Archive for the ‘Holocaust’ Category

Auschwitz Artifacts to Go on Tour, Very Carefully – New York Times

The exhibition announced on Wednesday by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the organizer, the Spanish company Musealia will include pieces from the museum such as a barracks; a freight car of the same type used to transport prisoners; letters and testimonials; and a gas mask, a tin that contained Zyklon B gas pellets and other grim remainders from the complexs gas chambers.

Seven years in the making, the exhibition is a response to growing anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere, those involved with it said.

We have never done anything like this before and its the first project of this magnitude ever, said Piotr Cywinski, director of the state museum, which is on the site of the former camp, in southern Poland. We had been thinking about this for a long time, but we lacked the know-how.

Even though the Holocaust remains a major focus of study by historians and is a staple of school curriculum in many countries, knowledge about the camps is fading for younger generations, he said.

The exhibition will make its first stop in Madrid, aiming for an opening around December, and then tour for seven years. Precise dates and locations will be announced in about a month.

It is no longer enough to sit inside four walls, stare at the door and wait for visitors to come in, Mr. Cywinski said, so museum officials decided to reach out to a more global audience.

The exhibition was broached in 2010 when Musealia, a family-owned company whose shows include artifacts from the Titanic, approached the museum.

Luis Ferreiro, the companys director, said the idea came while he was grieving the death of his 25-year-old brother. He had found consolation in Mans Search for Meaning, a book by a Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist, Viktor E. Frankl, about his experiences in four extermination camps after his pregnant wife, his parents and brother all perished.

Inspired by the books lessons for spiritual survival, Mr. Ferreiro said he decided to try to bring the subject of the Holocaust closer to those who may never have a chance to visit the museum.

It took time for Mr. Ferreiro to gain the trust of the board of the Auschwitz museum, which was surprised to receive such a request from an exhibition company outside the museum world.

The museum demanded that the artifacts be kept secured at all times and that the exhibition comply with the museums strict conservation requirements, including finding proper transportation and storage, as well as choosing exhibition spaces with sufficient lighting and climate control.

The museum also insisted that the artifacts be presented in historical context, especially because many aspects of World War II are only vaguely understood by younger generations. For instance, in Spain, asking about the history and place of Jews in Europe would probably get some strange answers. The exhibition will show that Spain which during the war was under the rule of Francisco Franco, a dictator and ally of Adolf Hitler was not home to large Jewish communities and did not have extensive connections with the Holocaust, yet there were notable exceptions, such as ngel Sanz Briz, a Spanish diplomat who saved more than 5,000 Jews in Hungary from deportation to Auschwitz.

In other words, we want to show that the Franco regime was certainly very sympathetic to the Nazis, said Robert Jan van Pelt, a history professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada and a Holocaust scholar who has been working on the exhibition. But individual Spaniards could make, and made, a difference.

As for the morality of charging money to see artifacts from a death camp, and potentially turning a profit, Mr. Ferreiro said that traveling exhibitions like this one usually generated huge expenses. Putting the display together has already cost more than $1.5 million, and there are no guarantees the exhibit will even be sustainable, Mr. Ferreiro said.

Musealia will offer museums that want to host the exhibition a flat fee for transportation, installation, design and all the content.

We need to earn an income to sustain ourselves and keep the enterprise going, Mr. Ferreiro said, but our goal is to focus on larger social goals such as enlightenment and education.

The Auschwitz museum will receive a fixed amount that will be given to it yearly to cover any expenses arising from the project, though neither museum officials nor Musealia specified how much. If the exhibition is profitable, the amount the museum receives will be increased, Mr. Ferreiro said.

The story of Auschwitz, as told through the artifacts, will cover the physical location of the camps and their status as symbols of structuralized hatred and barbarity. The exhibition will begin with the history of Oswiecim, the Polish site of the German camps, whose population was about 60 percent Jewish before the war. That history will be followed by the origins of Nazism after the First World War.

Of the 1,150 original pieces to be displayed, 835 will come from the state museum. The rest have been lent by other institutions, like Yad Vashem in Israel, or directly by survivors and their families, much of which has not been displayed before.

Each artifact, however, was chosen to help lay out the history of the Holocaust. Mr. van Pelt mentioned a brown blanket that belonged to Siegfried Fedrid, a Jew born in Vienna who was a prisoner at Nazi camps in Lodz, a city in central Poland, and Auschwitz. The blanket is on loan to the exhibition from the family of Mr. Fedrid, who died in 1963.

Mr. Fedrid shared the blanket with five other prisoners, probably saving their lives during a grisly winter march.

Rabbi Hier said that the Holocaust artifacts must travel the world to make sure memories of the era do not fade away.

Were in the period of the last remnants, last decades, where personal survivors or witnesses, who can describe the events, are living on this planet, he said. We will soon have no survivors.

Mr. Cywinski, of the Auschwitz museum, said he expected the exhibition to be provocative, with some patrons drawing connections between the rise of Nazism and events around the world today. He mentioned populism, propaganda, institutionalized hatred and an international community that he regarded as sometimes seemingly blind to these social forces.

Memory that is intelligent, reflexive, is not limited to the past, but allows you to define the reality and project the future, he said. Otherwise, why would we even need memory?

An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to admissions at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Visitors are charged a fee if they tour the memorial with a guide, not simply for entering the grounds.

Sopan Deb contributed reporting from New York.

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Jill Werman Harris – Tablet Magazine

Dignified and erudite, Marcel Tuchman is the consummate Old World European, easily referencing history and literature. At 95, he still practices internal medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center, where he is beloved by patients, colleagues, and students. And in summertime, he favors short shirt-sleeves, which expose, on his arm, the mark of the Nazis systematic mass slaughter of European Jews during WWII: in his case, a tattoo of the number 161740.

Marcel Tuchman, in prison attire, working in the Siemens factory in Bobrek, near Auschwitz during the war. (Photo courtesy Marcel Tuchman)

At the beginning of the war, Tuchman and his parents, Syda and Ignatz, lived in the Przemysl Ghetto; when the ghetto was liquidated, Tuchman, hiding in his attic, listened for six hours to the sounds of gunshots, as the Nazis sadistically executed people individually in the nape of the neck. His beloved 46-year-old mother, Syda, was taken away and massacred at the Jewish cemetery, while Tuchman and his father survived imprisonment at Auschwitz and worked as slave laborers for the Siemens Corp. After liberation, they went to the DP camp at Bergen-Belsen, where Tuchman met his future wife, Shoshana. Most hoped to immigrate to the United States, which issued few visas, or Palestine, which, under British rule, had limited immigration.

Virtually no one wished to remain on German soil. But when Tuchmans father heard on the radio that Heidelberg University was reopening after the de-Nazification process in Germany, he told Marcel, whose studies had been interrupted by the war, The time to think about your future is now. And with scholarships from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, Marcel and Shoshana began their medical studies in Heidelberg, becoming part of a group of about 800 young Jewish survivors who studied in the American zone of occupied Germany in Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and other cities. We had nowhere to go. We lost everything except the hope that we could rebuild our lives by acquiring education. No other country but Germany was offering it, said Tuchman.

So despite the horrors of the recent past, this groupof which Tuchman is one of the last survivorsdid the unthinkable, returning to Germany to recommence their studies, surrounded by former Nazis or Nazi sympathizers as their fellow students.

Marcel Tuchman with fellow Jewish students at the Jewish Students Union, Heidelberg, undated. (Photo courtesy Marcel Tuchman)

Getting to university was no easy feat. Many students had not completed gymnasium or high school and had no preparatory schooling. As one boy said, We didnt memorize formulas in Dachau. Some students resumed education at Jewish parochial schools in the DP camps or found private gymnasium instructors there. Others attended a university run by UNRRA, where they formed the central hub of Jewish Students Union, before matriculating to established universities.

The Unions central goal was to increase the number of Jews in university, which was especially difficult due to quotas and the demand for higher education among Germans themselves, whose education had also been disrupted. Working with German, American, and international occupation officials, the Union helped secure slots for Jewish students. According to Jeremy Varon, author of The New Life: Jewish Students of Postwar Germany, This was a time when a formal system of reparations was being developed. The Jews jumped to be the first in line to say the Germans tried to murder us all. Access to German education was essentially a form of reparation because so much was taken from them.

