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23 October 2017

Holocaust Education Week 2017

The Neuberger's Holocaust Education Week 2017 explores pivotal moments of the post-Holocaust era that have shaped our understanding of the Holocaust.

The opening night of the Neuberger’s Holocaust Education Week (HEW) less than two weeks away and already there is tremendous interest in the diverse range of programmes being offered across the Greater Toronto Area.


Photo by Martin Valentin Menke – The People vs Fritz Bauer. Courtesy of Cohen Media.

Not surprisingly, one of the most popular series of programs is the feature film series that includes iconic, historically significant, as well as new releases. One of my personal recommendations is the multi-award winning German film The People vs Fritz Bauer. Originally released in Germany in 2015 as Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer, it details the remarkable story of German Jewish prosecutor Fritz Bauer and the challenges he faced in West Germany during the 1950s tracking down and bringing to justice Nazi war criminals. It is a narrative that is not frequently discussed in many contemporary Holocaust education programs but it represents a pivotal moment in the post-Holocaust era of German history.

The film is screening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on November 7at 1:00 pm and admission is free although reservations are required through eventbrite.

The second film I recommend adding to your calendar of HEW 2017 programs is Labyrinth of Lies. This 2014 German production was released as Im Labyrinth des Schweigens. Personally, I find the German title more thought provoking and accurate as it literally translates as “in the labyrinth of silence”. It certainly describes the conspiracy of silence that had to be shattered in order to begin the process of bringing Nazi war criminals to justice.

Johann von Bülow, Alexander Fehling, and André Szymanski in Labyrinth of Lies. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

This film also won numerous awards and deftly depicts the complexities of life in post-war West Germany. Admission is free, but reservations are required through eventbrite. The screening will take place on November 6 at the Cineplex Odeon, Canada Square at 1:00 pm.

With each of these films, the Neuberger has arranged for historians to provide informative talkbacks with the audience. Prof. Rebecca Wittman from the University of Toronto, Mississauga will be on hand to answer questions at The People vs Fritz Bauer, while Prof. Caroline Kay from Trent University in Peterborough contextualises Labyrinth of Lies.

Visit the Neuberger’s website for a complete description of the featured film series. It’s an educational opportunity you won’t want to miss.

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Carson Phillips Ph.D.

Written byCarson Phillips Ph.D.

Carson Phillips holds a Ph.D. in Humanities from York University, Toronto, Canada and is Managing Director of the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre. He served as a Canadian delegate to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance from 2009-2014 and currently continues as an advisor to the Funding Review Committee. In addition he is adjunct faculty at Graz College, USA.

He is the recipient of numerous scholarly awards including the 2013 BMW Canada Award for Excellence from the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies. His research interests focus on post-Holocaust conceptualisations of gender, Väterliteratur and cultural representations of the Holocaust in screen and visual culture.