holocaust

Jewish Federation of the Berkshires

On Friday, the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires is hosting a talk with journalist and author Joseph Berger about the experiences of Holocaust survivors who came to America.

  Jim Shepard’s new book, The Book of Aron, tells the story of a Jewish boy growing up in poverty and desperation. It begins before the Germans invaded Poland and, through Aron’s eyes, takes us from the Polish countryside into the depths of the Warsaw Ghetto and then into a famous orphanage for destitute children.

  Michael “Misha” Gruenbaum enjoyed a carefree childhood playing games and taking walks through Prague with his beloved father. All of that changed forever when the Nazis invaded Prague. The Gruenbaum family was forced to move into the Jewish Ghetto in Prague. Then, after a devastating loss, Michael, his mother and sister were deported to the Terezín concentration camp.

At Terezin, Misha roomed with forty other boys who became like brothers to him. Life in Terezín was a bizarre, surreal balance—some days were filled with friendship and soccer matches, while others brought mortal terror as the boys waited to hear the names on each new list of who was being sent “to the East.”

Those trains were going to Auschwitz. When the day came that his family’s name appeared on a transport list, their survival called for a miracle—one that tied Michael’s fate to a carefully sewn teddy bear, and to his mother’s unshakeable determination to keep her children safe.

Facebook: Friends of the Adams Free Library

A displaced Holocaust and World War II museum has found a temporary home in Adams and the new digs also share a passion for history.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

A displaced Holocaust and World War II museum has found a new home in Adams, Massachusetts for the time being.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

After three years on a backstreet in downtown North Adams, the New England Holocaust Institute and Museum has shut its doors. But, the artifacts could find a new home in neighboring Adams.

Rabbi Dan Ornstein: Convoys

Apr 14, 2015

Every year prior to Holocaust Memorial Week, my synagogue conducts a vigil in which we read the names of Jewish children from France whom the Nazis deported in cattle car convoys to Auschwitz and other death camps.  Their identities are known to us almost exclusively from lists the Nazis meticulously compiled, which were later confiscated by Allied forces.  The lists were documented by Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, renowned Nazi hunters and Holocaust historians who published them, first in French, then in an English language volume by New York University Press, entitled French Children Of The Holocaust. The book, nearly nineteen hundred pages long, lists the names, ages, addresses, and deportation locations of more than eleven thousand French Jewish children, some of them as young as two and a half.  It also contains a large collection of pre-war photos of them, preserving the last images of their individuality as young people who were once alive and free. Serge Klarsfeld once remarked that to preserve their memories most appropriately, he would have produced a book eleven thousand pages long, if he could have. 

  The play, Life in a Jar tells the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, who assisted in hiding over 2,000 Jewish children who had been living in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.

While the play dramatizes Jewish life in the Warsaw Ghetto during the war; it relays, as importantly, the heroic story of the 'righteous gentiles' who put their lives and that of their families at grave risk to save others by forging documents and hiding and placing Jewish children in convents and Polish homes

The impact of the Irena Sendler Project are many, including the book - Life in a Jar by Jack Mayer who will be attending two performances at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs and will take part in the Q and A following the play.

  

  Boris Fishman, a singularly talented writer, makes his literary debut with this provocative, soulful, and sometimes hilarious story of a failed journalist asked to do the unthinkable: Forge Holocaust-restitution claims for old Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York.

A Replacement Life is a dark, moving, and beautifully written novel about family, honor, and justice.

Maud Dahme had a childhood that no young person should ever experience. At the age of six, two years after the Nazis invaded Holland, Dahme and her 4-year-old sister Rita, were taken in by two Christian families to survive . They lived with new identities for three years, until 1945 when the war ended and they were reunited with their parents. Maud Dahme’s story is told in the film The Hidden Child, which will be shown this Thursday night at 7 at Page Hall at the University at Albany.  Maud Dahme will be there. She now lives in New Jersey and spends her days as a Holocaust educator.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

A little known Holocaust museum in North Adams, Massachusetts will be able to keep its doors open for the next six months thanks to a donation.

Darrell English marvels at the artifacts hanging on the walls in the 750-foot square room he rents each month.

“An American flag around the corner here,” English said. “It’s a 48-star American flag. Nothing unusual about that. Except what’s stenciled on it. Which is a Nazi eagle.”

A documentary film chronicling the events of an attempted neo-Nazi march in the 1970's through a Chicago suburb will air next week on Capital Region PBS station WMHT. The release of the film, which tells the story of Holocaust survivors becoming human rights activists, coincides with Holocaust Remembrance Month.

Herb London: What Jewish Museums Won't Show

Feb 19, 2014

Holocaust museums around the globe present in remarkably graphic form pre-war Nazi conditions that promoted anti-Semitism and the belief that Jews were sub-human. Children read schoolbooks in which Jews were depicted as exploitive, dangerous, lacking in essential human qualities. Jews were demonized to an extent that led inexorably to concentration camps and extermination. The horror of this period is told and retold in museums as a reminder that this must never happen again. Propaganda of a vicious variety has consequences, a condition the world now knows all too well.

Martin Fletcher has been called the gold standard of TV war correspondents and is rapidly building a new reputation as an author. He has won almost every award in television journalism, including 5 Emmys.

His latest novel is Jacob's Oath. As World War II comes to a close, Europe’s roads are clogged with 20 million exhausted refugees walking home. Among them are Jacob and Sarah, lonely holocaust survivors who meet in Huddle berg. Jacob is consumed with hatred and cannot rest until he kills his brother’s murderer, a concentration camp guard.

He must now choose between revenge and love, and avenging the past and building a new future. 

    The Big Read - Poughkeepsie will take place over the next month where this year’s title to read as a community is Cynthia Ozick’s The Shawl. This book was selected in recognition of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

The Little Read companion program for younger readers focuses on titles related to the Holocaust and World War II era, and features the books Number the Stars and The Devil’s Arithmetic.

In The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick, readers will be moved by the story of Rosa Lublin. While Rosa lived through the Holocaust, her tiny daughter Magda did not. Magda’s shawl symbolizes the past that Rosa cannot escape, a life stolen by those she calls thieves, filled with memories of “the horror of the Holocaust and the unfillable emptiness of its aftermath.”

Big Read Coordinator, Jewel Ratzlaff; Dr. Werner Steger, Professor and guest lecturer for The Big Read; and Stephanie Laffin – representing the Poughkeepse City School District she is a Literacy Coach and English Dept. Head join us to tell us more.

    As part of a Holocaust Remembrance Grant awarded to Union College Hillel to examine the Jewish resistance during the war, they are sponsoring Shira Ginsburg’s one-woman show, Bubby’s Kitchen, on Sunday April 28 at 1 p.m. in the GE Theatre at Proctors.

The documentary, The Minister's War, tells the story of a Unitarian minister, Waitstill Sharp and his wife Martha who left Wellesley, Massachusetts to help save thousands being persecuted by the Nazis in Eastern Europe during World War II. Who were these American heroes? What drove their willingness to put the well-being of strangers over that of themselves and their family?

More than one million children are estimated to have been killed in the Holocaust, with only a tiny number surviving the pogroms and death camps that decimated Europe's Jewish population during Hitler's expansion.

One survivor, along with his twin sister, somehow beat the odds. Steven Hess tells his story publicly tonight in Albany. He spoke with WAMC's Alan Chartock.