CMC, Garfield County libraries host Holocaust awareness events this week
Two public events this week call attention to Holocaust history, in conjunction with Colorado Mountain College’s Common Reader program.
Included will be a free Wednesday evening talk by Holocaust survivor and noted author Edith Eva Eger at CMC’s Spring Valley Campus.
First up, though, the Glenwood Springs Branch Library presents its “Book to Film Club” at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, which takes a look at the National Jewish Book Award winner, “History on Trial” and the movie adaptation, “Denial.”
A free screening of the film, starring Rachel Weiz, will be followed by a discussion of the book by Deborah E. Lipstadt.
The 2006 book chronicles Lipstadt’s “day in court” with Holocaust denier David Irving, whom the author referred to as “one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial” in her 1993 book, “Denying the Holocaust.”
Irving sued Lipstadt for libel and lost. She told the story in her followup book 13 years later.
Then, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the new Outdoor Leadership Center & Field House on CMC’s Spring Valley campus outside Glenwood Springs will be one of two talks by Eger, an Auschwitz survivor, psychologist and noted author.
The presentation will also be live-streamed for anyone with a computer or smartphone. It will also be shown at the Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, New Castle, Silt, Rifle and Parachute branch libraries.
She also speaks at 7 p.m. Thursday at Battle Mountain High School in Edwards.
Eger is the author of “The Choice: Embrace the Possible,” a New York Times bestselling memoir.
“Throughout her life and her psychology practice, Eger has found that her experience living through the horrors of war has inspired her to help others deal with trauma and loss,” according to a CMC news release promoting the event.
“Her story and the stories of her patients affirm that, despite circumstances, all of us have a choice to forgive and to heal.”
Eger’s book, written when she was 90, was CMC’s selection for this year’s Common Reader, a program that invites faculty, staff, students and community members to read a selected book and to attend author talks.
Now 92, Eger was born Sept. 29, 1927, in Hungary and was a teenager in 1944 during World War II when Nazi soldiers broke into her family’s home. She and her sister Magda and their parents, were loaded into cattle cars and ultimately taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Her parents died in the gas chambers.
“Years later, she has insights into how to prevent such atrocities from occurring,” writes CMC’s Carrie Click, who recently interviewed Eger ahead of her talk.
“You must organize. You must speak up,” Eger said in the interview. “I want children to go to school, not to learn what to think but how to think. We need to pay attention to what behavior we’re reinforcing.
“At its core, ‘The Choice’ shows how each person, no matter the circumstances, has a choice about their lives,” Click writes in promoting the upcoming talk.
“God did not kill my parents, people did,” Eger says. “Life is hard. There are no guarantees. Life is a series of probabilities. I don’t want you to hear my story and say, ‘My own suffering is less significant.’ I want you to hear my story and say, ‘If she can do it, then so can I!’”
Eger’s talk is the inaugural event at the new Outdoor Leadership Center & Field House at Spring Valley.
“It seems fitting that our first event in the Field House is academic, unites the campus with the community, and supports inclusion, forgiveness and courage,” Heather Exby, CMC vice president and campus dean at Spring Valley, said in the release.
CMC Common Reader presents “The Choice: Embrace the Possible”
7 p.m. Wednesday — Outdoor Leadership Center & Field House, CMC Spring Valley at Glenwood Springs, 3000 County Road 114.
7 p.m. Thursday — Battle Mountain High School, 0151 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards
Both talks are free, and the Spring Valley talk will be live-streamed at coloradomtn.edu/common-reader. To watch on a computer or smart phone, visit the above link and, immediately prior to the event, click on “Live Stream the Talk” at the bottom left of the page.
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Roaring Fork Schools volunteers who have already completed a comparable background check through an approved entity would be good to go.