01/26/06 — Holocaust expert opens celebration of reading

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Holocaust expert opens celebration of reading

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on January 26, 2006 1:50 PM

The annual Wayne County Reads program kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. at the Wayne County Museum.

The program will focus on both the Holocaust and Jewish tradition, and will include a reception, a presentation on the group's 2006 selection, Elie Wiesel's novel "Night," and a presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Steve Gowler.

The event will begin with a reception, complete with Jewish foods and kosher wines. Artifacts from the Jewish community will be displayed throughout the museum, and two stations will be dedicated to showing DVDs about Wiesel and the liberation of Nazi camps.

After the reception, Gowler will lecture and open the floor for questions from the audience.

Gowler, an associate professor at Berea College in Berea, Ky., graduated with a bachelor's degree from Campbellsville College in 1976. He has received three master's degrees from Vanderbilt University, University of Louisville and the University of Iowa, and a doctorate from the University of Iowa.

One of his publications, "Remembering Catastrophe," evolved during his visit to nearly a dozen former Nazi camps in the summer of 2000.

Through hundreds of photographs taken during his trip, Gowler argues that by looking at the facilities, people have the ability to visualize more accurately the means of control and destruction devised by the Nazis.

Additionally, he said that while today the camps are primarily memorial sites, they illustrate both the poignancy and the politics of memory.

Due to the graphic nature of some of the material scheduled to be shown and discussed at the program, portions might not be suitable for young children.