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History

Those who are still alive, receive a mandate from those who
are silent forever. They can fulfill their duties only by trying to
reconstruct precisely things as they were by wresting the past
from fictions and legends."

Czesław Miłosz

The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies was founded by Dr. Stephen C. Feinstein in 1997 as an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Minnesota. Feinstein was a visionary who established CHGS as a premier educational, research, and outreach institution with international renown; his legacy includes the substantial collections of Holocaust and genocide-related art he curated and the community exhibitions and partnerships he coordinated. Feinstein passed away unexpectedly in 2008, and in 2012, Professor Alejandro Baer was named the Feinstein Chair and Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Highlights

  • 1999 - Absence / Presence: The Artistic Memory of the Holocaust and Genocide, an art exhibition.
  • 2000 - Petition signed by 126 Holocaust and genocide scholars affirming the incontestable fact of the Armenian genocide appears prominently in the New York Times.
  • 2004 - The outdoor exhibition COEXISTENCE, created by the Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, is on display throughout the Twin Cities, bringing the message of diversity and acceptance of the “other” to our community.
  • 2005 - Edward R. Murrow award for the groundbreaking documentary Armenian Genocide: 90 Years Later, a CHGS / Twin Cities Public Television production.
  • 2008 - Partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Science Museum of Minnesota, campus and community organizations for the Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race exhibition.
  • 2011 - The Bernard and Fern Badzin Lecture Series features Deborah Lipstadt, one of the foremost scholars in the field of Holocaust denial.
  • 2012 - UMN College of Liberal Arts names Alejandro Baer as Stephen C. Feinstein Chair and Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
  • 2013 - International Symposium Representing Genocide: Media, Law and Scholarship, exploring how representations of past genocides affect the way we understand and respond to unfolding events of mass violence.
  • 2014 - International conference Genocide and its Aftermath: Lessons from Rwanda, a collaboration with the Institute for Global Studies, the Human Rights Program and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
  • 2015 - Bearing Witness 70 Years after the Liberation of Auschwitz, a commemoration featuring works by artist Felix de la Concha in his multi-media art project Portraits and Conversations with Survivors of the Shoah.
  • 2016 - Summer Institute on The Holocaust and Global Memory Constellations in Europe and the Americas, a collaboration with the University of Bayreuth and the UMN Center for German and European Studies.
  • 2017 - International Symposium: Comparative Genocide Studies and the Holocaust: Conflict and Convergence.