With the help of Phillip Auerbach, a German Jew in the postwar government, the Union ended up getting a limitless number of Jewish enrollees, whoever could pass an exam. At each university, the Union worked to secure food, clothing, stipends, and housing for the students. But more important, the Jewish Students Union served as an emotional anchor for people who had lost most everything.

At Heidelberg University, Tuchman was the president of the Union. His friend Anna Ornstein, now 90 and living in Brookline, Massachusetts, had been deported to Auschwitz at 17. She had survived several concentration camps; she attended medical school with her husband Paul. With Marcel, she is one of the last survivors of the approximately 25 members of the Heidelberg Union. Every one of us had lost virtually all of our family, she said. The way we bonded was not in days but in seconds. We were family.

Given a small building that had originally belonged to the Heidelberg Jewish community, the students gathered every day during their free time, eating meals, often combining stipends for ingredients, singing in Hebrew and Yiddish, celebrating Jewish holidays. There was a vigorous conversation about whether they should abandon their studies to help establish Israel. As at other German universities, the Heidelberg Jewish students developed lasting attachments. Tuchman said that together the students were able to recover and regain their dignity and humanity. The Union, said Ornstein, was an island that provided security, love, and friendship.

German university was demanding and, for Czech, Polish, and Hungarian students, taught in a foreign language. Whats more, the Jewish students were surrounded by professors and peers who had obeyed a leader determined to annihilate the Jewish people. While the faculty supposedly had been purged of Nazis, survivors shared classes with young men who still wore their German army uniforms and civilians whose families had been collaborators. Externally we changed colors; we were neutral, Tuchman said. But next to me sat my enemy, hating me and me hating them.

The Jewish students kept to themselves, sitting, studying, and even sharing corpses for dissection. The atmosphere at the university was formal and distant. Ornstein remembers the Germans referring to her and her friend, Luisa Hornstein, as the tall and the short Jew. Tuchman said that the Germans at university never acknowledged their countrys crimes and, in some cases, questioned that it happened at all.

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Marcel Tuchman with his father, at his university graduation. (Photo courtesy Marcel Tuchman)

Jewish student survivors are a fascinating segment of the Sheerith Hapleitah, as its put in Genesis, the surviving remnant. Historian Jeremy Varon said the first most remarkable thing is that they did it at all. Many of the students had suffered the worst of the Holocaust and experienced acute brutalization and trauma. The wonder of their story is how could people who suffered so much find the wherewithal to believe in the future and then to pursue a rigorous academic course of study just months separated from utter devastation.

For Tuchman, education was a means to replenish the Jewish professionals who had perished and to build a foundation for the future. And almost uniformly they were high academic achievers, Varon said, some even bona fide wunderkind prodigy genius types, who read voraciously starting at a young age. They had always envisioned for themselves a future as an educated, professional making strong use of advanced education.

Ornstein and her husband became leading proponents of an emerging psychoanalytic theory called self-psychology, a post-Freudian method developed by Heinz Kohut, which stresses empathy and a relational approach in order to enhance the bond between patient and therapist and provide an analytic cure. Steven Hornstein, who also studied medicine at Heidelberg, and died in 2008, taught obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Cincinnati. His wife, Luisa Schwartzwald Hornstein, became a noted pediatrician. Victor Zarnowitz, University of Chicago economist, was one of the worlds leading scholars of business cycles, forecast evaluation, and indicators. Chemists, mathematicians, and so forththe postwar Jewish students in Germany became a whos who of intellectual industry and achievement. Tuchman wondered aloud to me what 6million victims could have done with their lives.

Marcel today, at his medical practice, pictured with the author. (Photo courtesy the author)

The Heidelberg group stayed connected over the next 70 years. As the years went by, many wrote books about their experiences, lectured, taught. There have been painful losses as the number of survivors dwindles. Two notable reunions took place, the last of which was in 1995, when Union members from 1945 to 1952 gathered at the Tuchmans home in the Berkshires, where in the middle of a garden Tuchman had built, a memorial made of six boulders with a triangular stone in Hebrew letters that reads Zachor (Remember). A smaller stone bears an image of a small Star of David and the dates 1939-1945.

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Jill Werman Harris has written for the New York Times, The Forward, and other publications. She is the author of Remembrances and Celebrations: A Book of Eulogies, Elegies, Letters and Epitaphs.

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At the MFA, a difficult homecoming for a Holocaust survivor – The … – The Boston Globe

Arie Kasiarz (with curator Kristen Gresh) viewes Henryk Rosss photographs of Polands Lodz Ghetto, where Kasiarz lived during World War II.

Hounded by memories of ghetto life, Arie Kasiarz hadnt been able to sleep.

He rarely talked about his hardships during the war, once fainting at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Philadelphian preferred to focus on the living, so rising from his hotel bed he bathed before dawn, dressed carefully in a crisp brown blazer, and was standing at the ready when his son came to collect him.

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Now, as rain poured outside the Museum of Fine Arts, Kasiarz, 90, clutched some of those memories in a white plastic bag: a pair of tattered photographs from his life during World War II. Hed traveled here to brave Memory Unearthed, an exhibition of Henryk Rosss photographs from Polands Lodz Ghetto, where Kasiarz, a Jew, had lived during the German occupation.

I get sick if the memory comes back to me, said Kasiarz, who entered the ghetto with his parents and two sisters when he was 12. I can forget what I ate yesterday, but I cant forget what I got through in the ghetto.

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Those memories include being chased from his familys well-appointed home in central Lodz to a one-room apartment in the ghetto where they were sealed off from the rest of the city with barbed wire fence. The Germans forbade them from taking money or even clothes. Neighbors disappeared. Death was common and hunger was constant. His mother used grass to make soup. Kasiarz once stole a potato from the depot where he worked, cutting it into slices that he hid under his pants.

I was a crook, he said. If theyd checked us Id have gone to jail, but people took a chance.

To illustrate the point, Kasiarz reached into his plastic bag to present the worn remains of his internment at Lodz: A jaggedphotograph, its top torn in a dramatic V, that shows a teenage Kasiarz kneeling with his fellow workers behind a mound of potatoes. In another group portrait a near compositional twin to one in the exhibition Kasiarz stands with other workers by a horse.

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I dont know how I still have them, he said. I have nothing else.

Could his images have been taken by Ross?

Its certainly possible, said MFA curator of photographs Kristen Gresh, who organized the Boston show and accompanied him during the visit.

Like Kasiarz, Ross was one of just 877 survivors in the Lodz Ghetto, which housed more than 160,000 people during Germanys World War II occupation of Poland. As a photojournalist, Ross was compelled by the Nazis to serve as one of the ghettos official photographers, producing photo IDs for Jews as well as German propaganda about the ghetto, which had a Jewish Council and police force to enforce Nazi policies.

Ross meanwhile documented the bleak realities of ghetto life, surreptitiously producing a series of more than 6,000 images that show Jews being deported, grim food distribution, and death in streets, among other things.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Rosss photo of children talking through the fence of a prison in the Lodz Ghetto prior to deportation, from the MFA exhibit.

Ross hid his negatives in advance of Polands liberation, later returning to Lodz to retrieve them.

I buried my negatives in the ground in order that there should besome record of our tragedy, he saidbefore his death in 1991. I wasanticipating the total destruction of Polish Jewry.

As one of the ghettos last remaining inhabitants, Kasiarz was pressed into cleaning service as Russian troops advanced. His duty: Use a human-drawn wagon to remove fecal waste from the ghetto.

They made us to be horses, he said in thickly accented English. They put a big barrel in the boot of a wagon, and we had to go in the toilets and put it in the barrel.

Kasiarz bounced around Europe following the war, living in Poland, briefly attending school in Switzerland, opening nightclubs in Germany, and fighting for the Israeli Army before emigrating to the United States in1958. He ultimately made his home in Philadelphia, where he was the part-owner of a meat packing company and raised two sons with his wife, Doris.

Today, Kasiarz, whose formal education was cut short at age 12 by the war, is an affable man, given to holding court and immensely proud of his millionaire son David, a senior vice president at American Express.

If Im going to have children, theyre going to be educated, he said. They must have what I missed. Thats why Im a happy 90-year-old man.

David Kasiarz, who joined his parents in Boston along with his own family, said the trip was part of an effort to understand his fathers life.

We wanted him to share his story with the children his grandchildren, said David Kasiarz, who organized the trip before the show closes July 30. We felt like it was unfinished. Hes always kept it in, and we did not want to have any regrets.

