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[Special Lecture]
A Lucky Child: What Memories of the Holocaust Tell Us


  • *This lecture has finished.
  • Lecturer: Thomas Buergenthal
    (Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence, George Washington University Law School; Former Judge, International Court of Justice)
  • Moderator: Osa Yukie
    (President, Association for Aid and Relief (AAR), Japan; Professor, Rikkyo University)
  • Date: Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 6:30-8:00 pm (Door opens at 6:00 pm)
  • Venue: Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, International House of Japan
  • Language: English & Japanese (with simultaneous interpretation)
  • Admission: 1,000 yen (IHJ Members & Students: Free)
  • * The proceeds from this event will be donated to Japan Association for UNHCR
  • Supported by the Asahi Shimbun Company, Japan Association for UNHCR, and Minato City
  • Seating Capacity: 200 (reservations required)
Image:A_Lucky_Child

As one of the youngest survivors of the Holocaust, Dr. Thomas Buergenthal became a specialist in international law. He has devoted his career as a human rights lawyer, an educator, and a judge at the International Court of Justice so that human tragedies such as the Holocaust would never be repeated. Unfortunately, his wish has been betrayed as he witnesses horrific human rights violations in Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur, and the Balkan states. However, Dr. Buergenthal never gives up on pursuing his dream of averting and ending crimes against humanity in any part of the world.
In Japan, in the meantime, the issue of historical memory of the last century is still volatile and causing controversies both domestically and internationally. In this lecture, Dr. Buergenthal will speak on the importance of not letting wither the memory of such human tragedy, and on the issue of historical memory in the future.

Thomas Buergenthal (Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence, George Washington University Law School; Former Judge, International Court of Justice)

Thomas Buergenthal was born in Slovakia in 1934. During World War II, Dr. Buergenthal was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp at the age of 10, where he was separated from his parents. Later he was sent to the Sachsenhausen camp, but had a miraculous escape from death and was released from the camp. His father was killed in a camp, but he was reunited with his mother after the end of the war. At the age of 17, Dr. Buergenthal moved to the United States, where his relatives lived. He received his J.D. degree from the New York University School of Law and S.J.D. degree from the Harvard Law School, and is considered one of the world’s leading experts in international law and international human rights law. After holding prominent positions including Director of the Human Rights Program of the Carter Center, Atlanta, he served as a Judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands, from 2000 to 2010. He was also a Judge and President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and a member of the UN Human Rights Committee. He is the author of A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy (Little, Brown & Co.: 2007, 2009), which has been translated and published in several countries including Japan.

Osa Yukie
(President, Association for Aid and Relief (AAR), Japan; Professor, Rikkyo University)

Received her Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo. Her fields of research include Human Security, International Humanitarian Law and Genocide studies.
As a head of emergency assistance operations, Ms. Osa was involved in AAR’s programs in Cambodia, Former-Yugoslavia, Mozambique, Kosovo, Chechenia, Afghanisntan, etc. As a member of International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), she led the Japanese Mine Ban Campaign during and after the Ottawa Process. Ms. Osa also serves as Director of Japan Platform (JPF) and Advisory board member of Soma City Reconstruction Council (Fukushima Pref.) Her publications include Surebunitsua: Aru Jenosaido wo Meguru Kousatsu (Srebrenica –Analysis of a genocide; Toshindo Publishers, 2009) and Nyuumon Ningen no Anzenhosho: Kyohu to Ketsubo kara no Jiyu wo Motomete (Introduction to Human Security – In search of freedom from fear and want; Chuokoron Shinsha Inc., 2012).