After a semester spent in Germany and a fascination for the topic that has been present since she was a little girl, the time has come.

Senior Kaitlyn Heater will present a project titled “American and German Perceptions of the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide.”

The 22-year-old senior chose this subject because she has always been fascinated by the Holocaust.

“Once I started studying, I became aware of many other genocides that have taken place more recently all over the world,” Heater said. “I decided to do my project to analyze why we don’t learn about these more recent genocides as much as we learn about the Holocaust, when it is important to learn about them all.”

Heater’s presentation is a comparative investigation of the Holocaust in World War II Nazi Germany and the genocide that occurred in Rwanda in 1994. More specifically, Heater will look at the history, details and responses of the United States and Germany, in respect to each event.

Heater underlined that the United Nations’ “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” has been a very useful tool.

According to the United Nations, genocide is classified as any acts intended to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.

Based on her comparative research with the Holocaust, Heater came to a different conclusion. She concluded that what happened in Rwanda was in fact genocide, despite the United Nations classification.

Moreover, Heater’s trip to Germany two years ago was a wonderful experience.

That trip gave her the opportunity to view the German public’s opinions.

About next year, Heater is still unclear. However, the study has re-enforced what she would like to do in the future.

She plans to pursue a career in a university, working with foreign students or helping organize study abroad programs for American students.

Heater will present her findings in the Center for Languages and International Collaboration at 10:30 a.m. on April 25.


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