Accompanied by an entourage of family and curators, Kasiarz drew a crowd as he walked through the exhibition.

Inspecting a series of photographs featuring Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, whom the Nazis installed as head of the ghettos Jewish Council before shipping him to Auschwitz, Kasiarz compared him to the American gangster Al Capone.

If the Germans come to him and say, Give me 10,000 Jews to send away to Auschwitz, hed say, Heres 10,000 people, Kasiarz said, sighing at the memory. What are you going to do?

Did he resent the Jewish police in the ghetto?

A few, yes. I was afraid of them.

As Kasiarz moved through the images, Abbie Fuksman of Atlanta hugged him after explaining that her parents were both from Lodz, her mother a former resident of the ghetto. Stuart and Paula Lefkowitz of New Jersey later approached with a portrait of Paulas grandfather, a synagogue cantor who died in the ghetto. Did Kasiarz know him?

I was a 12-year-old kid, Kasiarz said when he didnt recognize the bearded man in the photo. I see the picture, I cry.

Buffeted by the images, Kasiarz was caught short when a curator directed him to a suite of photographs showing young children yoked to a filthy wagon, a barrel atop it: the fecal workers.

I cant see this picture, Kasiarz said, his voice breaking as he took a seat.

He later explained that similar images had caused him to faint at the US Holocaust Museum.

What can I tell you? he asked. Life has to go on. You have to tell it to our children, but sometimes its hard to explain.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Kasiarz, 90, lived in the ghetto when he was young. I can forget what I ate yesterday, but I cant forget whatI got through inthe ghetto, he said.

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At the MFA, a difficult homecoming for a Holocaust survivor – The … – The Boston Globe

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Obama nominates out lesbian for US Holocaust Memorial Council – Wisconsin Gazette

President Barack Obama this week announced a series of nominations for administration posts, including the nomination of out lesbian Susan E. Lowenberg to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Lowenberg is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor.

She also is president of Lowenberg Corporation, an industrial real estate investment firm and serves on several philanthropic boards, including the American Jewish World Service, the Holocaust Memorial Education Fund, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and the Horizons Foundation Advisory Board.

She has been a director of the Bank of San Francisco since 2007 and served on the San Franciscos city and county of San Francisco planning commission from 1991 to 1997. In 1993, she received the Harry S. Rosen Young Leadership Award from the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Other nominees to the Holocaust Memorial Council include:

Tom A. Bernstein, president and Co-Founder of Chelsea Piers, L.P., which was formed in 1992 to develop and operate the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex along Manhattans Hudson River. He was first appointed to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council in 2002 and was designated chairperson by Obama in 2010.

Amy Friedkin, the president of the Board of Directors of ISRAEL21c, an online news and educational magazine. She also serves on the board of directors of the Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay and the Hadassah Foundation and served as the national chair of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Deborah A. Oppenheimer, executive vice president of NBCUniversal International Television Production. She created and produced the acclaimed documentary, Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, for which she won an Academy Award in 2000.

Cheryl Peisach, the founder and CFO of Passion Growers, LLC, an importer and distributor of fresh cut roses founded in 2002. She is a board member of the Joe DiMaggio Childrens Hospital Foundation and Memorial Foundation and serves on the University of Pennsylvanias Trustees Council of Penn Women. She is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor.

Richard S. Price, chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial, a diversified financial services firm. He is on the Board of Directors of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, The Executives Club of Chicago and the Big Shoulders Fund.

Elliot J. Schrage, vice president of communications and public policy at Facebook. He has served on the board of the International League for Human Rights and was a trustee for the Harvard Law School Association of New York.

The president also nominated Ranee Ramaswamy for the National Council on the Arts. She is the founder and co-artistic director of the Ragamala Dance Company and has been a master choreographer, performer and teacher of Bharatanatyam dance since 1978.

The president, in a statement from the White House, said, These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my Administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.

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Local teacher visits Holocaust sites in Eastern Europe – Shore News Today

EGG HARBOR CITY Elizabeth Klem, a local Holocaust educator from Egg Harbor City, recently returned from the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous European Study Lerner Fellows, where she walked in the footsteps of the Holocaust, met with the remnants of Lithuanian Jewry, and righteous rescuers supported by the JFR.

During the two-week study program, she travelled throughout Lithuania and Poland, visiting the sites of ghettos, mass murder and internment, Treblinka and Majdanek, and met with local historians, educators, and rescuers.

The goal of the trip was to help her to better connect with the history of the Holocaust, and how to bring those lessons into her classroom this fall.

Klem was among 19 middle and high school teachers and Holocaust center personnel from 11 states to participate in the 2017 European Study Program in Lithuania and Poland, which took place from July 5 to July 16.

Klem has taught at the Atlantic County Institute of Technology since 2001. She currently teaches a junior English class as well as a Holocaust Studies course to seniors. She is currently working toward a Masters degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University, which she expects to complete in May, 2018. Everything I learned during this trip will be incorporated into my classroom, she said. It is more effective to teach something that you witnessed rather than read about.

In addition to her current studies Klem earned a B.A. Honors in English from the University of Arizona, an M.A. in English from Rutgers University in Camden, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts.

The program in which she took part is a high-level, intensive educational experience that included visits to concentration camps, ghetto sites and Holocaust memorials. Due to its popularity amongst educators, the JFR brought two groups this summer, one traveling to both Lithuania and Poland and the other focusing entirely on the history and destruction of Polands Jewry. The participants from both groups joined for a few days in Poland. Noted historians Sam Kassow and Peter Hayes, two of the worlds leading experts on the Holocaust, served as the accompanying scholars for the European Study Program.

The Lithuanian visit began with touring the medieval Jewish quarter of Vilnius, the city once flourishing with Jewish inhabitants, where the group explored the pre-war history followed by the destruction of the citys Jews. While there, the educators met with the remnants of Lithuanian Jewry, and righteous rescuers supported by the JFR.

During the two-week study program, participants travelled throughout Lithuania and Poland, visiting the sites of ghettos, mass murder and internment, Treblinka and Majdanek, and met with local historians, educators, and rescuers. The Poland groups program ended with a visit to Oswiecim and three days in Auschwitz-Birkenau. On the last day of the trip, participants had an opportunity to review and reflect on what they learned during the two weeks, and how to bring those lessons into their classrooms this fall.

In order to be selected for the program a participant must be an English or social studies teacher at the middle or high school level, have taught for at least five years, are at least four years from retirement, and currently teach the Holocaust in their classrooms. They must also be Alfred Lerner Fellows and have completed the JFRs Summer Institute for Teachers at Columbia University.

As we continue to move further away from the Holocaust, it is more important to teach this period in history to the next generation, said JFR Executive Vice President Stanlee Stahl. By focusing our efforts on helping teachers actually see and experience the places where these complex events occurred, we believe it enhances their understanding and enables them to be more effective instructors in their classrooms.

Visiting and studying at authentic Holocaust sites helps teachers to better understand the enormity of the Holocaust and aids in, making them more effective educators. We designed the program to help educators learn, touch, and see the history of the Holocaust so they can present it in a more meaningful and insightful way to their students and colleagues when they return to their schools, she added.

Klem certainly agrees with that statement. Having had this first-hand evidence of what occurred during that period in history will prove to be very beneficial to my students, she said.

Klem recounted a particularly emotional part of the experience. The highlight of the trip for me was meeting and having dinner with Rescuers who saved a number of people by hiding them from their tormentors.

The actual journey was only part of the learning process. In addition to the first-hand experience of the sites, the pre-trip reading was very powerful, she said. There were seven books assigned, and that background reading was essential to the learning on the trip. Also, the scholars who were accompanying us lectured and discussed the events at each of the places we visited. That is what makes the JFR trips so valuable, the learning happens before and during the trip. Sam Kassow and Peter Hayes were the scholars and their input was invaluable. This was an incredible opportunity!

