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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COVID-19 Coronavirus Temporary Measures

The Rifkin Campus office of the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies is closed until further notice. The Rifkin Campus itself is closed until the end of 2020.

The Purdue University Fort Wayne Coronavirus COVID-19 Resource Page has general information and updates on this evolving crisis.

Please contact us at or 260-481-6545 if we can help. I also will hold online office hours most Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-1:15 PM at until further notice. No need to schedule an appointment; meetings are first come, first served.

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

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

Institute Hires Heather Gingerich to Staff Rifkin Office

The Institute for Genocide and Holocaust Studies (IHGS) is pleased to announce that Graduate Research Assistant Heather Gingerich will staff our office on the Rifkin Campus at 5200 Old Mill Rd for the 2020-21 academic year. Heather currently is a graduate student in Communication. 

Heather was raised in the Hocking Hills area of Southeastern Ohio.  As an adult she has lived in Michigan and California until settling in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2007 where she attended Purdue Fort Wayne and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.  Heather has also made several trips across the United States and travelled to Mexico, Ireland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and eventually to Ukraine. 

Heather has always enjoyed researching and implementing methods to improve communication between individuals and their communities.  As a chemist working in Biotech Heather recognized the missed opportunities and the damage that could occur from ineffective communication.  She had witnessed many instances where ineffective communication had caused great research projects to be under-funded or over-looked.  Research that may have been beneficial to the health and well-being of a great number of individuals was shelved and therefore, rendered useless.  As a result, Heather’s research interests, that began in biotechnology, had shifted to the field of Anthropology and now, Communication. 

Heather’s research interests lie in the study of the development of implicit bias (output), whether favorable or unfavorable.  Her goal is to develop more effective models of the process of the development of implicit bias in both humans and artificial intelligence.  Heather pursues her Master of Communications with the intent to help individuals and organizations communicate important, complex concepts or research to diverse audiences in a helpful and respectful manner.

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

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. 



Institute Hires Theresa Green to Staff Rifkin Office

The Institute for Genocide and Holocaust Studies (IHGS) is pleased to announce that Graduate Research Assistant Theresa Green will staff our office on the Rifkin Campus at 5200 Old Mill Rd for the 2019-20 academic year. Theresa currently is a graduate student in Public Policy. 

Raised in the Allen and Whitley County area, she graduated from Columbia City High School in 2008. She then attended the University for Southern Indiana for a year before transferring to Indiana University Fort Wayne. She graduated from Indiana University Fort Wayne with her Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs with a concentration in criminal justice.

Serving others has been a long-time passion for Theresa. Following her graduation from Indiana University Fort Wayne she worked at Youth Services Center where she gained hands on experience with northern Indiana’s most vulnerable population, children who had fled their home from dangerous situations, foster children, and some children with simply nowhere to go. Theresa also worked at the Indiana Department of Child Services where she investigated child abuse and neglect as well as concurrently managing a caseload. “My work with Indiana’s at-risk youth was very rewarding and heartbreaking. Analyzing problems and finding solutions are the core of what a case manager does. These skills have prepared me to take on anything”. Theresa currently works in the Columbia City Mayor’s office as Mayor Ryan Daniel’s executive assistant.

Theresa serves on various boards in Whitley County, the Juvenile Detention Alternative Intervention board, Local Emergency Planning Committee, and Community Corrections Board. She is also the Third Congressional District Chair for the Indiana Young Republicans and serves as Congressman Jim Banks Whitley County Coordinator. Theresa resides in Whitley County where is currently running for County Commissioner.

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

green head shot red

Midwest Consortium on Citizenship and Human Rights

The Institute for Genocide and Holocaust Studies (IHGS) will host an inaugural meeting of the Midwest Consortium on Citizenship and Human Rights at Purdue University Fort Wayne in 2020. The meeting will feature presentations from academics, students, activists, professionals, and others working on any topic related to citizenship and human rights from a Midwestern perspective.

To learn more and submit a proposal visit

The meeting made possible through generous support from an Islamic Relief USA Silver Anniversary Grant

Holocaust Education Workshop for Teachers

Sunday, May 12 | 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Purdue University Fort Wayne | Neff Hall Room 233

The Institute for Genocide and Holocaust Studies and the School of Education at Purdue University Fort Wayne in collaboration with Echoes & Reflections are excited to announce an upcoming Holocaust Education Teacher Workshop. In addition to providing current Holocaust education best pedagogical practices, this workshop is also an opportunity to share your own experiences teaching or incorporating the Holocaust and to collaborate with other area educators toward envisioning what Holocaust and genocide education in northeast Indiana should look like.

Register now!  Registration closes Friday, May 3. 

See Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette article

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.

Bystanders and Complicity in Nazi Germany and Jim Crow America

The Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, with support from the grassroots interfaith community organization Hands Across Fort Wayne, will bring a panel of nationally recognized scholars on W 20 Feb. 2019 to discuss parallels between Nazi Germany and Jim Crow America. The first will take place at 12 PM noon at the Purdue University Fort Wayne Honors Program Center at Helmke Library. The second will take place at 7 PM in the downstairs auditorium of the Allen County Public Library. Both discussions are part of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Mandel Center campus outreach program, which brings together students, scholars, and community members for a responsible, informed, and meaningful dialogue on the involvement of governments and citizens in two distinct systems of targeted oppression and racial violence within their different historical contexts.

Featured panelists will include:

Rebecca Carter-Chand, Program Officer for the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Program on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust (
Julia McStravog, Program Manager for the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Program on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust (
Richard Pierce, Associate Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame (
Wendy Soltz, Executive Director of the Indiana Jewish Historical Society and the inaugural Charles K. and Esther C. Krieger Visiting Scholar in Religious Studies at Defiance College (

Both programs were made possible with generous support of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Regional Campus Outreach Program. Contact the Purdue University Fort Wayne Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies ( to learn more.

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.