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Lecture Series 2021-2022

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The Rodgers Center will present the lectures and events in this series in-person and in compliance with CDC, Orange County Health Department and Chapman University COVID guidelines and protocols. Virtual access will be made available for those who choose to attend remotely.

Please check this page frequently as changing CDC and Orange County Health Department guidelines may require a transition to virtual-only presentatioons.

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Rebecca Erbelding - Themes from “Americans and the Holocaust” Exhibit (USHMM)

This event will be presented virtually.

Rebecca Erbelding, headshotThemes from “Americans and the Holocaust” Exhibit

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Rebecca Erbelding, Ph.D.
Historian, Archivist and Curator at the United

Nearly 80 years after the end of World War II, difficult questions continue to be asked—and continue to elicit differing answers—about what might have been done to save more Jews during the Holocaust. Did knowledge of the persecution and later of mass murder and genocide carry with it a moral necessity to intervene regardless of other considerations and circumstances? This wide-ranging exhibit poses this question from many angles and through many topics: What signal was
sent to the Nazis in May 1939 when U.S. authorities turned away the refugee ship the St. Louis carrying some 937 passengers, most of them German Jews? Would more extensive coverage by the American media have influenced the Nazis’ actions? Should the U.S., even during the Depression, have made it easier for Jews desperately seeking refuge to come to the United States?

In her presentation, historian, archivist and curator Rebecca Erbelding will explore key themes and topics of the exhibit and examine the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide. Dr. Erbelding’s own research focuses specifically on American responses to theHolocaust. She is the author of the authoritative history of the War Refugee Board, Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe
which received the 2018 National Jewish Book Award for Writing Based on Archival Material.

Lectures & Events (2020-2021)

Virtual Events Available on YouTube