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Holocaust center co-founder, director Goldie Goldstein dies at 97 – Miami Herald


Miami Herald
Holocaust center co-founder, director Goldie Goldstein dies at 97
Miami Herald
Goldstein, who helped found the Holocaust Documentation & Education Center, quickly established her philanthropic activities which would long outlast the family business, up to her death July 22 at her home in Boca Raton at 97. At the retirement …

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U.S. Curator Collect Holocaust Artifacts For A Living The Forward – Forward

Susan Snyder has been a curator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for the past 26 years. She travels the country, and sometimes Europe, meeting with people who have collections of Holocaust artifacts and memorabilia. Last week, she came to Chicago on a collecting trip and took a few minutes to explain to Forward contributor Aimee Levitt what the museum is looking for and what it does with the material it finds.

The museum started collecting before it was built. The first collections came in 1984, but they didnt start building till 1988. In 1989, it put ads in major newspapers for people who had artifacts to contact the museum. There was an influx then. After we opened in 1993, we thought it would slow down, but it didnt. The museum steadily gets between 300 and 400 collections a year. We catalog and put as much as possible online. We want to make everything available to scholars and researchers.

We have become the major repository for Holocaust historical material in this country and one of the major repositories in the world. We have curators in Poland, France and Germany; people who help out in Hungary, and other people who identify collections overseas. Weve done surveys in European countries, in the former USSR and in Central and South American countries. We just signed new agreements with Romania for archival material that was unavailable during the Cold War.

The most important thing is, Im using our own collections for research, which is fabulous. I feel fortunate to walk out into the reading room and do research there. We just opened a new research center in Maryland, the Shapell Center. Its state of the art. A lot of research and scholarship are done out there. I was just there with an Irish Ph.D. student who was studying [displaced persons] camps. She was able to look at prewar films, textiles, Joint Distribution Committee-produced Judaica, a wedding dress a woman made from parachute that she got from bartering coffee and cigarettes, crafts.

Its very important everything is accessible at a public facility. The museum has a database of a quarter of a million pages. Seventeen million people were persecuted under Nazism, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Were not just trying to find victims but also to help people remember where they were. Postwar, records were taken from the camps to a central location so they wouldnt be destroyed. In 2008, we were able to get a digital copy. The original lives in Germany.

Our goal is to be the best resource possible, to give people answers. If that means a denier walks in off of the street to use our facilities, we have no choice. Were federally-funded.

For me, the best thing about our collection is that we only work with private collections. The people donating the collections are survivors or the friends and children of survivors. We encourage people to at least to talk to us, whether or not theyre willing to donate.

Aimee Levitt reports regularly on Chicagoland for the Forward. Contact her at feedback@forward.com. Follow her on Twitter, @aimeelevitt.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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U.S. Curator Collect Holocaust Artifacts For A Living The Forward – Forward

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ROM exhibit The Evidence Room recasts the Holocaust – NOW Magazine

Visitors to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) are being treated to an obscene display among the collections of dinosaur fossils, Egyptian mummies and suits of armour a scale model of a gas chamber of the kind used at Auschwitz where more than one million Jews were put to death between 1942 and 1944.

The Evidence Room exhibit, as it is named,consists of white plaster replicas of elements of the Nazi death camp murder machine, includingthe steel mesh columns through which pellets of Zyklon B insecticide were lowered to asphyxiate the hapless prisoners locked inside the gas chambers. Similarly, it depicts the heavy door, which was bolted from the outside.

The exhibit also includes a reproduction of the original architectural drawings prepared by German architect, engineer and SS-Sturmbannfhrer Karl Bischoff, who served at Auschwitz as chief of the Central Construction Office of the Waffen-SS.

Visitors to the ROM will note the meticulously planned airtight seal around the gas chambers door to prevent toxic leaks, and the grill-covered peephole that allowed dignitaries to watch the prisoners die.

To understand this room we first have to acknowledge that its related to the most murderous place, said the exhibit creator,Robert Jan van Pelt at a ROM Speaks lecture on June 27.

Van Pelts grisly display is the first in a ROM series intended to engender discussion of contemporary issues. And the issue here is forensic architecture, a relatively new field that uses planning and design tools to understand human rights abuses, in this case genocide.

For van Pelt, a Dutch-born architect who teaches at the University of Waterloo, The Evidence Room represents the culmination of two decades of work.

Van Pelt served as an expert witness in the infamous trial of Holocaust-denier David Irvingin London in 2000 in whichEmory University professor DeborahLipstadt was accused of libel by the World War II pseudo-historian.Irving famously quipped No holes, no Holocaust.”

Van Pelttestifiedthat indeed there were apertures in the gas chambers ceilings through which poison pellets were dropped. His testimonyled to his 2002 bookThe Case For Auschwitz: Evidence From The Irving Trial.

The 592-page volume greatly impressed Alejandro Aravena, the curator of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. The Chilean, who was awarded architectures prestigious Pritzker Prize for his work transforming slums and making architecture a tool of justice and social change, commissioned van Pelt to create an exhibit explaining the workings of an Auschwitz gas chamber. A model was on display at last years Venice Biennale.

In preparing for the current exhibit at the ROM, van Pelt together with his colleagues Donald McKay, Anne Bordeleau and Sascha Hastings, wrote a supplementary book,The Evidence Room, published by the New Jewish Press in associationwith the University of Torontos Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies.

It is difficult to imagine the details of a gas chamber, where humans were locked in to die, says one Holocaust survivorquoted in van Pelts new book. One has to feel the double grates that protected the bucket filled with poison pellets from the desperate hands of the condemned, peer into the bucket, imagine the pellets melting away, the poison oozing out of them.

I knew a good deal about the Auschwitz-Birkenau murder factory,” says the survivor, “but the gas column really shocked me. Because of what I had read about people thinking they were going into a shower room, I had always imagined the gas being dispersed by sprinklers. Touching that construction had a profound effect on me a new visceral recognition all these years later.

And what of the pristine white plaster van Pelt and his architecture students used to build the reproduction?

For me, it jarringly evoked a sense of peace and innocence. But as well, it called to mind that those murdered in the gas chambers defecated and urinated as they died and thatSonderkommandos (aspecial unit of slave labourers who removed gassed corpses and hauled them to the crematoria) had to whitewash the gas chambers after each usage.

The Evidence Room ison display at the Royal Ontario Museumuntil January 28, 2018.

Gil Zohar is a journalist based in Jerusalem.

news@nowtoronto.com | @nowtoronto

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ROM exhibit The Evidence Room recasts the Holocaust – NOW Magazine

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‘One Family’s Story of the Holocaust’ – Fort Madison Daily Democrat

WARSAW, Ill. About 30 people attended the recent presentation of One Familys Story Of The Holocaust by Carla Gordon of Quincy, Ill., at the Warsaw, Ill., Public Library.

The event was sponsored by the Warsaw Historical Society.

Daily Terror

Gordon gave a poignant description of the terror Jews faced during the Nazi reign of Germany from 1933 to 1945. Her presentation focused on the daily terror her family faced under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler and his henchmen.

She told how her mother was expelled from school for being Jewish, of the fear of leaving ones home and going out in public, windows being broken in her grandparents home, guns being placed next to their heads, how neighbors secretly brought them food, how her great aunt Lina survived on potato peels until she was liberated after the war, and finally when her grandfather on her fathers side, Carl Weil, was sent to Auschwitz, where he died in 1942.

Gordon talked of other horrors her family and other Jews faced on a day-to-day basis in Nazi Germany. She went on to tell how her father, Herbert Weil, joined the French Underground and eventually the Free French Army. He worked for the Red Cross in Paris after the war and also helped displaced people.

At Ellis Island

Her mother was saved by nuns and eventually endured a two-week crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in 1938 with her parents and grandparents, arriving at Ellis Island in New York and finally settling in Chicago. She met Carlas father there after he emigrated to America in 1947. He was sponsored by a cousin because there was a quota on Jews coming from Europe until the 1950s and each needed sponsorship before they became eligible to emigrate.

Gordon grew up in the Chicago suburb of Skokie and came to Quincy in 1989. She is a member of the Temple Bnai Sholom, located at N. Ninth St., near Broadway in Quincy. She is on the board of trustees for the temple. Gordon also is in charge of public relations and gives tours of the temple and talks about the Jewish faith.

An estimated 11 million people died during the Holocaust, 6 million of them Jews. Its also estimated that 1.1 million children were murdered by the Nazis. According to Gordon, its important for my generation to continue to tell the story of the Holocaust and to keep alive the memory of those who perished in one of the most notorious acts of genocide in modern history, as Holocaust historian Jennifer Rosenberg stated in one of her writings.

