Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Who We Are

The Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (IHGS) promotes public awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides worldwide; encourages and supports scholarship, research, and teaching at Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW) about the Holocaust and genocide; and promotes public participation in efforts both to confront contemporary genocide as it occurs and to engage in global genocide prevention efforts.

The Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs approved the Institute as a Center of Excellence through the Office of Research and External Affairs in 2009. Rather than exclusively memorialize the Holocaust, IHGS builds a vital bridge tying memorialization programming to ongoing and focused scholarship, teaching, and research about the Holocaust and other genocides.

While several institutions in the Midwest have devoted museums and academic programs to the Holocaust and the study of genocide, the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies is the only Center of its kind to serve Indiana, northwest Ohio and Southern Michigan.

Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

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Starting January 1, 2019, the operating hours of the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies’ office at Rifkin Campus (Congregation Achduth Vesholom) will be as follows:

Monday: 9:00 – 5:00
Tuesday: 9:00 – 5:00
Wednesday: 9:00 – 1:00

If you would like to contact the Institute, please feel free to reach out at

If you are a teacher in Fort Wayne or the immediate region, please consider taking our short, ten question survey to identify how the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies can help support your efforts.

The Institute is pleased to announce two new hires for 2018-19. Dr. Benjamin Kearl will serve as Interim Assistant Director and Cody Fuelling will serve as our Outreach Coordinator.

Benjamin Kelsey Kearl received his PhD from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University in May of 2018. In addition to studying Holocaust education, Ben specializes in philosophy of education and researches the intellectual history of American special education. Ben teaches courses in education foundations designed to expose teacher-candidates to a diverse breadth of educational thinking. These courses inquire into education's histories as a way of understanding present educational configurations. This is Ben's third year teaching in the Department of Educational Studies at PFW. He joined the department in 2016 as a Future Faculty Teaching Fellow.

Cody Fuelling graduated from Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne in 2017 with a BA in Political Science, a BA in History, a Certificate in International Studies, and an Honors Certificate. His Honors thesis identified vulnerabilities to Holocaust revisionism and denial within state standards for English, History, and Civics education. His other research has covered the Rwandan genocide, the Great African War, Turkey’s memory of the Armenian genocide, the Nuremberg trials, and the politics of the word “genocide” itself. He has presented his work at six conferences and published on how American-Turkish-Soviet relations created and resolved the Cuban missile crisis.

In the 2017-2018 academic year, Cody was a Fulbright Student Researcher to Luxembourg, where he planned and executed an independent research project on how genocidal history, nationalism, immigration, and refugee flow affect policy, interviewing personnel from the Ministère de l’Education Nationale and analyzing francophone sources. He has been a research assistant for the Departments of History and Political Science, a teaching assistant for the Department of Political Science, and the Assistant Book Review Editor for Enterprise and Society.  As an intern at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), he worked on the compliance review for the West and Central African Regional Office that was sent to the headquarters, six regional offices, and 121 country offices to improve the quality of programming across the organization.


Holocaust Symposium for Pre-Service Teachers

Please note that we have substantially revised the symposium. We have moved the venue to Congregation Achduth Vesholom, and the event now will take place on one day, W 16 May 2018.

The Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and Congregation Achduth Vesholom's Holocaust Education Committee are co-sponsoring a day-long symposium 16 May 2018 on the IPFW campus for pre-service teachers interested in learning more about teaching the Holocaust and genocide at the junior high and high school level. Housing, most meals, and other materials and resources are covered for participants.

Application forms are now available here +. Our screening process will begin 15 Mar 2018 and continue until we have filled all spots. If you know of a student teacher in Indiana who will be graduating in 2017-18 or later, and who is interested in teaching the Holocaust at the secondary level, please contact robertlm at ipfw dot edu for further information.

