Tuesday, March 18, 2008


AZG Armenian Daily

Toronto, Canada-It was with shock and great sadness that we at the
Zoryan Institute learned of the passing yesterday of our colleague and
friend, Stephen Charles Feinstein. His departure marks the loss of an
important scholar, great educator, active associate of this institute,
and strong friend of the Armenian people. His death, while speaking
at a local Jewish Film Festival, caught everyone by surprise, as,
aged only 65, he seemed robust and full of energy. He was taken to
hospital where he died of an aortic aneurism that resulted in cardiac
arrest. His wife Susan was with him the entire time.

In the words of Vahakn N. Dadrian, Zoryan's Director of Genocide
Research, "His selfless and very effective involvement in the promotion
of studies that went beyond focused Holocaust themes and incorporated,
in particular, the Armenian Genocide, was a monument to his sublime
humanity. We will all sorely miss him."

As a Holocaust specialist, Steve was quick to appreciate the
significance of the interconnections between the Holocaust and
the Armenian Genocide. He worked energetically to introduce the
Armenian Genocide into the curriculum and public programs of the
University of Minnesota, creating, among other things, a very useful
teacher's resource kit and producing in conjunction with Minnesota
Public Television an award-winning documentary film, "The Armenian
Genocide: 90 Years Later." Under his supervision, the CHGS's website
(www.chgs.umn.edu) became a rich and valuable source of reliable
information on all aspects of the Holocaust and genocide.

Prof. Feinstein was the Director of the Center for Holocaust and
Genocide Studies since 1999, as well as an Adjunct Professor of
History at the University of Minnesota. Previously, he had taught
in the Dept. of History at University of Wisconsin-River Falls for
thirty years until retirement.

He had received a Ph.D. in Russian and European History from New York
University in 1971,and an MA in European History and Art from there in
1966. Steve had a scholarly interest in the artistic representation
of genocide. He wrote and lectured about it, organized art exhibits,
and his site provides a rare showcase for the art of Jewish, Armenian,
and other genocides.

In 2003, he helped organize a partnership between the University of
Minnesota and the International Institute for Genocide and Human
Rights Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute) to run the
highly regarded annual Genocide and Human Rights University Program
simultaneously in Minneapolis and Toronto. The partnership provided
official accreditation to the program in both locations. He served
both as Co- Director of the program and taught in it at both locations.

"In all my dealings with Steve, I found him to be both visionary in
seeing the benefits of collaboration between our two organizations,
as well as eminently practical in helping to overcome the inevitable
obstacles to such undertakings. He will be missed not only for his
vision and his scholarship, but also for his leadership in field
of genocide studies as a master educator," said Greg Sarkissian,
Zoryan's President.

Stephen sought to foster scholarly research and increase public
knowledge about the history and politics of ethnic and national
conflict in the eastern Mediterranean, with the hope that the
knowledge developed would contribute to reconciliation among the
diverse peoples of the region. In this respect, he collaborated through
the CHGS with scholars such as Eric Weitz and Taner Akcam on several
research projects with various other institutions around the world,
including the Zoryan Institute.

Always a man of conviction in the defence of truth, Stephen Feinstein
was one of the prominent signatories to the famous statement of 126
Holocaust scholars at the Thirtieth Conference on the Holocaust and
the Churches in 2000 "affirming that the World War I Armenian Genocide
is an From left to right: Houry Koolian, Sonia Bal, Greg Sarkissian,
Stephen Feinstein, Roger Smith incontestable historical fact and
accordingly urge the governments of Western Democracies to recognize
it as such."

Roger W. Smith, Chair of Zoryan's Academic Board, in remembering his
late colleague, stated that "Steve, whom I knew for many years and
worked with in many contexts, was one of the finest persons I have
ever known: he had integrity, intellect, generosity, and a universal
perspective that included all peoples. He knew a great deal about
tragedy and suffering, but transcended them with humanity and that
ever present sense of humour."

"Steve was well known for his numerous contributions to the field,
through his own research, teaching, public lecturing, organizing
conferences and publishing, and particularly through the help and
support he provided to countless students and scholars in their
respective efforts," commented George Shirinian, Executive Director
of the Zoryan Institute.

"He was outstanding for his countless efforts at outreach and
networking with others in the field. His collaboration, irrepressible
humour, benevolence and warm friendship will be greatly missed by
all of us at the Zoryan Institute."

Steve leaves his wife Susan, two children, and two grandchildren. The
funeral will be held at Temple Beth-El in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota,
Friday afternoon at 2:00 PM. The family has requested that any memorial
donations be directed to the Center for Holocaust and Genocide

ZORYAN INSTITUTE OF CANADA, INC., 255 Duncan Mill Rd., Suite 310,
Toronto, ON, Canada M3B 3H9, Tel: 416-250-9807 Fax: 416-512-1736
E-mail: zoryan@zoryaninstitute.org, www.zoryaninstitute.org

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