Gordon said she was wonderfully surprised with the outpouring of interest shown by those who attended the presentation.

Gordon also will speak at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, in the lower level of the Keokuk Public Library, 210 N. Fifth St. For more information, call the library at 524-1483.

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Auschwitz Artifacts to Go on Tour, Very Carefully – New York Times

The exhibition announced on Wednesday by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the organizer, the Spanish company Musealia will include pieces from the museum such as a barracks; a freight car of the same type used to transport prisoners; letters and testimonials; and a gas mask, a tin that contained Zyklon B gas pellets and other grim remainders from the complexs gas chambers. Seven years in the making, the exhibition is a response to growing anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere, those involved with it said. We have never done anything like this before and its the first project of this magnitude ever, said Piotr Cywinski, director of the state museum, which is on the site of the former camp, in southern Poland. We had been thinking about this for a long time, but we lacked the know-how. Even though the Holocaust remains a major focus of study by historians and is a staple of school curriculum in many countries, knowledge about the camps is fading for younger generations, he said. The exhibition will make its first stop in Madrid, aiming for an opening around December, and then tour for seven years. Precise dates and locations will be announced in about a month. It is no longer enough to sit inside four walls, stare at the door and wait for visitors to come in, Mr. Cywinski said, so museum officials decided to reach out to a more global audience. The exhibition was broached in 2010 when Musealia, a family-owned company whose shows include artifacts from the Titanic, approached the museum. Luis Ferreiro, the companys director, said the idea came while he was grieving the death of his 25-year-old brother. He had found consolation in Mans Search for Meaning, a book by a Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist, Viktor E. Frankl, about his experiences in four extermination camps after his pregnant wife, his parents and brother all perished. Inspired by the books lessons for spiritual survival, Mr. Ferreiro said he decided to try to bring the subject of the Holocaust closer to those who may never have a chance to visit the museum. It took time for Mr. Ferreiro to gain the trust of the board of the Auschwitz museum, which was surprised to receive such a request from an exhibition company outside the museum world. The museum demanded that the artifacts be kept secured at all times and that the exhibition comply with the museums strict conservation requirements, including finding proper transportation and storage, as well as choosing exhibition spaces with sufficient lighting and climate control. The museum also insisted that the artifacts be presented in historical context, especially because many aspects of World War II are only vaguely understood by younger generations. For instance, in Spain, asking about the history and place of Jews in Europe would probably get some strange answers. The exhibition will show that Spain which during the war was under the rule of Francisco Franco, a dictator and ally of Adolf Hitler was not home to large Jewish communities and did not have extensive connections with the Holocaust, yet there were notable exceptions, such as ngel Sanz Briz, a Spanish diplomat who saved more than 5,000 Jews in Hungary from deportation to Auschwitz. In other words, we want to show that the Franco regime was certainly very sympathetic to the Nazis, said Robert Jan van Pelt, a history professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada and a Holocaust scholar who has been working on the exhibition. But individual Spaniards could make, and made, a difference. As for the morality of charging money to see artifacts from a death camp, and potentially turning a profit, Mr. Ferreiro said that traveling exhibitions like this one usually generated huge expenses. Putting the display together has already cost more than $1.5 million, and there are no guarantees the exhibit will even be sustainable, Mr. Ferreiro said. Musealia will offer museums that want to host the exhibition a flat fee for transportation, installation, design and all the content. We need to earn an income to sustain ourselves and keep the enterprise going, Mr. Ferreiro said, but our goal is to focus on larger social goals such as enlightenment and education. The Auschwitz museum will receive a fixed amount that will be given to it yearly to cover any expenses arising from the project, though neither museum officials nor Musealia specified how much. If the exhibition is profitable, the amount the museum receives will be increased, Mr. Ferreiro said. The story of Auschwitz, as told through the artifacts, will cover the physical location of the camps and their status as symbols of structuralized hatred and barbarity. The exhibition will begin with the history of Oswiecim, the Polish site of the German camps, whose population was about 60 percent Jewish before the war. That history will be followed by the origins of Nazism after the First World War. Of the 1,150 original pieces to be displayed, 835 will come from the state museum. The rest have been lent by other institutions, like Yad Vashem in Israel, or directly by survivors and their families, much of which has not been displayed before. Each artifact, however, was chosen to help lay out the history of the Holocaust. Mr. van Pelt mentioned a brown blanket that belonged to Siegfried Fedrid, a Jew born in Vienna who was a prisoner at Nazi camps in Lodz, a city in central Poland, and Auschwitz. The blanket is on loan to the exhibition from the family of Mr. Fedrid, who died in 1963. Mr. Fedrid shared the blanket with five other prisoners, probably saving their lives during a grisly winter march. Rabbi Hier said that the Holocaust artifacts must travel the world to make sure memories of the era do not fade away. Were in the period of the last remnants, last decades, where personal survivors or witnesses, who can describe the events, are living on this planet, he said. We will soon have no survivors. Mr. Cywinski, of the Auschwitz museum, said he expected the exhibition to be provocative, with some patrons drawing connections between the rise of Nazism and events around the world today. He mentioned populism, propaganda, institutionalized hatred and an international community that he regarded as sometimes seemingly blind to these social forces. Memory that is intelligent, reflexive, is not limited to the past, but allows you to define the reality and project the future, he said. Otherwise, why would we even need memory? An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to admissions at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Visitors are charged a fee if they tour the memorial with a guide, not simply for entering the grounds. Sopan Deb contributed reporting from New York.

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Jill Werman Harris – Tablet Magazine

