Concentration analyzes impact of the Holocaust

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Photo by Scott Woodward -- Dr. Daniel Skubik talks about “The Trial of God,” written by Elie Wiesel, one of his favorite books.
Photo by Scott Woodward — Dr. Daniel Skubik talks about “The Trial of God,” written by Elie Wiesel, one of his favorite books.

University’s Department of History and Government will now offer a concentration in Holocaust Studies, effective in this spring.

“That means becoming familiar with 20th century European history, that is the first half of the 20th century, but also gaining clearer focus on what the Holocaust was in those critical years and what the Holocaust means today,” said Dr. Daniel Skubik, professor of law, ethics and humanities.

Four classes are needed to complete the Holocaust concentration. The classes study the Holocaust from various aspects. For example, “Ethics After the Holocaust” looks at how the Holocaust impacted the way members of the international community interact with each other when there is crises going on in the world.

“Prior to the Second World War, the presumption was you don’t interfere with the internal affairs of another state,” Skubik said. “Today, that position has moved and part of that is because of the impact of the Holocaust.”

Following increased media attention on international issues, the concentration is an answer to students’ demand for more classes about the Holocaust, Skubik said.

“It is really important that we’re making it into a concentration rather than just a class because there’s so much more we can learn about the Holocaust as well as learn from the Holocaust,” said Dominic F. Sabido, junior history major.

While the course titled “The Holocaust: Historiographic, Philoso-phic and Religious Per-spectives” has been offered periodically, it did not become a fixed course until three years ago.

Dr. Chris McHorney, professor of political science and department chair, Dr. Mark Blincoe, assistant professor of history, and Skubik have been working for two years to develop the concentration’s curriculum.

“If there is a significant number of students who want to or are willing to commit themselves to a series of courses, then in the future we might see a minor or even a major,” Skubik said.

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