Jewish Studies Program hosts ‘The Incremental Road to Auschwitz’

Emily Moran

Kent State University’s Jewish Studies Program and department of History will host “The Incremental Road to Auschwitz,” part of the Lunch and Learn series from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday in the Student Center, Room 313.

The lunch and learn will be presented by Richard Steigmann-Gall, Ph.D., associate professor of history. He will speak about ways the anti-Semitic system was built up by the Nazis. Steigmann-Gall will focus on the lead up to Auschwitz and how the road to Auschwitz was not necessarily visible to people in Europe and Germany in 1933 and 1934.

“[It is] too easy to engage in ‘Monday morning quarterbacking’ when it comes to explaining what Jews should or could have done in response to the Nazis. We need to remember why they did what they did,” he said.

Steigmann-Gall said his aim is to explain to a lay audience how the assumption that scholars “too easily blame Jewish assimiliatoin for ‘blindness’ to the threat of Nazi anti-Semitism” is incorrect. He also plans to discuss how the road to Auschwitz could not be seen in the mid and late 1930s.

“I hope to make sure students understand the complexities of the situation for Jews in Germany in the 1930’s,” he said, “as a way of debunking the myth that Jews simply went ‘like sheep to the slaughter.’”

The event is free and open to faculty, staff and students. Dessert and drinks will also be provided at the lunch.

Contact Emily Moran at [email protected].