Soren Franz / Equinox Staff

Julia Hawkins

Equinox Staff

On Wednesday September 26th, Keene State College hosted its 21st Holocaust memorial lecture. Guest speaker Debórah Dwork is an American Historian who is exceptional in the history of the Holocaust.

Dwork spoke to residents of Keene State College and to anyone else who had been interested in attending her lecture.

In her presentation, Dwork illustrated what it would be like for anyone to experience life back in history when the Holocaust had happened. Not a lot that was said was pleasing, given the entire event in history was gruesome.

A student who attends KSC said he hopes this presentation will “raise awareness on how America played a bigger role in rescuing Jews”. Many who attended the lecture however were not students at Keene State.

Those who attended who were students at Keene seemed to have general interest in the Holocaust and had plenty of questions to ask Dwork after the presentation was over. A student asked what Dwork’s influence was to writing her first book “Holocaust: A History”. Dwork said Marjorie McClelland was her original inspiration. Dwork said this is because she was flawed. Dwork said “she did her best, she did great things, but she was flawed”.

Dwork is a European Historian. She could have focused on any aspect in the past 300 years, however, Dwork said “the history of the Holocaust was the fascinating and challenging subject to study”. She also said that it would have been a waste of her intellectual life if she were to focus on studying anything else other than the history of the Holocaust.

Dwork said that she hopes “these stories open a window for a possibility of action” and “when people think about the past, they challenge themselves to think about the irrational factors at play, and how those factors affected the outcomes”.

Dwork’s presentation lasted about an hour, where she talked about her work, her interests, and of course the Holocaust studies. She didn’t go into as much detail of what went on as she did about cases about women who were rescuers and those who could not serve in the military. Those who served as rescuers were not well known, and women could not serve in the military.

After Dwork’s presentation, many gathered around to meet her personally. Those who were very interested stayed longer after it was over, and she was even interviewed multiple times by a variety of sources. Dwork will continue to share her knowledge through her many books on the Holocaust and history.

Julia Hawkins can be contacted at

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