U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum reps to visit campus Feb. 16

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will discuss the way beliefs become viral and violent next week.


The Vienna Boys’ Choir, assembled under a banner that reads, “We sing for Adolf Hitler!” salute Adolf Hitler and his entourage during his first official visit to Vienna after the Anschluss. Dated March 13, 1938. Courtesy of the U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Ma. Emilia Santander, Managing Editor

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will visit FAU to discuss how “hateful ideas” have become attractive and violent. 

As part of their Stay Connected Live, a series of stories highlighting the relevance of the Holocaust today, the museum is partnering with the Arthur and Emalie Gutterman Family Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education (CHHRE) to present When Extremist Ideas are no Longer Considered “Extreme.” 

Edna Friedberg, museum historian and one of the event speakers, states that people in recent years have become more vocal with concepts that previously were considered “on the margins.”

“We will be discussing what makes hateful ideas and extremist ideologies attractive to some people. Especially to young adults. What drives people to join these movements?” said Friedberg. “We’ll also talk about when do hateful ideas start to translate into violence, and also what average people can do to try to combat the spread of these kinds of attitudes.”

Saluting Germans greet Adolf Hitler during his visit to Danzig. Dated September 19th, 1939. Courtesy of the U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Courtesy of CHHRE.

Linda Medvin, director of CHHRE, shares they have been partnering with the museum since the center opened in 1996.

Friedberg also believes the Holocaust is the best example of how violence is done in the name of “extreme” ideas.

“[Holocaust history] is important for all human beings, regardless of their background. It gives us the opportunity to learn truths about human behavior, about human psychology, about what makes friends loyal to each other, what makes neighbors turn on each other,” said Friedberg.

Along with Friedberg, Arie Kruglanski, Holocaust survivor and psychology professor at the University of Maryland, and Vidhya Ramalingam, founder and CEO of Moonshot, a company that uses technology to challenge violent extremism, will be part of the discussion board.

The event is open to everyone in the community and attendees will be able to ask questions during the discussion. 

It’ll take place in FAU’s University Theater at 7 p.m. this upcoming Thursday, Feb. 16. To attend the event, in person or virtually, people need to register in advance through this link.

“We need to remember that the Holocaust did not begin with killing, it began with words. So things like dehumanizing stereotypes, nasty cartoons, blaming a minority group for the bigger problems of a society, separating communities into us versus them,” said Friedberg. “But also things that are about general media literacy, looking at things that we see online or on our social feeds with a critical eye, saying ‘why is the person saying this? Who are they saying it? Do they have an agenda?’ So being alert to ways that we might be manipulated.”

Ma. Emilia Santander is the Managing Editor at the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, you can reach her on Instagram @emilias_ed or email her at [email protected].