News from Gustavus Adolphus College

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Wallenberg Memorial Lecture
at Gustavus Adolphus College

ST. PETER, Minn. (Oct. 25, 2001) – The Peace Studies program at Gustavus Adolphus College will present the annual Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Lecture, "The Holocaust on Trial?: An Analysis of the Irving-Lipstadt Trial in London,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 in the college’s Wallenberg Auditorium, located in the Alfred Nobel Hall of Science.

This year's speaker is Robert Jan van Pelt, an author and professor of architecture at the University of Waterloo, Canada. In the much-publicized David Irving libel trial in 2000, defendants were accused of falsely labeling the British historian a Holocaust denier. The case also questioned the evidence proving Auschwitz as a death camp. In connection with their defense, Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt engaged architectural historian van Pelt to prepare for the court an expert report presenting the evidence that Auschwitz had been an extermination camp where up to one million Jews were killed, mainly in gas chambers.  Partially due to van Pelt’s report, the judge found in favor of the defense.

Van Pelt is author of The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial (Jan. 2002) and co-author of Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present (1996) and Architectural Principles in the Age of Historicism (1993). Van Pelt’s forthcoming book has been labeled “essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the Holocaust and for those who seek to combat Holocaust denial.” The book addresses Holocaust denial in relation to Auschwitz as well as evidence from the trial.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Gustavus Adolphus College is a private liberal arts college in St. Peter, Minn. (one hour south of Minneapolis) that prepares 2,500 undergraduates for lives of leadership, service, and lifelong learning. The oldest Lutheran college in Minnesota, Gustavus was founded in 1862 by Swedish immigrants and named for Swedish King Gustav II Adolf. At Gustavus, students receive personal attention in small-sized classes and engage in collaborative research with their professors. Fully accredited and known for its strong science, writing, music, athletics, study-abroad, and service-learning programs, Gustavus hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and is internationally recognized for its annual Nobel Conference.