Wednesday May 16, 2018

NOTE: The entire day will be at Congregation Achduth Vesholom - 5200 Old Mill Road in Fort Wayne

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Nazi Rise of Power and Final Solution (Barry Jackisch)

11:00 AM – 11:15 AM Break

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM How We Know:Definitions & Teaching Rationale (Jodi Elowitz)

12:15 PM –   1:00 PM Lunch Break

 1:00 PM –    2:00 PM Expressions of Life: Art and Artists of the Holocaust (Jodi Elowitz)

 2:00 PM –    3:00 PM U.S. + Holocaust Textbook Coverage (David Lindquist)

 3:00 PM –    3:15 PM Break

  3:15 PM –    4:15 PM High School Education on the Holocaust and Its Challenges Today - Experiences from Europe(Günther Jikeli)           

  4:15 PM –    5:15 PM Exile (e.g., Mexico) and Holocaust in Latin America(Lee Roberts and Steve Buttes)

  5:15 PM –    6:00 PM Talk with Doris Fogel (local survivor - Shanghai)

 6:00 PM –    6:45 PM Dinner at Congregation Achduth Vesholom (For price on dinner and to make a reservation, contact Lee Roberts:

  6:45 PM –    7:00 PM Break

  7:00 PM –    8:30 PM Keynote: Rebecca Erbelding: “Americans and the Holocaust”

  8:30 PM –    9:15 PM Reception

Symposium Speakers

Dr. Stephen Buttes is Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Culture at Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). His research and teaching focuses on the intersections of politics and art in 20th and 21st century Latin America.

Jodi Elowitz is the Director of Education for the Holocaust & Humanity Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ms. Elowitz has had a wide range of experiences in the field of Holocaust studies. Her area of expertise is artistic representation of the Holocaust in the visual arts with current emphasis on animated and popular film. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities/Art History and her Master of Liberal Studies degree at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Rebecca Erbelding has worked as a historian, curator, and archivist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for fifteen years. She is currently a historian for the Museum's recent exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust, which opened in April 2018, and the author of Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America's Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe (Doubleday, April 2018).  She holds a PhD in American history from George Mason University.

Doris (Warschawski) Fogel and her mother left Berlin in 1939.  They arrived as "Stateless Refugees in Shanghai, China. She spent the next eight years in the Hongkew Ghetto, living in internment camps among the starving Chinese citizenry. She is currently a speaker at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie (Chicago) IL. Prior to moving back to Chicago after a 52-year absence, Doris twice served as President of Congregation Achduth Vesholom. Doris retired in 2013 as the Executive Director of the Ft. Wayne Jewish Federation.  Two weeks before her retirement she was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash by the then Governor of Indiana.

Dr. Barry Jackisch is associate professor of history and Director of the History program at the University of Saint Francis. He is a specialist in modern German and European history and has presented and published a wide range of work in North America and Europe on topics including German nationalism, conservatism, Nazism, and Antisemitism."

Dr. Günther Jikeli is Visiting Associate Professor at the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism at the Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University. In 2013, he was awarded the Raoul Wallenberg Prize in Human Rights and Holocaust Studies. In his position as an advisor to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) he supervised the development of educational materials on antisemitism and the Holocaust in 15 European countries.

Dr. David Lindquist is associate professor emeritus in the Educational Studies Department at IPFW. He is a Museum Teacher Fellow and Regional Museum Educator with the USHMM and has published more than twenty articles on Holocaust and genocide education.

Dr. Lee M. Roberts is Associate Professor of German at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne and Associate Director of the IPFW Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. His research focuses on nationalism, Germany and Asia, and the Holocaust, and he is co-editor of the Palgrave Series in German Asian Studies.

Holocaust Teacher Training Videos

IHGS' former Co-Director David Lindquist recently completed a series of Holocaust Teacher Training videos in 2017, which are available from YouTube. We have made them available below. (5 Feb. 2018)

On Recent Events In Charlottesville VA

(13 Aug 2017) The IPFW Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies condemns any efforts on the part of white nationalists, supremacists, separatists and other hate groups to incite violence under the pretense of free expression, of presenting a diversity of viewpoints, or of protesting an alleged tyranny of multiculturalism and political correctness. Universities can and should provide forums for the free exchange of legitimate and sometimes unpopular ideas, without the ideas themselves inciting threats of retribution or intimidation to the academic or civic community. That kind of diversity is different from holding universities hostage to present any idea, all in the name of diversity of thought, no matter what the consequence. No university should facilitate or perpetuate verbal or physical harassment targeting minority groups already historically disadvantaged by long-term persecution, violence, and structural inequality. We call upon political, spiritual, cultural, and educational leaders across the country to denounce, unequivocally and in the strongest possible terms, not just the violence, but the hateful ideologies behind that violence, perpetrated most recently by racist mobs in Charlottesville VA. History shows us that such violence does not involve “all sides.” It involves one side, intent on using democratic freedoms to dismantle core values that reside at the heart of any diverse and plural society. Now, more than ever, the United States needs leadership at all levels willing to confront and challenge these poisonous ideologies. A true democracy leaves no wiggle room for any ideology upholding ethnic and racial prejudice as an inalienable right. And a true democratic leader will immediately and without hesitation denounce that ideology every time it embodies violence as a legitimate means to impose its warped aims unilaterally upon an entire free society.