Dignified and erudite, Marcel Tuchman is the consummate Old World European, easily referencing history and literature. At 95, he still practices internal medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center, where he is beloved by patients, colleagues, and students. And in summertime, he favors short shirt-sleeves, which expose, on his arm, the mark of the Nazis systematic mass slaughter of European Jews during WWII: in his case, a tattoo of the number 161740. Marcel Tuchman, in prison attire, working in the Siemens factory in Bobrek, near Auschwitz during the war. (Photo courtesy Marcel Tuchman) At the beginning of the war, Tuchman and his parents, Syda and Ignatz, lived in the Przemysl Ghetto; when the ghetto was liquidated, Tuchman, hiding in his attic, listened for six hours to the sounds of gunshots, as the Nazis sadistically executed people individually in the nape of the neck. His beloved 46-year-old mother, Syda, was taken away and massacred at the Jewish cemetery, while Tuchman and his father survived imprisonment at Auschwitz and worked as slave laborers for the Siemens Corp. After liberation, they went to the DP camp at Bergen-Belsen, where Tuchman met his future wife, Shoshana. Most hoped to immigrate to the United States, which issued few visas, or Palestine, which, under British rule, had limited immigration. Virtually no one wished to remain on German soil. But when Tuchmans father heard on the radio that Heidelberg University was reopening after the de-Nazification process in Germany, he told Marcel, whose studies had been interrupted by the war, The time to think about your future is now. And with scholarships from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, Marcel and Shoshana began their medical studies in Heidelberg, becoming part of a group of about 800 young Jewish survivors who studied in the American zone of occupied Germany in Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and other cities. We had nowhere to go. We lost everything except the hope that we could rebuild our lives by acquiring education. No other country but Germany was offering it, said Tuchman. So despite the horrors of the recent past, this groupof which Tuchman is one of the last survivorsdid the unthinkable, returning to Germany to recommence their studies, surrounded by former Nazis or Nazi sympathizers as their fellow students. Marcel Tuchman with fellow Jewish students at the Jewish Students Union, Heidelberg, undated. (Photo courtesy Marcel Tuchman) Getting to university was no easy feat. Many students had not completed gymnasium or high school and had no preparatory schooling. As one boy said, We didnt memorize formulas in Dachau. Some students resumed education at Jewish parochial schools in the DP camps or found private gymnasium instructors there. Others attended a university run by UNRRA, where they formed the central hub of Jewish Students Union, before matriculating to established universities. The Unions central goal was to increase the number of Jews in university, which was especially difficult due to quotas and the demand for higher education among Germans themselves, whose education had also been disrupted. Working with German, American, and international occupation officials, the Union helped secure slots for Jewish students. According to Jeremy Varon, author of The New Life: Jewish Students of Postwar Germany, This was a time when a formal system of reparations was being developed. The Jews jumped to be the first in line to say the Germans tried to murder us all. Access to German education was essentially a form of reparation because so much was taken from them. With the help of Phillip Auerbach, a German Jew in the postwar government, the Union ended up getting a limitless number of Jewish enrollees, whoever could pass an exam. At each university, the Union worked to secure food, clothing, stipends, and housing for the students. But more important, the Jewish Students Union served as an emotional anchor for people who had lost most everything. At Heidelberg University, Tuchman was the president of the Union. His friend Anna Ornstein, now 90 and living in Brookline, Massachusetts, had been deported to Auschwitz at 17. She had survived several concentration camps; she attended medical school with her husband Paul. With Marcel, she is one of the last survivors of the approximately 25 members of the Heidelberg Union. Every one of us had lost virtually all of our family, she said. The way we bonded was not in days but in seconds. We were family. Given a small building that had originally belonged to the Heidelberg Jewish community, the students gathered every day during their free time, eating meals, often combining stipends for ingredients, singing in Hebrew and Yiddish, celebrating Jewish holidays. There was a vigorous conversation about whether they should abandon their studies to help establish Israel. As at other German universities, the Heidelberg Jewish students developed lasting attachments. Tuchman said that together the students were able to recover and regain their dignity and humanity. The Union, said Ornstein, was an island that provided security, love, and friendship. German university was demanding and, for Czech, Polish, and Hungarian students, taught in a foreign language. Whats more, the Jewish students were surrounded by professors and peers who had obeyed a leader determined to annihilate the Jewish people. While the faculty supposedly had been purged of Nazis, survivors shared classes with young men who still wore their German army uniforms and civilians whose families had been collaborators. Externally we changed colors; we were neutral, Tuchman said. But next to me sat my enemy, hating me and me hating them. The Jewish students kept to themselves, sitting, studying, and even sharing corpses for dissection. The atmosphere at the university was formal and distant. Ornstein remembers the Germans referring to her and her friend, Luisa Hornstein, as the tall and the short Jew. Tuchman said that the Germans at university never acknowledged their countrys crimes and, in some cases, questioned that it happened at all. *** Marcel Tuchman with his father, at his university graduation. (Photo courtesy Marcel Tuchman) Jewish student survivors are a fascinating segment of the Sheerith Hapleitah, as its put in Genesis, the surviving remnant. Historian Jeremy Varon said the first most remarkable thing is that they did it at all. Many of the students had suffered the worst of the Holocaust and experienced acute brutalization and trauma. The wonder of their story is how could people who suffered so much find the wherewithal to believe in the future and then to pursue a rigorous academic course of study just months separated from utter devastation. For Tuchman, education was a means to replenish the Jewish professionals who had perished and to build a foundation for the future. And almost uniformly they were high academic achievers, Varon said, some even bona fide wunderkind prodigy genius types, who read voraciously starting at a young age. They had always envisioned for themselves a future as an educated, professional making strong use of advanced education. Ornstein and her husband became leading proponents of an emerging psychoanalytic theory called self-psychology, a post-Freudian method developed by Heinz Kohut, which stresses empathy and a relational approach in order to enhance the bond between patient and therapist and provide an analytic cure. Steven Hornstein, who also studied medicine at Heidelberg, and died in 2008, taught obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Cincinnati. His wife, Luisa Schwartzwald Hornstein, became a noted pediatrician. Victor Zarnowitz, University of Chicago economist, was one of the worlds leading scholars of business cycles, forecast evaluation, and indicators. Chemists, mathematicians, and so forththe postwar Jewish students in Germany became a whos who of intellectual industry and achievement. Tuchman wondered aloud to me what 6million victims could have done with their lives. Marcel today, at his medical practice, pictured with the author. (Photo courtesy the author) The Heidelberg group stayed connected over the next 70 years. As the years went by, many wrote books about their experiences, lectured, taught. There have been painful losses as the number of survivors dwindles. Two notable reunions took place, the last of which was in 1995, when Union members from 1945 to 1952 gathered at the Tuchmans home in the Berkshires, where in the middle of a garden Tuchman had built, a memorial made of six boulders with a triangular stone in Hebrew letters that reads Zachor (Remember). A smaller stone bears an image of a small Star of David and the dates 1939-1945. *** Like this article? Sign up for our Daily Digest to get Tablet Magazines new content in your inbox each morning. Jill Werman Harris has written for the New York Times, The Forward, and other publications. She is the author of Remembrances and Celebrations: A Book of Eulogies, Elegies, Letters and Epitaphs.

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At the MFA, a difficult homecoming for a Holocaust survivor – The … – The Boston Globe

Arie Kasiarz (with curator Kristen Gresh) viewes Henryk Rosss photographs of Polands Lodz Ghetto, where Kasiarz lived during World War II. Hounded by memories of ghetto life, Arie Kasiarz hadnt been able to sleep. He rarely talked about his hardships during the war, once fainting at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Philadelphian preferred to focus on the living, so rising from his hotel bed he bathed before dawn, dressed carefully in a crisp brown blazer, and was standing at the ready when his son came to collect him. Advertisement Now, as rain poured outside the Museum of Fine Arts, Kasiarz, 90, clutched some of those memories in a white plastic bag: a pair of tattered photographs from his life during World War II. Hed traveled here to brave Memory Unearthed, an exhibition of Henryk Rosss photographs from Polands Lodz Ghetto, where Kasiarz, a Jew, had lived during the German occupation. I get sick if the memory comes back to me, said Kasiarz, who entered the ghetto with his parents and two sisters when he was 12. I can forget what I ate yesterday, but I cant forget what I got through in the ghetto. Get The Weekender in your inbox: The Globe’s top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond. Those memories include being chased from his familys well-appointed home in central Lodz to a one-room apartment in the ghetto where they were sealed off from the rest of the city with barbed wire fence. The Germans forbade them from taking money or even clothes. Neighbors disappeared. Death was common and hunger was constant. His mother used grass to make soup. Kasiarz once stole a potato from the depot where he worked, cutting it into slices that he hid under his pants. I was a crook, he said. If theyd checked us Id have gone to jail, but people took a chance. To illustrate the point, Kasiarz reached into his plastic bag to present the worn remains of his internment at Lodz: A jaggedphotograph, its top torn in a dramatic V, that shows a teenage Kasiarz kneeling with his fellow workers behind a mound of potatoes. In another group portrait a near compositional twin to one in the exhibition Kasiarz stands with other workers by a horse. Advertisement I dont know how I still have them, he said. I have nothing else. Could his images have been taken by Ross? Its certainly possible, said MFA curator of photographs Kristen Gresh, who organized the Boston show and accompanied him during the visit. Like Kasiarz, Ross was one of just 877 survivors in the Lodz Ghetto, which housed more than 160,000 people during Germanys World War II occupation of Poland. As a photojournalist, Ross was compelled by the Nazis to serve as one of the ghettos official photographers, producing photo IDs for Jews as well as German propaganda about the ghetto, which had a Jewish Council and police force to enforce Nazi policies. Ross meanwhile documented the bleak realities of ghetto life, surreptitiously producing a series of more than 6,000 images that show Jews being deported, grim food distribution, and death in streets, among other things. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Rosss photo of children talking through the fence of a prison in the Lodz Ghetto prior to deportation, from the MFA exhibit. Ross hid his negatives in advance of Polands liberation, later returning to Lodz to retrieve them. I buried my negatives in the ground in order that there should besome record of our tragedy, he saidbefore his death in 1991. I wasanticipating the total destruction of Polish Jewry. As one of the ghettos last remaining inhabitants, Kasiarz was pressed into cleaning service as Russian troops advanced. His duty: Use a human-drawn wagon to remove fecal waste from the ghetto. They made us to be horses, he said in thickly accented English. They put a big barrel in the boot of a wagon, and we had to go in the toilets and put it in the barrel. Kasiarz bounced around Europe following the war, living in Poland, briefly attending school in Switzerland, opening nightclubs in Germany, and fighting for the Israeli Army before emigrating to the United States in1958. He ultimately made his home in Philadelphia, where he was the part-owner of a meat packing company and raised two sons with his wife, Doris. Today, Kasiarz, whose formal education was cut short at age 12 by the war, is an affable man, given to holding court and immensely proud of his millionaire son David, a senior vice president at American Express. If Im going to have children, theyre going to be educated, he said. They must have what I missed. Thats why Im a happy 90-year-old man. David Kasiarz, who joined his parents in Boston along with his own family, said the trip was part of an effort to understand his fathers life. We wanted him to share his story with the children his grandchildren, said David Kasiarz, who organized the trip before the show closes July 30. We felt like it was unfinished. Hes always kept it in, and we did not want to have any regrets. Accompanied by an entourage of family and curators, Kasiarz drew a crowd as he walked through the exhibition. Inspecting a series of photographs featuring Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, whom the Nazis installed as head of the ghettos Jewish Council before shipping him to Auschwitz, Kasiarz compared him to the American gangster Al Capone. If the Germans come to him and say, Give me 10,000 Jews to send away to Auschwitz, hed say, Heres 10,000 people, Kasiarz said, sighing at the memory. What are you going to do? Did he resent the Jewish police in the ghetto? A few, yes. I was afraid of them. As Kasiarz moved through the images, Abbie Fuksman of Atlanta hugged him after explaining that her parents were both from Lodz, her mother a former resident of the ghetto. Stuart and Paula Lefkowitz of New Jersey later approached with a portrait of Paulas grandfather, a synagogue cantor who died in the ghetto. Did Kasiarz know him? I was a 12-year-old kid, Kasiarz said when he didnt recognize the bearded man in the photo. I see the picture, I cry. Buffeted by the images, Kasiarz was caught short when a curator directed him to a suite of photographs showing young children yoked to a filthy wagon, a barrel atop it: the fecal workers. I cant see this picture, Kasiarz said, his voice breaking as he took a seat. He later explained that similar images had caused him to faint at the US Holocaust Museum. What can I tell you? he asked. Life has to go on. You have to tell it to our children, but sometimes its hard to explain. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff Kasiarz, 90, lived in the ghetto when he was young. I can forget what I ate yesterday, but I cant forget whatI got through inthe ghetto, he said.

