A 21st Century Resource Center

The Mercer County Holocaust-Genocide Resource Center is located on the West Windsor, NJ, campus of Mercer County Community College. We are dedicated to providing the most current resources on Holocaust and genocide education for the 21st Century classroom. Learn more about us at

Monday, September 7, 2015


September 10:  Ravaged Armenia: The Auction of Souls will be screened in the Holocaust and Genocide Resource Center at noon.

Aurora Mardiganian, a young and beautiful Armenian girl, lives with her parents in the Turkish city of Havpoul. Her father, a prosperous merchant, was preparing to send her to the West to be educated. For centuries the Armenians had been terrorized by the Turks, but this was a period of serenity between the Turks and the Christian-Armenians. However, the War had hit Europe, and the Turks had informed the American ambassador, Henry Morganthau, in Constantinople, that the Armenians were giving support to the Turks' enemy, Russia. Despite Morgantheau's objections, the Turks issue a decree that the Armenians must be moved southward into the desert. The Turkish governor, a Pasha, comes to Aurora's father and demands she be given him as a bride. The father tells him his daughter will not give up her Christian belief, as she would have to do to marry a Muslim. The governor leaves in anger. The order is given for the removal of the Armenians. The men are separated from the women, and the Armenian soldiers are forced to disrobe and dig a trench, and then are shot down by the Turks. Mothers are torn away from their children and the Armenians are marched away into the desert where, famine, thirst and fierce heat await them. Aurora escapes to a mission school ran by Edith Graham, an English girl. The Turk soldiers surround the school and Miss Graham protests under the protection of the English flag to no avail,as the Turks trample the flag, and the Armenian girls are dragged away. Miss Graham, determined to help the girls as much as she possibly can, disguises herself as one of them and joins the march.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Julian Bond

R.I.P. Julian Bond

We lost a teacher, leader and friend over the weekend.To the nation, Julian Bond was best known as a civil rights activist, most notably as a leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He also served in both the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate, where—from 1966 to 1986—he advocated for the rights of African Americans, low-income citizens and anyone who needed a champion in the legislature.To those of us who are lucky enough to work at Teaching Tolerance and the Southern Poverty Law Center, Julian Bond felt like a beloved uncle. He was our organization’s first president, a longtime board member and frequent visitor. He wrote the foreword to our 2014 Teaching the Movement report, narrated our Oscar-winning documentary, A Time for Justice, and contributed his first-hand historical knowledge and insight to our most recent film, Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot. He was always generous with his time, smiles and encouragement while he was visiting our office in Montgomery.What fewer people got to know about Julian Bond was his passion for civil rights scholarship. He taught at Harvard, Williams, Drexel and the Universities of Pennsylvania and Virginia, among other institutions. Anyone who ever had the privilege of seeing him lecture on the history of rock ‘n’ roll will never forget how he was able to bring decades of history to life through his deep knowledge of music and pop culture. Julian Bond, the educator, was dynamic, creative and unfailingly generous with his knowledge until the end. He was even scheduled to appear as a panel member at the upcoming Selma viewing at the National Council for the Social Studies conference this November.As we mourn Mr. Bond’s passing and wish peace to his family and friends, we also want to express our gratitude for having had the privilege to work with him.Rest in peace, sir. We will miss you.
van der Valk is the managing editor for Teaching Tolerance.

Friday, August 14, 2015

August 2015

 August- The Center is spotlighting the Roma Gypsies with a  photo exhibit

August 2– Roma Genocide Remembrance Day
In May 1944, the Nazis started to plan the liquidation of the “Gypsy camp” The prisoners of the camp were ordered to stay in the barracks and were surrounded by 60 SS men. When the SS men tried to force the prisoners out of the barracks they faced a rebellion of Roma men, women and children, armed with nothing more but sticks, tools and stones, and eventually the SS had to withdraw. The resistance of Roma prisoners gave them only a few additional months of life.
The Nazi also feared that an insurrection could spread to other parts of the camp and they planned the “Final Solution” on August 2nd. On orders from SS leader Heinrich Himmler, a ban on leaving the barracks was imposed on the evening of August 2 in the “Gypsy Camp”. Despite resistance by the Roma, 2,897 men, women, and children were loaded on trucks. After the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945 only 4 Roma remained alive.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

June 2, 2015- 8:30 am to 1:30 CONFERENCE

Utilizing Resources -the State wide Educators Conference was held  in the Mercer County Community College conference center from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. Panelists presented information on how to design lesson plans for various grade levels. Professor Elizabeth DeGiorgio prepared
a presentation and materials for participants and also met with individual teachers to answer questions.