Asking Congress to Protect Refugees

The Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies strongly endorses Congregation Achduth Vesholom's recent statement in support of welcoming refugees to the United States. If you would like to add your name to the list, please sign the petition.

Dr. Patricia Rodda to Join the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

The Institute is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Patricia Rodda as Education Outreach Coordinator for the IPFW Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Dr. Rodda is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine where she received her PhD in political science. She received her master’s degree in International Affairs at Marquette University in 2010 and her bachelor's degree from Hanover College in 2007. Her research interests include international asylum and refugee law, the protection of human rights in conflict situations, and the implementation of international and regional law into domestic legal systems. Dr. Rodda has worked directly with students for over ten years as a tutor, coach, and teacher and is dedicated to supporting intellectual inquiry and exploration. She now will work to connect area K-12 teachers interested in teaching about the Holocaust and genocide with relevant and accurate pedagogical resources. She is excited to return to the Fort Wayne area and to the IPFW community. She will join the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the end of February, when she will be actively involved in setting up the Institute’s new office at the Rifkin Campus at 5200 Old Mill Road. The Institute acknowledges the generous support of the IPFW Office of Academic Affairs to ensure the Institute serves its mission to promote effective teaching and learning about both the Holocaust and efforts to confront contemporary genocides and the factors that lead up to them.

Posted by IHGS on Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lee Roberts, Associate Professor of German Studies, is now Interim Associate Director of the IPFW Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies for the 2015-16 academic year. He replaces David Lindquist, who stepped down as Co-Director in December 2014. Dr. Roberts was originally named IHGS Affiliated Faculty in 2013.

The Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies is now a member of the Indiana University Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society (CSRES).

In conjunction with the upcoming exhibition Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945, the Northeast Indiana Diversity Library has prepared a bibliography on the topic.

Post by IHGS.

Jeannie Smith, daughter of the Polish rescuer Irene Gut Opdyke, recently came to Fort Wayne to speak at the Jewish Federation 2014 Campaign Opener.  In honor of her visit, the IPFW Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies uploaded a video of a public lecture given by her mother on the IHGS YouTube channel. Opdyke, named one of the Righteous Among the Nations, spoke at Congregation Achduth Vesholom in the 1990s. Her talk is now available through IHGS' YouTube channel, which also features separate videos of her answering audience questions, and a classroom visit.

The Institute recently launched its Affiliated Faculty Award recognizing scholarship in the area of Holocaust and Genocide Studies.  The award comes with an invitation to present a public lecture on your research, and $500 in Professional Development money to help sustain this work.  For more information, contact carr at ipfw dot edu.  Recent recipients include Lee Roberts of International Language and Culture Studies, and Ann Livschiz of History.

Go to our new Resources tab, where you can find books, videos, and other materials available for checkout from IPFW's Helmke Library.  The IPFW Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, in partnership with Helmke Library and Congregation Achduth Vesholom, now has a list of Jewish and Holocaust themed resources available for checkout through IUCAT and Helmke.  Any Indiana resident can obtain a special library borrower's card with two forms of ID, one of which must be state-issued.

The IPFW Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies recently launched the IHGS YouTube channel. The channel hosts the 1991 documentary "We Must Remember" featuring oral testimonies of Fort Wayne Holocaust survivors. Originally distributed by the Fort Wayne Jewish Federation and Congregation Achduth Vesholom, the documentary is now available through IHGS' YouTube channel in its complete version, as well as in segments especially suited for classroom use.

IHGS Associated Faculty

2013-14 Ann Livschiz; Lee Roberts

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