The Holocaust Memorial Program was initiated in Oregon State University in January 1987 and is overseen by the Holocaust Memorial Committee. Miriam ("Mimi") Orzech chaired the committee from 1987 until 1994, when Paul E. Kopperman became chair. At that time, the committee was transferred from the auspices of the Provost's Office and Academic Affairs to the History Department. The Committee membership includes Oregon State University faculty, staff and students; teachers or administrators from the Corvallis school district; representatives of the City of Corvallis; and local clergy. All events sponsored by the Holocaust Memorial Program are open to the public and are intended to benefit the entire community. The Program focuses on the Holocaust, but also offers lectures and other events that educate the community about the problem of genocide and mass murder.
Hersbruck was a satellite camp of Flossenburg between May 1944 and April 1945, when it was liberated by a unit of the U.S. 3rd Army. Although it was open for less than a year, during that time it was the third largest camp in southern Germany, exceeded in size only by Flossenburg and Dachau. Of the roughly 10,000 prisoners who were confined there at some point, about 4000 died, mostly from overwork (as most were forced to labor at nearby factories), as well as from disease and malnutrion. Shortly before the camp was liberated, most of the prisoners were ordered to march to Dachau. The inmates included political prisoners, Jews, and 23 nationalities. After liberation, Hersbruck served briefly as a camp for German prisoners of war.
The Holocaust Memorial Program Records consist of videorecordings (DVDs) of lectures and presentations; posters; a booklet about the Holocaust by Paul E. Kopperman; and a 1945 watercolor of the POW camp at Hersbruck, Germany.
The videorecordings include testimonials from Holocaust survivors as well as lectures on variety of topics. The following recordings from 1990-1992 and 2006-2009 are included in the collection: Murray Brown: Survivor Testimony (April 24, 1990); Holocaust Perpetrators: "Desk Murderers" and "Shooters" by Dr. Christopher R. Browning, Pacific Lutheran University (April 25, 1990); Rudi and Laureen Nusbaum: Holocaust Survivor Testimony (1991); Historians on the Holocaust, by Dr. Michael Marrus, University of Toronto (April 28, 1992); Buried by "The Times" -- The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper by Laurel Leff (April 25, 2006); Not in Kansas Anymore: Holocaust Movies for Children by Lawrence Baron (April 16, 2007); Recent Trends in Holocaust Cinema by Lawrence Baron (April 16, 2007); Intertwined Genocides? Violence against Servs, Jews, and Roma in Wartime Croatia, 1941-45 by Alexander Korb (April 18, 2007); How the Nazis Made Anti-Semitism Respectable by Claudia Koonz (April 20, 2009); The Holocaust's Role in the Identity of Today's Germans by Consul-General Rolf Schuette (April 21, 2009); and A Personal Account of the White Rose by George Wittenstein (April 22, 2009).
Posters promoting events of the annual Holocaust Memorial Week for 1989-2005 are part of the collection. A booklet, In Ashes and Smoke: Notes on the Holocaust by Paul Kopperman, includes background information on the Holocaust; a list of selected books and films; and recommended materials for teachers. The booklet is undated, but was likely prepared in the early 1990s.
The collection also includes a framed watercolor of the POW camp at Hersbruck, Germany, by Dwight Helm. It is identifed as "CJC Hersbruck, Germany 1945". During the time that Hersbruck was a satellite camp, the building at the center of this watercolor was a headquarters and dormitory for the SS.
Holocaust Memorial Program Records (RG 241), Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.
The following speakers have not granted permission to broadcast their lectures: Murray Brown, Christopher Browning, Alexander Korb, Michael Marrus, and Rudi and Laureen Nusbaum.