Former United States Representative Elizabeth Holtzman to Commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day at Touro Law

Date: March 25, 2013
Media Contact:

Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
(631) 761-7062

Central Islip, NY - The Law Center will mark Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah), with a talk by former US Representative Elizabeth Holtzman, “The Holocaust and Nazi War Criminals--the Search for them in the US and Unfinished Business,” Tuesday, April 9, 12:30 p.m., Faculty Conference Room. This event is free of charge and open to the public.

The day, formally observed this year on Monday, April 8, has been set aside for remembering the victims of the Holocaust and for reminding us of what can happen to civilized people when bigotry, hatred and indifference reign. This year’s theme, Never Again: Heeding the Warning Signs, focuses on why so many countries and individuals failed to respond to the warning signs, and what we can learn from the few who chose to act, despite widespread indifference.

Elizabeth Holtzman was the first Member of Congress to expose inaction on Nazi war criminals in the United States.  She strengthened the law on their deportation (the “Holtzman Amendment”) and created a Nazi-hunting unit in the Justice Department. She served as a member of the House Judiciary Committee during impeachment proceedings on President Richard Nixon; Chair: Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and International Law; Member, House Budget Committee: Chair, Task Force on State and Local Governments. She authored many pieces of legislation including: the Special Prosecutor Law; the Rape Privacy Act; an extension of the ratification deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment, the Refugee Act (with Senator Ted Kennedy), reform of the Rules Enabling Act and revisions to the Federal Rules of Evidence. She also negotiated directly with heads of government on problems of the boat people exodus, including an orderly departure program.  She uncovered major corruption in the federally funded summer feeding program leading to the conviction of more than 19 people, including a member of Congress, and to reforms that saved tens of millions of dollars.  She authored legislative changes to counter adverse impact of insurance redlining on homeowners and developers. From 1978-1981 she served as a member of the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy, and in 1977 she was a member of the National Commission on Observance of International Women’s Year

In 1982 she was elected District Attorney for Kings County, where she served through 1989. From 1990-1993 she served as the elected Comptroller of the City of New York. From 1999-2007 she served as a member of the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG).  She was appointed by President Bill Clinton as one of three public members responsible for overseeing declassification of secret US documents on Nazi and Imperial Japanese war crimes. During this time, more than 8 million pages were declassified and the CIA adopted the IWG’s expansive view of the declassification requirements.

While a student at Harvard Law School, Ms. Holtzman interned for a civil rights attorney in southwest Georgia which led her to co-found and become a director of the Law Students' Civil Rights Research Council, a national civil rights organization. She also interned for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She has received numerous honorary degrees and awards including the Radcliffe College, Distinguished Alumna Award, and awards from Warsaw Ghetto Resistance Organization, ACLU of New Jersey and California; Mademoiselle Magazine; and the National Organization of Jewish Women. She is currently counsel at Herrick, Feinstein, LLP, where she is co-chair and founder of their Government Relations Practice Group. 

For additional information, or to attend, please contact Jaclyn Curtin at (631) 761-7064 or email