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Holocaust Scholar Takes Second Look at German Churches' Response to Nazis

November 4, 2004


     WALLA WALLA, Wash.-- A noted scholar of the Holocaust will present a lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 17, in which he explores a new direction of inquiry into the relationship between the Holocaust and Germany’s Catholic and Protestant churches.

    Hubert Locke, Whitman’s Visiting Arnold Professor of Religion and the Holocaust, has devoted more than three decades to studying and writing about the Holocaust, race, criminal justice, religion and public policy. He will present “The Holocaust and the Church: A Second Look” at 7 p.m. in Room 130, Olin Hall, on Isaacs Avenue, Whitman campus. His presentation is free and open to the public.

    Holocaust research has historically tried to explain the lack of church response to the Nazi genocide of the Jewish population by looking at the actions of church leaders such as the Pope, said Locke. Within the last decade, however, a new generation of historians has turned this approach upside down.

    Locke said his lecture will ask “What is the view of the church if we look at the situation as seen through the behavior of the ordinary church-going folk?” Locke said he continues to research the Holocaust and ask “Why?” not only because it remains a gnawing personal question for him but because finding the answer could help prevent future tragedies.

     Locke is professor emeritus and dean emeritus of the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington. He is co-founder of the annual Scholars Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches. The author of numerous books and articles, including “The Church Confronts the Nazis” (Edwin Mellon Press, 1984), Locke’s most recent book is “Searching for God in Godforsaken Times and Places: Reflections on the Holocaust, Racism and Death.”

    Locke is a graduate of Wayne State University, the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. Early in his career he served as executive director, Citizens Committee for Equal Opportunity in Detroit and administrative assistant to the Detroit chief of police.


CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156; Email: parishlj@whitman.edu

Published on Nov 4, 2004
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