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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.

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Anatomy of a Genocide - January 25, 2024

The Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies and The Q Center at Purdue Fort Wayne have a special collaboration as part of Genocide Awareness Month and Yom Hashoah: Holocaust Memorial Day. Join us on January 25 at the Helmke Library IdeaSpace with Dr. Jeanine Ntihirageza, who will discuss about why and how genocide and ethnic cleansing happens.
Dr. Jeanine Ntihirageza is the founding director of the Center for Genocide and Human Rights Research in Africa and the Diaspora (GHRAD) and a professor at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), holding a Ph.D. in linguistics. It is an honor to have Dr. Ntihirageza visit Purdue Fort Wayne as guest speaker.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2024

New Helmke Library Research Guide on Holocaust and Other Genocides

To help showcase Purdue University Fort Wayne Helmke Library's recent subscription to the USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive and its growing collection of Holocaust and genocide studies resources, the Library recently published The Holocaust and Other Genocides: A Research Guide. This resource provides navigation and guidance on materials such as subscription and open-access databases, print and digital books, video content, and websites for research on genocide and the Holocaust. Indiana residents who are not affiliated with PFW can access subscription content by using the public access computers in Helmke Library. Print materials and DVDs are also available for checkout to Indiana residents. Please see this page for Helmke Library circulation policies. For further questions, you may contact Dr. Emily Tock at [email protected] or 260-481-6515.

IHGS-USHMM Holocaust Education in Indiana 2023 Teacher Symposium

The Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies is proud to co-sponsor with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum the Holocaust Education in 2023 Teacher Symposium. The event will take place on 13 and 14 June 2023 at the Rifkin Campus. Congregation Achduth Vesholom, a Reform Jewish congregation, is our lead sponsor and generous supporter of this initiative.

Summer 2023 Hours of Operation

The Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies' office at Rifkin Campus (Congregation Achduth Vesholom) is closed for the summer.

If you would like to contact the Institute, please do not hesitate to reach out at [email protected].

Training Tyrants: Understanding LGBTQ+ Persecution and the Rise of Fascism in Light of Holocaust History

IHGS has partnered with The Q Center for a panel this Friday, January 27th at NOON in the IDEAspace (Helmke Library). Please join us for Training Tyrants: Understanding LGBTQ+ Persecution and the Rise of Fascism in Light of Holocaust History.
Panelists include: Dr. Steve Carr, Dr. Michelle Kelsey, Dr. Lee M. Roberts, and Dr. Ann Livshiz.
We hope to see you there!
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Institute For Holocaust and Genocide Studies Awarded Never Again Ambassador Award for Holocaust Work

Steve Carr presented with an award at the Indiana Statehouse

The Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Purdue University Fort Wayne has been presented with the Never Again Ambassador Award in recognition of its leadership and commitment statewide. A public announcement came Thursday at the Statehouse during the 24th Annual State of Indiana Holocaust Remembrance Program. Accepting the award was Steve Carr, institute director and professor of communication at PFW.

Read more at the PFW News Center and Journal Gazette!

Institute For Holocaust and Genocide Studies Awarded Never Again Ambassador Award from the Indiana Civil Rights Commission and the Jewish Community Relations Council

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indiana Holiday Commission, the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, and the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council will be hosting the 24th Annual State of Indiana Holocaust Remembrance Program on Thursday, November 10, 2022 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 PM at the Indiana Statehouse North Atrium.

November 9-10 is the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. On this day in 1938, Nazis in Germany torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools, and businesses, and killed approximately 100 Jews. The program will honor those who perished in the Holocaust and commemorate the anniversary of Kristallnacht.

This year’s program is centered around honoring and remembering the women from the Holocaust who showed resilience, bravery, and courage. We invite all to attend the program and join us in remembering these women and all people who were victims of the Holocaust.

There will be remarks given from state leaders and members of the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council. There will be awards given to community leaders and organizations who have shown a commitment to sharing teachings of the Holocaust in order to inspire others to stand up against hate and bigotry. Awards will also be given to students who have participated in the Hoosier Student Artistic Expressions Contest in which students created pieces of art in response to a quote about the Holocaust. The program will end with a commemorative candle lighting ceremony, musical arrangements, and prayer.

The Institute is proud to be the recipient of such an honor.

Panel Discussion on U.S. and Holocaust with Steve Carr and Thamay Paw
29 Sep. 2022

Following a screening of the PBS documentary The U.S. and the Holocaust, panelists Steve Carr, Director of the Institute for Holocaust and Genecide Studies and Professor of Communication at Purdue University Fort Wayne and Thamay Paw, Bilingual Outreach Assistant at Amani Family Services, reflected on the documentary and relevant topics, including refugee experiences in the U.S. and recent genocides. The event was sponsored by WFWA PBS Fort Wayne, Purdue Fort Wayne Institute for Holocaust and Genecide Studies and Helmke Library.

The U.S. and the Holocaust Free Public Screening

Please join us for a free public screening of the PBS documentary The U.S. and the Holocaust at Helmke Library on the campus of Purdue University Fort Wayne Thursday, 29 Sep. starting at 6 PM.


Rifkin Campus Open House

Congregation Achduth Vesholom invites you to join them for 800 Degrees Pizza! Enter to win a free DNA kit and consultation! Catch up with old friends and make new ones!

On Sunday, September 11, from noon to 2 p.m., they will be hosting a “Meet Your Mishpocha” Rifkin Campus Open House for the community to come together and celebrate our families.

Find more information here:


Making Holocaust Memory Relevant

Thought Partnerships invites you to commemorate Genocide Awareness month with us on April 6 at 11am EDT. Join us for an engaging roundtable discussion spotlighting how two different Holocaust centers are using memorialization and Holocaust education to make the issues of anti-semitism, racism, and polarization relevant to the next generation of community changemakers. This event is hosted in partnership with The Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Center at Queensborough Community College and the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Q&A to follow. Please feel welcome to share this event across your network.


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Branded by the Pink Triangle: An Introduction to the Persecution of LGBTQ+ People During the Nazi Regime

The Q Center at PFW, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts, Department of Communication, Department of International Languages and Cultures, and the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies are sponsoring a panel discussion on January 26, 2022 at NOON in Walb 114.

Panelists include: Dr. Steve Carr (COM), Dr. Michelle Kelsey (COM), Dr. Ann Livschiz (History), and Dr. Lee M. Roberts (ILCS)

After the panel, there will be opportunity for questions. A virtual option for the event is in the works. We hope to see you there!

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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 [email protected] 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.