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Holocaust Survivor Ernest Michel To Present KSC Cohen Center's 10th Annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture

KEENE, N.H., 9/11/07 - The Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies is proud to present Ernest W. Michel as its tenth annual Holocaust Memorial Lecturer on Monday, September 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mabel Brown Room of the Student Center. He will be preceded by Professor Hubert Locke, cofounder of the Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches, who will offer brief reflections on the need and significance of Holocaust and genocide studies in our contemporary world.

Born in Germany, Ernest Michel was sent to his first concentration camp in 1939 at age 16. After nearly six years in some of the most notorious Nazi camps - Auschwitz, Birkenau, Buna-Monowitz, Buchenwald, Berga - he escaped from a death march before the end of World War II. He became a special correspondent for the German News Agency DANA at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, and his articles appeared in German newspapers carrying the byline “Auschwitz Survivor #104995.”

Michel arrived in the United States as a displaced person in 1946. After working for a small town newspaper, he began a 50-year career with the United Jewish Appeal (UJA). He served as executive vice president of the UJA- Federation of New York, the largest citywide fund-raising organization in the country, from 1970 to 1989.

In 1960, as chairman of the first Auschwitz Survivors Dinner held in this country, he was invited to meet President Eisenhower at the White House. He was chairman of the World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors in Israel in 1981, which brought together 6,000 survivors from 23 countries and four continents. His autobiography, Promises to Keep, was published in 1993.

Hubert Locke is Professor Emeritus of Public Affairs and Dean Emeritus of the Evans School of Public Policy, University of Washington. He is the author and editor of several books and many book chapters in publications concerning race, criminal justice, religion, public policy, and the Holocaust. He has written extensively on German society during the period of National Socialism.

In 1970, he cofounded the Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches, an interfaith, interdisciplinary, and international gathering of scholars, educators, clergy, and community leaders devoted to remembering, learning, and teaching the lessons of the Holocaust. It is the oldest continuing meeting of its kind in the world and the first to bring together Jewish and Christian scholars.

The Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies, recognized as a “center of excellence” by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, boasts a strong collection of print and media resources, holds a biennial residential summer institute for educators, and supports a minor in Holocaust Studies at Keene State College. One of the nation’s oldest Holocaust resource centers, it is a nonsectarian organization dedicated to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust. It fulfills founder Dr. Charles Hildebrandt’s charge, “to remember…and to teach,” through annual community programming and educational outreach activities. For a schedule of workshops, in-service training, classroom presentations, and individual curriculum consultations, visit

The Holocaust Memorial Lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies at 603-358-2490.

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