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Obama nominates out lesbian for US Holocaust Memorial Council – Wisconsin Gazette

President Barack Obama this week announced a series of nominations for administration posts, including the nomination of out lesbian Susan E. Lowenberg to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. Lowenberg is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She also is president of Lowenberg Corporation, an industrial real estate investment firm and serves on several philanthropic boards, including the American Jewish World Service, the Holocaust Memorial Education Fund, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and the Horizons Foundation Advisory Board. She has been a director of the Bank of San Francisco since 2007 and served on the San Franciscos city and county of San Francisco planning commission from 1991 to 1997. In 1993, she received the Harry S. Rosen Young Leadership Award from the Jewish Agency for Israel. Other nominees to the Holocaust Memorial Council include: Tom A. Bernstein, president and Co-Founder of Chelsea Piers, L.P., which was formed in 1992 to develop and operate the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex along Manhattans Hudson River. He was first appointed to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council in 2002 and was designated chairperson by Obama in 2010. Amy Friedkin, the president of the Board of Directors of ISRAEL21c, an online news and educational magazine. She also serves on the board of directors of the Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay and the Hadassah Foundation and served as the national chair of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Deborah A. Oppenheimer, executive vice president of NBCUniversal International Television Production. She created and produced the acclaimed documentary, Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, for which she won an Academy Award in 2000. Cheryl Peisach, the founder and CFO of Passion Growers, LLC, an importer and distributor of fresh cut roses founded in 2002. She is a board member of the Joe DiMaggio Childrens Hospital Foundation and Memorial Foundation and serves on the University of Pennsylvanias Trustees Council of Penn Women. She is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. Richard S. Price, chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial, a diversified financial services firm. He is on the Board of Directors of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, The Executives Club of Chicago and the Big Shoulders Fund. Elliot J. Schrage, vice president of communications and public policy at Facebook. He has served on the board of the International League for Human Rights and was a trustee for the Harvard Law School Association of New York. The president also nominated Ranee Ramaswamy for the National Council on the Arts. She is the founder and co-artistic director of the Ragamala Dance Company and has been a master choreographer, performer and teacher of Bharatanatyam dance since 1978. The president, in a statement from the White House, said, These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my Administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.

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Local teacher visits Holocaust sites in Eastern Europe – Shore News Today

EGG HARBOR CITY Elizabeth Klem, a local Holocaust educator from Egg Harbor City, recently returned from the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous European Study Lerner Fellows, where she walked in the footsteps of the Holocaust, met with the remnants of Lithuanian Jewry, and righteous rescuers supported by the JFR. During the two-week study program, she travelled throughout Lithuania and Poland, visiting the sites of ghettos, mass murder and internment, Treblinka and Majdanek, and met with local historians, educators, and rescuers. The goal of the trip was to help her to better connect with the history of the Holocaust, and how to bring those lessons into her classroom this fall. Klem was among 19 middle and high school teachers and Holocaust center personnel from 11 states to participate in the 2017 European Study Program in Lithuania and Poland, which took place from July 5 to July 16. Klem has taught at the Atlantic County Institute of Technology since 2001. She currently teaches a junior English class as well as a Holocaust Studies course to seniors. She is currently working toward a Masters degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University, which she expects to complete in May, 2018. Everything I learned during this trip will be incorporated into my classroom, she said. It is more effective to teach something that you witnessed rather than read about. In addition to her current studies Klem earned a B.A. Honors in English from the University of Arizona, an M.A. in English from Rutgers University in Camden, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts. The program in which she took part is a high-level, intensive educational experience that included visits to concentration camps, ghetto sites and Holocaust memorials. Due to its popularity amongst educators, the JFR brought two groups this summer, one traveling to both Lithuania and Poland and the other focusing entirely on the history and destruction of Polands Jewry. The participants from both groups joined for a few days in Poland. Noted historians Sam Kassow and Peter Hayes, two of the worlds leading experts on the Holocaust, served as the accompanying scholars for the European Study Program. The Lithuanian visit began with touring the medieval Jewish quarter of Vilnius, the city once flourishing with Jewish inhabitants, where the group explored the pre-war history followed by the destruction of the citys Jews. While there, the educators met with the remnants of Lithuanian Jewry, and righteous rescuers supported by the JFR. During the two-week study program, participants travelled throughout Lithuania and Poland, visiting the sites of ghettos, mass murder and internment, Treblinka and Majdanek, and met with local historians, educators, and rescuers. The Poland groups program ended with a visit to Oswiecim and three days in Auschwitz-Birkenau. On the last day of the trip, participants had an opportunity to review and reflect on what they learned during the two weeks, and how to bring those lessons into their classrooms this fall. In order to be selected for the program a participant must be an English or social studies teacher at the middle or high school level, have taught for at least five years, are at least four years from retirement, and currently teach the Holocaust in their classrooms. They must also be Alfred Lerner Fellows and have completed the JFRs Summer Institute for Teachers at Columbia University. As we continue to move further away from the Holocaust, it is more important to teach this period in history to the next generation, said JFR Executive Vice President Stanlee Stahl. By focusing our efforts on helping teachers actually see and experience the places where these complex events occurred, we believe it enhances their understanding and enables them to be more effective instructors in their classrooms. Visiting and studying at authentic Holocaust sites helps teachers to better understand the enormity of the Holocaust and aids in, making them more effective educators. We designed the program to help educators learn, touch, and see the history of the Holocaust so they can present it in a more meaningful and insightful way to their students and colleagues when they return to their schools, she added. Klem certainly agrees with that statement. Having had this first-hand evidence of what occurred during that period in history will prove to be very beneficial to my students, she said. Klem recounted a particularly emotional part of the experience. The highlight of the trip for me was meeting and having dinner with Rescuers who saved a number of people by hiding them from their tormentors. The actual journey was only part of the learning process. In addition to the first-hand experience of the sites, the pre-trip reading was very powerful, she said. There were seven books assigned, and that background reading was essential to the learning on the trip. Also, the scholars who were accompanying us lectured and discussed the events at each of the places we visited. That is what makes the JFR trips so valuable, the learning happens before and during the trip. Sam Kassow and Peter Hayes were the scholars and their input was invaluable. This was an incredible opportunity!

