Holocaust Historian Anna Rosmus Presents EKU Chautauqua Lecture
The next lecture in the "Questing and Questioning" Chautauqua Series will feature author and Holocaust historian Anna Rosmus, real-life heroine of the Academy Award-nominated film, “The Nasty Girl.”
Rosmus, a native of Passau, Germany, will present “Seeking Equilibrium with Open Eyes: Unveiling Passau’s Denial” on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Services Building Auditorium. The program is free and open to the public.
For more than 20 years, Rosmus has investigated the role Passau played in the Holocaust, beginning with research for a national high school essay contest. The facts she uncovered contradicted the commonly held belief that the town resisted the Nazis.
She discovered that her picture-perfect Bavarian community had been intimately involved in the Third Reich. Almost all of the city’s prominent families were members of the Nazi party long before it came to power. Passau's Jews were forced out of town and their property confiscated. Eight concentration camps were established in the area.
Once she started investigating, Rosmus didn't stop. Her essay won the competition and in 1983 she published her first book, “Resistance and Persecution in Passau from 1933 to 1939,” for which she won the prestigious German Geschwister-Scholl Award. Since then she has written numerous books and articles, including “Against the Stream: Growing Up Where Hitler Used to Live,” “Wintergreen: Suppressed Murders” and “Out of Passau: Leaving a City Hitler Called Home." She has been featured on “60 Minutes” in two Morley Safer profiles and was the subject of a recent documentary film which was shown throughout Germany, “Passau-Washington: The Nasty Girl in America.”
Rosmus has won many awards for her heroism, including the Galinski Prize, the highest honor bestowed by the German Jewish community. She has also received the American Society of Journalists and Authors’ Conscience in Media Award, the Anti-Defamation League’s Sarnat Prize for those who fight anti-Semitism, the prestigious Tucholsky Death Mask, and the Holocaust Survivors and Friends’ Holocaust Memorial Award.
Her attempts to bring home Passau's expelled Jews and few Holocaust survivors and to commemorate the forgotten Jews of Passau inspired the 1990 film “The Nasty Girl,” by Michael Verhoeven. The film will be shown on campus Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 6:30 p.m. in Room 108 of the Crabbe Library. The presentation, part of the Chautauqua Series and the International Cinema Series, is free and open to the public.