MEDIA CONTACT: Carol Lewis
FAU Libraries Host ‘The Greatest Crime of the War: The Armenian Genocide during World War I’ Exhibition
Films, Discussions, Tours also Part of Genocide Awareness Month
BOCA RATON, FL (March 28, 2011) -- The Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education at Florida Atlantic University is sponsoring “The Greatest Crime of the War: Armenian Genocide During World War I,” an exhibition on loan from the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, from Wednesday, March 30 through Wednesday, April 27, at the Wimberly Library on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road.
The exhibition displays the systematic murder of more than one million Armenians in Anatolia during the middle of World War I, between 1915 and 1916, and sporadically until 1923. The story is told through 21 free-standing panels that showcase photographs, quotes from witnesses, and the history and legacy of the genocide.
Historians and human rights organizations contend that the Armenian Genocide was the first well documented genocide of the 20th century, but it is generally overlooked or denied.
“It is important for our community to learn about and memorialize the Armenian victims just as we memorialize and educate about the Shoah,” said Rose Gatens, Ph.D., director of the FAU Center for Holocaust and Human Rights on FAU’s Boca Raton campus. “Remembering strengthens our commitment to prevent and intervene against genocide.”
The exhibition is being offered in April as part of Genocide Awareness Month, which is observed to increase awareness and prevention of genocides. The Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, the Bosnian, Rwandan and Darfur genocides occurred within the last 100 years. Although each of the genocides is unique, they follow recognizable patterns beginning with the Armenian Genocide, said Gatens.
“The similarities include the targeting of a national or ethnic group, forced deportations, mass murder and the destruction of culture,’’ said Gatens. “Just as disturbing is the fact that the response of the international community to these crimes continues to follow similar patterns of avoidance and inaction.”
In addition to the Armenian Genocide exhibition, the center is partnering with other community organizations, including FAU Libraries, to offer films, discussions and tours to honor the victims of the genocides, their descendants and to provide a community forum.
Docent-led exhibition tours, which are free to the public, are available for groups of 10 to 15 people on Wednesdays April 6, 13 and 20. More information on the month-long events and tours, which are by reservation only, can be obtained by calling 561-297-2929.
A screening of the film “Tony,” the story of a Ugandan boy’s recovery from his experiences as a child soldier in the Lord’s Resistance Army, will take place on Friday, April 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. at FAU’s College of Business, Room 120. The film is by Invisible Children, a nonprofit dedicated to ending the war in Uganda.
“The Armenian Genocide” film screening will be followed by a panel discussion with descendants of survivors on Tuesday, April 12, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Wimberly Library, fifth floor performance hall.
Mary Johnson, Ph.D. Johnson, curator of the exhibition, and senior historian with “Facing History and Ourselves,’’ will discuss the exhibition at the Wimberly Library, fifth floor performance hall, on Monday, April 25, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
The Genocide exhibition can be viewed during library hours, which are available by calling 561-297-3770 or at www.library.fau.edu/geninfo/hours.htm.
Parking passes and library directions can be requested at the information booth at the FAU main entrance at Glades Road. Metered parking may be available at the library.
Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.