Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

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Ann Livschiz

Lee Roberts

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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2021-2022 Academic Year Hours of Operation

As of August 23, 2021, the operating hours of the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies’ office at Rifkin Campus (Congregation Achduth Vesholom) are as follows:

Monday: 10:00 – 3:00
Tuesday: 10:00 – 3:00
Wednesday: 10:00 – 3:00
Thursday: 10:00 – 3:00

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

An Evening with Mark Oppenheimer

Join us for an in-person event with writer and journalist Mark Oppenheimer, author of the upcoming book Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood about the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre in 2018. Tentatively scheduled at the Congregation Achduth Vesholom (5200 Old Mill Rd).

His appearance comes almost exactly on the third anniversary of the shooting, which occurred October 27, 2018, and was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States.

Mr. Oppenheimer is a freelance journalist and writes for The New York Times magazine, Mother Jones, Slate, and Tablet. He teaches English at Yale University, where he is the director of the Yale Journalism Initiative. He lives with his family in New Haven, Connecticut.

The evening will include a Q&A, refreshments, and an opportunity to buy the book and have Mr. Oppenheimer sign it. For more information please visit this link.


Institute Hires Laney Blevins to Staff Rifkin Office

The Institute for Genocide and Holocaust Studies (IHGS) is pleased to announce that Graduate Research Assistant Laney Blevins will staff our office on the Rifkin Campus at 5200 Old Mill Rd for the 2021-2022 academic year. Laney is currently a graduate student in Professional Communication. 

Laney was raised in Butler County, Ohio where she graduated from Hamilton High School in 2015. She then went on to study at Shawnee State University before transferring to Miami University where she earned her Bachelor's in Applied Communication in 2021. Eager to keep learning, she applied for Purdue Fort Wayne's graduate program where she is now working toward her Master's in Professional Communication.

Being a cancer survivor herself, Laney has found that she holds great interest in researching elements of communication as applied to the adolescent and young adult cancer community. Having experienced the complications of communication that come with illness, she found value in connecting with others that had gone through the same thing, leaving her curious as to what else could be done in the discipline to aid those struggling in the face of cancer. Given that a cancer diagnosis is already difficult and often isolating, Laney hopes to explore what is effective in the realm of communication in allowing for patients to build a sense of community with one another. 

With a passion to help those that face adversity, she also hopes to research various ways in which the discipline of communication can positively impact the well-being of those facing hardships of all types.

Please welcome Laney to the Institute. You can reach her at or at 260-739-7249.

Statement on White Nationalist Stickers Posted at Purdue University Fort Wayne

Today, 23 January 2021, the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies ( received evidence that Patriot Front, a white supremacist group espousing racism and anti-Semitism, has plastered the Purdue University Fort Wayne campus with stickers meant to promote its racist and anti-Semitic website. According to the ADL, Patriot Front regularly targets college campuses around the country promoting anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim hate propaganda (

The Institute already has reported this incident of hate and bias both to Purdue University and to the ADL. In the meantime, we call upon the administrative leadership of the Fort Wayne campus and the Purdue Board of Trustees to condemn the stickers as low-level vandalism meant to intimidate and harass the campus community. Furthermore, both Fort Wayne leadership and the Board of Trustees should take this opportunity to unequivocally condemn all forms of racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of religious hate as incompatible with Purdue’s core values and mission. Finally, we encourage both campus leadership and the Board of Trustees to let Patriot Front know they are not welcome on any Purdue campus, and that the university will fully prosecute by law any attempt to bully or intimidate the campus community through hateful propaganda and vandalism.

The Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Purdue University Fort Wayne is the only academic center in the state of Indiana exclusively devoted to the study of the Holocaust and other genocides, including factors that led to the Holocaust and those that can lead to genocide.

Steven Alan Carr, PhD
Director, Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Members of the Institute’s Academic Advisory Board

Ronald Friedman, PhD
Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Michelle Kelsey, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair of Communication

Ann Livschiz, PhD
Associate Professor of History

Lee Roberts, PhD
Associate Professor of German

Richard Weiner,
PhD Professor of History

Institute Hosts Website for Midwest Centers

The Institute for Genocide and Holocaust Studies (IHGS) is proud to host a new website for a growing network of academic centers throughout the Midwest devoted to the study of the Holocaust, genocide, and international human rights. This regional network has come about as a result of the creation of the Consortium of Higher Education Centers for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies.

You can find the website for the Midwest Consortium of Academic Centers for Studies in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights at

Yale Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies Available Through Helmke

The Institute is proud to partner with Helmke Library at Purdue University Fort Wayne to bring the Yale Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies to citizens of Northeast Indiana. The Fortunoff Archive currently holds more than 4,400 testimonies, which are comprised of over 12,000 recorded hours of videotape. Testimonies were produced in cooperation with thirty-six affiliated projects across North America, South America, Europe, and Israel, and each project maintains a duplicate collection of locally recorded videotapes. The Fortunoff Archive and its affiliates recorded the testimonies of willing individuals with first-hand experience of the Nazi persecutions, including those who were in hiding, survivors, bystanders, resistants, and liberators. Testimonies were recorded in whatever language the witness preferred, and range in length from 30 minutes to over 40 hours (recorded over several sessions). Once the campus reopens, anyone may access this collection from one of the computers at Helmke Library.

Helmke Library Current Book Display on Immigration and Forced Displacement

Helmke Library at Purdue University Fort Wayne is highlighting its collection of books and other materials on forced displacement and immigration this month. The library recently added over 130 new titles on these subjects. These collection consists of fiction, memoirs, academic scholarship, and other materials. Many of these titles are on display through February 2020 on the first floor of the library.

New USHMM Photographic Collection Has Ties to Indiana

The Institute for Genocide and Holocaust Studies (IHGS) helped digitize a series of rare photographs taken at the Liberation of Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen and Dachau. The photographs belong to a new collection donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and originally were shot by Signal Corps photographer George Edward Rothlisberg (1916-1970).

Dr. Eric Schreier of Fort Wayne donated this collection in 2019, after he received these materials from Rothlisberg's niece, Barbara A. Rothlisberg in 1999. 



For access to older announcements, news, and resources, please visit our Archive.