How Did the Holocaust Happen? How Does Genocide Happen? How Can It Be Prevented?

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2021
From 11:50am to 1:15pm Eastern Time

Virtual Event

Contact: AARP Virginia

How Did the Holocaust Happen? How Does Genocide Happen? How Can It Be Prevented? 

The Holocaust was not a single event. It did not happen all at once. It was the result of circumstances and events, as well as individual decisions, played out over years. Key political, moral, and psychological lines were crossed until the Nazi leadership eventually set in motion the unimaginable—a concrete, systematic plan to annihilate all of Europe’s Jews. With 20/20 hindsight, we will look back at the decades before the start of World War II and consider the many complex and overlapping factors, events, and attitudes which may have contributed to the events we now call the Holocaust.  The study of the Holocaust raises questions about how the world can recognize and respond to indications that a country is at risk for genocide or mass atrocity. While each genocide is unique, in most places where genocide occurs, there are common risk factors and warning signs. Scholars in several disciplines have developed and published risk factors and warning signs that increase, but not guarantee, the onset of genocide.  Once identified, how can these “red flags” be countered?

After discussing these, Mr. Marcus will discuss the case study of Rwanda to consider warning signs.  We will look at The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s complicated Early Warning Project, which keeps track of trends and events in every country to raise awareness of mass murder.  Finally, we will consider which of these risk factors and warning signs seem evident in the world today, but especially in the United States, and consider how societies, governments, and citizens can respond.  If time allows, Mr. Marcus will share a list if common questions about the Holocaust and provide answers and resources about each. 

Warren Marcus taught in high school classrooms for 17 years and for 26 years at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  While there, he trained thousands of teachers onsite and around the nation, as well as hundreds of military students and officers. Before retirement, he contributed content and format changes for the museum's online Encyclopedia.

Join AARP Virginia for a complimentary class offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University (OLLI-Mason). OLLI-Mason provides intellectual and cultural experiences in a welcoming atmosphere to Northern Virginia residents in their retirement years. AARP Virginia is excited to collaborate with them to provide a sampling of their Summer semester!

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Please note that AARP will email you the link to the OLLI Mason Zoom platform on which the event will be hosted. You will receive a Zoom link to attend this class 24 hours prior to the class beginning. Do not opt-out of receiving emails as you will not get the Zoom link. Any information you share on that online platform will be governed by the privacy policy of OLLI Mason.

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