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Apr 09, 2014 11:39 AM EDT

UNL Receives $100,000 Donation For Studies and Research on Holocaust

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumni have donated $100,000 to the Harris Center for Judaic Studies to establish the Lou Sommerhauser Fund for Holocaust Education.

Siblings Peter Sommerhauser of Milwaukee and Eileen Sommerhauser Putter of Seattle made a gift to the University in honor of their father Lou Sommerhauser and grandparents, Albert and Babette Sommerhauser, killed in a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust.

The endowed fund will offer resources to the Harris Center to evaluate and research  the Holocaust and related events.

 "Academic interest in this and related topics is steadily growing, and in my class alone on the Holocaust I teach more than 140 students every year. The Lou Sommerhauser Fund in Holocaust Education constitutes crucial support for expanding and strengthening our education efforts," Gerald Steinacher, director of Holocaust education project at the Harris Center for Judaic Studies, said in a statement.

 "We are impressed with the efforts in teaching methods developed by the Harris Center and hope that such efforts will help reduce the kinds of intolerance that existed during the Holocaust era," Sommerhauser said.

UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Ari Kohen, associate professor of political science appreciated Sommerhauser family for their support in advancing Holocaust education.

"This will allow us to design an annual workshop that brings experienced Holocaust educators and researchers together for high-level discussions of time-tested and brand new ways to educate students about such an important topic," Kohen, director of UNL's Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affai, said.

The gift from the Sommerhauser family also supports University of Nebraska's Campaign for Nebraska that primarily focuses on scholarships, medical, academic programs, faculty support and facilities among others.

Peter Sommerhauser, a graduate of the UNL College of Arts and Sciences, holds a master's from the UNL College of Business Administration. He is a member of the UNL College of Business Administration's campaign committee. On the other hand, Eileen Sommerhauser Putter, a graduate of the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences, earned a master's degree in urban education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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