Discuss Holocaust, Armenian Genocide, April 20
Two internationally known authors and scholars, Peter Balakian and Nechama Tec, will speak at a convocation on Wednesday, April 20 marking anniversaries of the end of the Holocaust in 1945 and the end of the Armenian Genocide in 1915. The event, co-sponsored by more than a dozen academic units, will take place at 2 p.m. in Konover Auditorium.

Balakian is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of Humanities at Colgate University. He is the author of The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, a New York Times bestseller; Black Dog of Fate, a memoir; and June-Tree: New and Selected Poems, 1974-2000.

Tec is a council member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and professor emerita of sociology at UConn. Her books include Dry Tears: The Story of a Lost Childhood; When Light Pierced the Darkness: Christian Rescue of Jews in Nazi-Occupied Poland; The Lion’s Den: The Life of Oswald Rufeisen; Defiance: The Bielski Partisans; and Resilience and Courage: Women, Men, and the Holocaust, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

Richard Wilson, the Gladstein Chair of Human Rights and director of the Human Rights Institute at UConn, will join the two guest speakers to talk about the implications of these genocides for human rights in the 21st century.

The modern human rights movement emerged in the post-World War II era, when the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazi regime, including the murder of six million Jews, became more widely known through the Nuremberg Trials.

When Hitler prepared his plan to destroy European Jewry, he is said to have remarked, in reference to the genocide carried out by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian population in 1915, “Who remembers the Armenians?”

The tragedies of the first half of the 20th century laid the foundation for the emergence of a movement for the observance of human rights in the latter half of the century.

Member of 9/11 Commission to Recount Experiences, Events
Richard Ben-Veniste, a member of the official commission created to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, will discuss his experiences serving on the panel on Thursday, April 21, from 2 to 3 p.m. at Konover Auditorium.

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, better known as the 9/11 Commission, was an independent, bipartisan panel created by Congress and the president in late 2002. The panel was charged with providing a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the events of Sept. 11, 2001, including the nation’s level of preparedness and the immediate response to the attacks. The commission also made recommendations designed to guard against future attacks. Ben-Veniste was one of 10 commission members.

He previously served as chief of the Watergate Task Force as part of the Watergate Special Prosecutor’s Office from 1973 to 1975, and as minority counsel for the Senate Whitewater Committee from 1995 to 1996.

His visit was organized by the Leaders with Commitment Committee in collaboration with the UConn Honors program.