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July 25, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Holocaust center co-founder, director Goldie Goldstein dies at 97 – Miami Herald

Miami Herald Holocaust center co-founder, director Goldie Goldstein dies at 97 Miami Herald Goldstein, who helped found the Holocaust Documentation & Education Center, quickly established her philanthropic activities which would long outlast the family business, up to her death July 22 at her home in Boca Raton at 97. At the retirement …

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July 24, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

U.S. Curator Collect Holocaust Artifacts For A Living The Forward – Forward

Susan Snyder has been a curator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for the past 26 years. She travels the country, and sometimes Europe, meeting with people who have collections of Holocaust artifacts and memorabilia. Last week, she came to Chicago on a collecting trip and took a few minutes to explain to Forward contributor Aimee Levitt what the museum is looking for and what it does with the material it finds. The museum started collecting before it was built. The first collections came in 1984, but they didnt start building till 1988. In 1989, it put ads in major newspapers for people who had artifacts to contact the museum. There was an influx then. After we opened in 1993, we thought it would slow down, but it didnt. The museum steadily gets between 300 and 400 collections a year. We catalog and put as much as possible online. We want to make everything available to scholars and researchers. We have become the major repository for Holocaust historical material in this country and one of the major repositories in the world. We have curators in Poland, France and Germany; people who help out in Hungary, and other people who identify collections overseas. Weve done surveys in European countries, in the former USSR and in Central and South American countries. We just signed new agreements with Romania for archival material that was unavailable during the Cold War. The most important thing is, Im using our own collections for research, which is fabulous. I feel fortunate to walk out into the reading room and do research there. We just opened a new research center in Maryland, the Shapell Center. Its state of the art. A lot of research and scholarship are done out there. I was just there with an Irish Ph.D. student who was studying [displaced persons] camps. She was able to look at prewar films, textiles, Joint Distribution Committee-produced Judaica, a wedding dress a woman made from parachute that she got from bartering coffee and cigarettes, crafts. Its very important everything is accessible at a public facility. The museum has a database of a quarter of a million pages. Seventeen million people were persecuted under Nazism, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Were not just trying to find victims but also to help people remember where they were. Postwar, records were taken from the camps to a central location so they wouldnt be destroyed. In 2008, we were able to get a digital copy. The original lives in Germany. Our goal is to be the best resource possible, to give people answers. If that means a denier walks in off of the street to use our facilities, we have no choice. Were federally-funded. For me, the best thing about our collection is that we only work with private collections. The people donating the collections are survivors or the friends and children of survivors. We encourage people to at least to talk to us, whether or not theyre willing to donate. Aimee Levitt reports regularly on Chicagoland for the Forward. Contact her at feedback@forward.com. Follow her on Twitter, @aimeelevitt. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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July 24, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

ROM exhibit The Evidence Room recasts the Holocaust – NOW Magazine

Visitors to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) are being treated to an obscene display among the collections of dinosaur fossils, Egyptian mummies and suits of armour a scale model of a gas chamber of the kind used at Auschwitz where more than one million Jews were put to death between 1942 and 1944. The Evidence Room exhibit, as it is named,consists of white plaster replicas of elements of the Nazi death camp murder machine, includingthe steel mesh columns through which pellets of Zyklon B insecticide were lowered to asphyxiate the hapless prisoners locked inside the gas chambers. Similarly, it depicts the heavy door, which was bolted from the outside. The exhibit also includes a reproduction of the original architectural drawings prepared by German architect, engineer and SS-Sturmbannfhrer Karl Bischoff, who served at Auschwitz as chief of the Central Construction Office of the Waffen-SS. Visitors to the ROM will note the meticulously planned airtight seal around the gas chambers door to prevent toxic leaks, and the grill-covered peephole that allowed dignitaries to watch the prisoners die. To understand this room we first have to acknowledge that its related to the most murderous place, said the exhibit creator,Robert Jan van Pelt at a ROM Speaks lecture on June 27. Van Pelts grisly display is the first in a ROM series intended to engender discussion of contemporary issues. And the issue here is forensic architecture, a relatively new field that uses planning and design tools to understand human rights abuses, in this case genocide. For van Pelt, a Dutch-born architect who teaches at the University of Waterloo, The Evidence Room represents the culmination of two decades of work. Van Pelt served as an expert witness in the infamous trial of Holocaust-denier David Irvingin London in 2000 in whichEmory University professor DeborahLipstadt was accused of libel by the World War II pseudo-historian.Irving famously quipped No holes, no Holocaust.” Van Pelttestifiedthat indeed there were apertures in the gas chambers ceilings through which poison pellets were dropped. His testimonyled to his 2002 bookThe Case For Auschwitz: Evidence From The Irving Trial. The 592-page volume greatly impressed Alejandro Aravena, the curator of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. The Chilean, who was awarded architectures prestigious Pritzker Prize for his work transforming slums and making architecture a tool of justice and social change, commissioned van Pelt to create an exhibit explaining the workings of an Auschwitz gas chamber. A model was on display at last years Venice Biennale. In preparing for the current exhibit at the ROM, van Pelt together with his colleagues Donald McKay, Anne Bordeleau and Sascha Hastings, wrote a supplementary book,The Evidence Room, published by the New Jewish Press in associationwith the University of Torontos Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. It is difficult to imagine the details of a gas chamber, where humans were locked in to die, says one Holocaust survivorquoted in van Pelts new book. One has to feel the double grates that protected the bucket filled with poison pellets from the desperate hands of the condemned, peer into the bucket, imagine the pellets melting away, the poison oozing out of them. I knew a good deal about the Auschwitz-Birkenau murder factory,” says the survivor, “but the gas column really shocked me. Because of what I had read about people thinking they were going into a shower room, I had always imagined the gas being dispersed by sprinklers. Touching that construction had a profound effect on me a new visceral recognition all these years later. And what of the pristine white plaster van Pelt and his architecture students used to build the reproduction? For me, it jarringly evoked a sense of peace and innocence. But as well, it called to mind that those murdered in the gas chambers defecated and urinated as they died and thatSonderkommandos (aspecial unit of slave labourers who removed gassed corpses and hauled them to the crematoria) had to whitewash the gas chambers after each usage. The Evidence Room ison display at the Royal Ontario Museumuntil January 28, 2018. Gil Zohar is a journalist based in Jerusalem. news@nowtoronto.com | @nowtoronto

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July 24, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

‘One Family’s Story of the Holocaust’ – Fort Madison Daily Democrat

WARSAW, Ill. About 30 people attended the recent presentation of One Familys Story Of The Holocaust by Carla Gordon of Quincy, Ill., at the Warsaw, Ill., Public Library. The event was sponsored by the Warsaw Historical Society. Daily Terror Gordon gave a poignant description of the terror Jews faced during the Nazi reign of Germany from 1933 to 1945. Her presentation focused on the daily terror her family faced under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler and his henchmen. She told how her mother was expelled from school for being Jewish, of the fear of leaving ones home and going out in public, windows being broken in her grandparents home, guns being placed next to their heads, how neighbors secretly brought them food, how her great aunt Lina survived on potato peels until she was liberated after the war, and finally when her grandfather on her fathers side, Carl Weil, was sent to Auschwitz, where he died in 1942. Gordon talked of other horrors her family and other Jews faced on a day-to-day basis in Nazi Germany. She went on to tell how her father, Herbert Weil, joined the French Underground and eventually the Free French Army. He worked for the Red Cross in Paris after the war and also helped displaced people. At Ellis Island Her mother was saved by nuns and eventually endured a two-week crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in 1938 with her parents and grandparents, arriving at Ellis Island in New York and finally settling in Chicago. She met Carlas father there after he emigrated to America in 1947. He was sponsored by a cousin because there was a quota on Jews coming from Europe until the 1950s and each needed sponsorship before they became eligible to emigrate. Gordon grew up in the Chicago suburb of Skokie and came to Quincy in 1989. She is a member of the Temple Bnai Sholom, located at N. Ninth St., near Broadway in Quincy. She is on the board of trustees for the temple. Gordon also is in charge of public relations and gives tours of the temple and talks about the Jewish faith. An estimated 11 million people died during the Holocaust, 6 million of them Jews. Its also estimated that 1.1 million children were murdered by the Nazis. According to Gordon, its important for my generation to continue to tell the story of the Holocaust and to keep alive the memory of those who perished in one of the most notorious acts of genocide in modern history, as Holocaust historian Jennifer Rosenberg stated in one of her writings. Gordon said she was wonderfully surprised with the outpouring of interest shown by those who attended the presentation. Gordon also will speak at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, in the lower level of the Keokuk Public Library, 210 N. Fifth St. For more information, call the library at 524-1483.

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July 24, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed


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