Tallahassee's Holocaust Education Resource Council hosted a sell-out benefit dinner Monday (10/26) night at the Goodwood Carriage House. The featured speaker, noted Holocaust scholar and Florida State University alumnus Dr. Michael Berenbaum.
"My dream is that I live in a world where the Holocaust is irrelevant, because the nature of the world doesn't invite genocide and mass murder," he remarked before his speech. "But we don't yet live in that world and until we live in that world, until we can look back on what humanity did to each other with shame and with horror and with a real determination that the world doesn't move in that direction again, then unfortunately what I have to say will be relevant to the audience."
Part of what Berenbaum related to that Tallahassee audience was how to defeat personal demonization - which lays the groundwork for atrocity - one person and community at a time.
"We have to work in our own communities for a broader sense of pluralism and mutual acceptance," he explained. "That's within the capacity of the leadership of the community to move in that direction to reach across religious divides, racial divides, ethnic divides and to create an atmosphere that is accepting and where each human being is cherished."
Berenbaum was a leading figure in the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The evening before his HERC address, Berenbaum was on hand for a showing of his film "Treblinka's Last Witness" at FSU's Student Life Center.