Release Date: April 21, 2011
ASU to Host Holocaust Remembrance Speakers Event
Two military history scholars, both retired U.S. Air Force colonels, will offer a public presentation about different aspects of the Holocaust on Wednesday, April 27, as Angelo State University commemorates the annual Holocaust Days of Remembrance.
Dr. Edward Westermann, a former professor of comparative military history and theory at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Dr. Robert Ehlers, director of the ASU Center for Security Studies, will speak starting at 6 p.m. April 27 in the ASU Auditorium, which is located in the Mayer Administration Building, 2601 W. Ave. N. Their presentation is open free to the public, and is being co-sponsored by the Center for Security Studies and the ASU Multicultural Center.
Ehlers will speak first about his own family’s experience with anti-Semitism, including his great-grandfather’s flight from Czarist Russia to the U.S. in the late-1800s, after his family’s land holdings and those of many other Jews in what is now Poland were expropriated by Czar Nicholas II. Family members who stayed behind later perished in the Holocaust.
Ehlers will then introduce Westermann, who will speak on “An Organizational Culture of Annihilation: The German Police and the Holocaust.” This gripping presentation hammers home the tragedy of the Holocaust while describing how the Nazis, including their police battalions, orchestrated the most massive genocide in human history.
Westermann is the author of Hitler’s Police Battalions: Enforcing Racial War in the East, and previously taught courses in military history and military strategic studies at the Air Force Academy and the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. He is a fellow of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and a three-time fellow of the German Academic Exchange Service.
Westermann spent 25 years in the Air Force, retiring as the commander of Air Force Basic Military Training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio. He has published two books and more than 20 book chapters, journal articles and encyclopedia entries, and has made numerous presentations at scholarly conferences and seminars. He holds a master’s degree in European history from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in modern European history from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He was also a Fulbright fellow at Freie Universität Berlin from 1994-95.
Ehlers taught previously in the History Department at the Air Force Academy, is a former professor of airpower history at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, and served as commander of the 17th Training Support Squadron and deputy commander of the 17th Training Group at Goodfellow AFB. He holds a master’s degree in African history from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in military history from Ohio State University.
For more information, call the ASU Multicultural Center at 942-2729.