At The Conference,.Lynn Azarchi, executive director of the KIDSBRIDGE museum participated in the Educator’s workshop. Each year a Holocaust & Genocide Awareness award is given to a student that has demonstrated an altruistic act of generating awareness, empathy and action for Holocaust and/or Genocide education. Nominations are made by Mercer County Superintendents, 4th through 12th Grade School Principals, and 4th through 12th grade Teachers and Guidance Counselors in Mercer County. A team of independent judges from the community, and representatives from the Advisory Commission of the Mercer County Holocaust/Genocide Resource Center reviewed the nominations and selected the winners.

2015 KIDSBRIDGE Winner

Jared Miller is a 9th grade student dedicated to generating genocide and anti-bullying awareness in the student population. Nominated by Robbinsville High School Social Studies Teacher Angel Dolina, Jared is the winner of the Fourth Annual Youth Holocaust and Genocide Competition (2015). Jared used the following quote, “Nobody is superior or inferior, everyone is equal whether a bully chooses to accept it or not” throughout his efforts to spread awareness in his high school. Troubled by those who unknowingly turned a blind eye to mass killings, Jared created presentations about the Armenian, Holocaust, Cambodian, and Rwandan genocides, which were displayed during lunch at his school. He found ways to link bullying prevention to the hatred generated from genocides, making his message clearer and easier to understand for his classmates.
Continuing his efforts, Jared solely organized an awareness day that impacted 900 high school students. He is in the process of inviting a Holocaust survivor who lived in a concentration camp, to make a presentation to help the student population gain a better understanding of the horror of genocide. In his first year of high school, Jared has made vast strides in increasing the knowledge of these topics in Robbinsville High School. There is no stronger compliment than one being such a positive role model and inspiration to other students at such a young age.

Saul Goldwasser Writing award
The Saul Goldwasser Writing Award and the 2014 Youth Holocaust and Genocide awareness award were presented at this conference. The 3rd annual Saul Goldwasser Writing Award. The award was presented to Jennifer Vitella a MCCC Honor student. Jennifer read her winning piece to the audience.

April 28, 2015 The Greek-Jewish Experience - 4:30 p.m.

April 28, 2015
The Greek-Jewish Experience - 4:30 p.m.
lecture and discussion with author and filmmaker Isaak  Dostis

 Isaak Dostis is an American-born filmmaker, writer, and actor who now lives full time in
 Ioannina, Greece. He is a member of the small Greek-Jewish community there, but previously
 lived in the New York Metro area where he was a founder of the lower Manhattan museum about
Greek speaking Jewish people known as the "Romaniotes,"  housed in Kehilla Kadisha Janina.
 Isaac Dostis, shared with our community about the Jews of Greece and his Romaniote heritage.
 The effect of the Holocaust on the Jews of Greece is not well known in North America. Because
 of the in- flux of German and PolishJews in the mid-20th century, the devastation of the Ashkenazi
 Jews became the image of the Holocaust in many minds. The Sephardic and Romaniote populations
 were also devastated, and the Romaniote, already a dwindling population, was almost eliminated.
 Both the city of Ioannina and the island of Corfu boasted large Romaniote populations until 1944.
 Until the 20th century, there was a thriving Jewish community in Ioannina. The Romaniote Jews
 lived amicably alongside their Christian and Muslim neighbors. In the beginning of the 20th
century, there were around 7000 Jews. They held jobs as tradesmen and craftsmen, and owned homes
 in the town. Many left, along with their Greek contemporaries, in the turmoil

April 23, 2015 Auction of Souls (Ravished Armenia) and Discussion - 12 noon

To commemorate  the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Ravished Armenia, also
as Auction of Souls was screened. It  is a 1919 American film based on the autobiographical
book Ravished Armenia by Arshaluys (Aurora) Mardiganian, who also played the lead role in the
 film. It depicts the 1915 Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire from the point of view of
 Armenian survivor Mardiganian, who plays herself in the film. The first half of the film shows
Armenia as it was before Turkish and German devastation, and led up to the deportation of priests
and thousands of families into the desert. One of the concluding scenes showed young Armenian
women flogged for their refusal to enter Turkish harems and depicted the Turkish slave markets.
The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 800,000 to 1.5 million.
The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day Ottoman authorities rounded
up and arrested, subsequently executing some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders
 in Constantinople.

April 16, 2015 Commemoration of Yom Hashoah: Holocaust Memorial Day -12 noon

Dr.  Myra Weiner put together a strong program of poems and artwork to commemorate Yom HaShoah
on April 16. After opening remarks,students recited seven poems with artwork being shown on a large
screen. A brief comment on the art was given before each poem. After the poetry reading, eleven
candles were lit in memory of those murdered by the Nazis in World War II. Dr. Goodkin  ended
 the program with closing remarks.