May 13, 2005 Symposium Marking the 60th Anniversary of the End of World War II To Be Held on May 26
Panelists to Give Eyewitness Accounts of Their Experiences
Press Contact: Anneliesa Clump Behrend (202) 707-9822; Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: Veterans History Project (202) 707-4916
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five days in advance at (202) 707-6362
“War’s End: Eyewitness to History,” a half-day symposium cosponsored by the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will take place from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.
The event, which is free and open to the public, commemorates the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. Seating is limited, and reservations are required; they may be made by calling (202) 707-6179. Reserved seats must be claimed at least 10 minutes before the start of the program, after which standbys will be admitted to unclaimed seats.
Benjamin Ferencz, an Army officer who served as prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, will deliver the keynote address for the symposium. A lawyer, author and lecturer, Ferencz has spent his career advocating steps to replace “the rule of force with the rule of law” and exploring the issues of international criminal justice and world peace.
Tom Wiener, historian for the Veterans History Project and compiler of the recently published book “Voices of War,” will moderate the first panel of eyewitnesses to events at the end of the war. Panelists are Art Buchwald, nationally syndicated columnist and a World War II Marine veteran; John Dolibois, the last surviving American interrogator from the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials; Yeiichi “Kelly” Kuwayama, a Japanese American who served in the U.S. Army’s famed 442nd Division, the “Go for Broke” unit, which received more decorations than any other for their valor in the war’s European Theater; and John Glusman, author of “Conduct Under Fire,” a new book about his father’s experiences as a prisoner of war of the Japanese.
Prosser Gifford, director of Scholarly Programs at the Library of Congress, will moderate
the second panel, which focuses on a historical perspective of the events surrounding the end of the war. Panelists include Klaus Larres, former Kissinger Scholar in the Library’s John W. Kluge Center and author of “Churchill’s Cold War”; James Hershberg, professor of history at George Washington University; Jon Meacham, managing editor of Newsweek and author of “Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait”; Elizabeth B. White, deputy director and chief historian, Office of Special Investigations, Department of Justice; and Peter Black, historian at the Holocaust Museum.
Veterans from World War I through the current conflict, and the civilians who supported them, are coming forward to record their personal stories and contribute personal documents for the Veterans History Project, a growing archives at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, which was mandated by Congress in 2000. The goal is to collect, preserve and share with future generations the stories of all American war veterans. To date, more than 33,000 individuals have submitted stories to the collection.
Those interested in becoming involved in the Veterans History Project are encouraged to send e-mail to [email protected] to request a project kit. The kit is also available on the Veterans History Project Web site at www.loc.gov/vets or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is the national institution for Holocaust education and remembrance. A public-private partnership, the museum brings the history and lessons of the Holocaust to Americans and other visitors through educational outreach, teacher training, traveling exhibitions and scholarship. Since its dedication in April 1993, the museum has welcomed almost 22 million visitors, including more than 7 million children. For more information, visit the museum’s Web site, www.ushmm.org.