The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion hosted Nazi hunter, Beate Klarsfeld, at a Women's Tea on Monday, October 14, 2002 at 3:00 pm. Klarsfeld's lecture was the first in a series leading up to Holocaust Awareness Weeks 2003: "Women and the Holocaust" which will focus on women with unique stories of courage and bravery. Klarsfeld was in Cincinnati to participate in an academic symposium in honor of the inauguration of Rabbi David Ellenson
Klarsfeld, born a German-Christian, and her French-Jewish husband, Serge, are best known as Nazi hunters -seeking and bringing to justice those responsible for the Holocaust in France. They have tracked and brought to justice criminals such as Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo officer called "The Butcher of Lyons," Kurt Lishka, and other Nazis in charge of deportation of Jews from occupied France. They identified and sought out Alois Brunner, who deported Serge's father to Auschwitz, along with thousands of other French Jews. Dr. Weiman stated, "We admire Beate Klarsfeld as a woman of fierce independence and passion. Her deeds capture the imagination and prove that our mutual quest to remember the Shoah, and to demand justice and accountability is possible. The opportunity for us to host her, and meet her 'up close,' is a rare privilege."
Klarsfeld is renowned for dramatic acts of moral defiance. She has fearlessly battled political officials, international establishments, and has been arrested in numerous countries fighting for her causes. In addition to receiving a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa from HUC-JIR in 1987 with her husband, she has been honored for her courage with many other awards, including the Knight of the Legion of Honor; the Jabotinsky Award, and the HIAS Liberty Award, and she has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize. As president of The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, she is dedicated to bringing criminals to justice, preserving historic records, and aiding Jews wherever persecuted. She has published important documents including, "French Children of the Holocaust," "Memorial to the 76,000 Jews Deported from France," and "The Auschwitz Album." After fifty years, her drive and dedication has not lessened and she has passed the torch onto her children, both lawyers, who have actively joined in their parents' cause. Beate and Serge reside in Paris, France where they continue their struggle against mounting antisemitism and rising Holocaust denial.
The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education is an education and community resource center established by The Combined Generations of the Holocaust of Greater Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. The Center offers workshops, professional training seminars, and graduate courses. Teaching Holocaust Studies from academic and theological perspectives, The Center promotes tolerance and social justice in a broad range of civic and cultural concerns. For more information, contact The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education by phone (513) 221-1875, ext. 355 or email: CHHE@huc.edu.