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Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Committee Records

Identifier: U6203

Scope and Contents

The collection contains information on events in the lecture series, presentation slides and notes, correspondence, bylaws of the committee, and other miscellaneous materials.


  • Creation: 1998-2018


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

The Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Memorial Lecture Series was established at the University of Minnesota, Duluth by Leonore Baeumler, Robert Karon, the Twin Ports Jewish Federation, and the University of Minnesota Foundation. The purpose of this fund is to provide resources for a lecture; a seminar; or series of lectures, seminars and presentations, to occur at least once every two years, dedicated to informing and educating people about the Holocaust, its victims, causes, consequences, lessons, and memory.

Walter Baeumler (1928-93), Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota, Duluth for twenty-eight years, was born in Nurnberg, Germany. At age sixteen, he was inducted into the German army; at seventeen, he was a "veteran" who had escaped from the Russians and had returned to a destroyed home and a ruined town. His mother had been killed by a bomb, his father was a POW in France, an uncle had been killed in Stalingrad, and other close relatives were scattered across Europe. Soon he found his beloved grandfather, who suffered starvation and torture in the hands of the Nazis, dying in an American field hospital. He told Walter, "It is better to have tyranny end with terror than to have terror without end," and admonished his grandson to build a better future. Walter Baeumler did.

In 1955, Walter Baeumler, his wife Leonore, and their baby son emigrated to America. With a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Nebraska, he came to the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1965 and taught until he died in 1993. Dedicated to explaining to the young the importance of social problems, he always bridged the theoretical and the practical. Together with his friends, Walter and Goldie Eldot, he established the Holocaust Commemorative Series at UMD while he taught classes on the subject. Professor Baeumler wanted to insure that the lessons of the Holocaust would neither be forgotten nor swallowed by a fascination with the horrible. Thus, in his honor, this Memorial Lecture Series has been established to remember, with dignity, the lives and sufferings of the victims and to encourage change through the dissemination of truth, justice, and peace.

Mortrud Kaplan (1908-86), a lifelong resident of Duluth and a registered pharmacist, was the son of Lithuanian immigrants who worked hard to send their children to college. His sister, Mrs. Ida Grubnick, instructed her attorney, Robert J. Karon, to memorialize her brother with funds that she gave originally to the Jewish Federation and Community Council of Duluth, now the Twin Ports Jewish Federation. Mrs. Grubnick wished the commemoration to explore the plight of Jews and Judaism.

Source: Establishment of the Baeumler Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration


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Language of Materials



The collection contains information on events in the lecture series, presentation slides and notes, correspondence, bylaws of the committee, and other miscellaneous materials.

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.

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Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526