Excelsior LIVE - District News
Author’s Holocaust Remembrance Talk
Edwin Black Talks about Holocaust and Media at K-Central
Author Edwin Black brought his research into the history of the Holocaust and the media to Kalamazoo Central High School as part of a Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“From Holocaust History to Today’s Headlines,” was the topic of Black’s lecture, which was part of tour of Michigan. Dr. Margaret Lincoln, Battle Creek Lakeview High School librarian and Holocaust historian, invited the Kalamazoo Public Schools to be a part of Black’s lecture tour.
Black is the author of books such as “IBM and The Holocaust,” “Nazi Nexus,” and “The Farhud.”
Black began his presentation by sharing "fake news" with the Kalamazoo Central, Loy Norrix and Phoenix high school students attending his lecture. He related current issues with “fake news” to false information about the Holocaust, and he showed the students how to check for details and the truthfulness of stories in the media, pointing out that not everything reported is correct, said Cindy Green, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning services for KPS.
Black has been researching the Holocaust for the past 35 years. His research includes the oral history of his parents, who were Holocaust survivors; travel to Europe; and review of documents. One adventure he shared with students was a visit to New York University, where records were kept under tight security. Black talked with the security guard until the man left for lunch, which left Black free to use his portable copier to copy some documents, which provided him with evidence that the computer company I.B.M. played a role in supporting Adolf Hitler.
I.B.M. made the punch cards that contained explicit details on each person being sent to the concentration camps, Black says. The Jewish people were separated into camps by the work they could perform and life expectancy if they performed manual labor. I.B.M. profited from the tracking of people throughout the Holocaust period, and Black suggests that was through his ties to Nazi Germany. Black argues that I.B.M.'s owner knew Hitler and supported his efforts to exterminate the Jewish race.
Black says other American companies, such as Ford, General Motors, and Kellogg’s, supported Hitler's view and profited during this period.
Around 350 students listened Black’s presentation. They appeared to be mesmerized by Black’s presentation, which was timed to coincide lessons on the Holocaust which were taking place in social studies classes as part of Holocaust Remembrance Week.