Professional Activity

Elaine Leeder – Holocaust Heritage Tour to Lithuania

Dr. Elaine Leeder (Dean Emerita and Professor of Sociology) has returned from a heritage tour to Lithuania where she investigated the killing of her family during the Holocaust in their small village of Kupiskis. Located in the northwest of the country she visited the village where she learned about the genocide there; she is now writing a memoir about her own childhood memory and intergeneration transmission of trauma.

Leeder recently presented her work to Limmud, a conference on Jewish learning held at SSU in July and will be presenting it to the SSU Holocaust and Genocide Lecture series in the spring. In her studies she discovered that the killings in Lithuania differed from other sites because most of the deaths took place from June, 1941 to December, 1941 done by the Einsattsgruppen (roving killing squads that followed the German army as they moved eastward toward Moscow).

After visiting many of the killing places and seeing the place where her own family was killed, she also visited the location where their home once stood as well as the memorial wall that she and her family contributed to as an honor to those martyred in the village.

Leeder is also presenting her work based on her book My Life With Lifers: Lessons for a Teacher, Humanity Has no Bars to local community groups and prison rights organizations. She continues to work with prisoners at San Quentin State Prison and takes student groups to meet the prisoners on a regular basis.

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