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Tag : Holocaust

July 16, 2020 by

Reading The Diary

Had she lived, Anne Frank would be turning 75 in 2004. Her diary has sold millions of copies in more than 55 languages since it was first published in Dutch in 1947. Naomi Danis elicits some new reactions to the most-read book about the Holocaust.

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The Lilith Blog

July 14, 2020 by

Stitching for Survival: the Story of Holocaust Survivor Trudie Strobel

Some artists work with a brush; others with a pen, and still others with their voices, bodies, or a musical instrument. Trudie Strobel’s instrument is a slender needle, and she wields it with fierce and incredible power. Lilith first learned of Trudie Strobel’s recovery of her Holocaust past when she told Rabbi Susan Schnur of recreating the treasured doll the Nazis had torn away from her when she was a small child. When Jody Savin encountered Strobel’s work, she knew she had to tell her story (Stitched & Sewn: The Life-Saving Art of Holocaust Survivor Trudie Strobel, Prospect Park Books, $35).  Savin talks to Fiction Editor Yona Zeldis McDonough about the delicate process of excavating Strobel’s harrowing past and how her art was a way of coming to terms with it.

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June 25, 2020 by

The Impact of Reality

When I was nine years old, I ordered a biography of Adolf Hitler from the Scholastic Book Club. I read it in one mesmerized, horrified sitting. It was my first graphic exposure to the horrors of the Holocaust, and when I finished it, I burst into tears. Nothing I read before had given me such a sense of vulnerability or peril, all based on the mere accident of having been born Jewish. I read that book many times in the next two years, perhaps with the unconscious and certainly unarticulated hope that, this time, Hitler would be stopped and the tragedy averted.

Yona Zeldis McDonough lives in Brooklyn, New York. The author of several books for children, her biography of Anne Frank (illustrated by her mother, Malcah Zeldis) will be published by Henry Holt and company.

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April 20, 2020 by

More Holocaust Materials •

In remote areas of Eastern Europe and Ukraine, elderly Holocaust survivors in
desperate need of food, medicine, suitable shelter, and lovingkindness, have, received
direct financial aid from the Survivor Mitzvah Project. Now its founder, television comedy director Zane Buzby, is completing SMP’s Holocaust Educational Archives, making available hundreds of hours of never-before-recorded videography and documentation of first-person Holocaust testimony from local witnesses, rescuers and survivors. Thousands of letters of Holocaust testimonies and life histories and with photographs, will be part of a dynamic approach to teaching about the Holocaust. It’s part of an important dialogue on justice, tolerance for cultural differences, and appreciation of commonality.

survivormitzvah.org

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The Lilith Blog

January 27, 2020 by

How Family Separation in the Holocaust Affected My Life Forever

I am up watching the news on my phone, and I am fixated on the pictures of small children alone with tinfoil blankets in our own country’s detention centers. Caged like animals, they look alone. Huddled. Despondent.

The feeling in the pit of my stomach from seeing these beautiful children on the news hits me because I feel like I know. I don’t know what it feels to be torn from your parents at a young age, but I know what it feels like to be a child of someone torn from their parents at a young age. Because of my experience with my father who was on the kindertransport in the Holocaust, I not only feel for these children, but feel for their children and generations to come that will feel the burden of this horror.

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January 16, 2020 by

After Auschwitz, They Never Forgot Each Other

The reunion lasted about two hours. He finally had to ask: Did she have something to do with the fact that he’d managed to survive in Auschwitz all that time?

She held up her hand to display five fingers. Her voice was loud, her Slovakian accent deep. “I saved you five times from bad shipment,” she said.

“I knew she would do that,” said Mr. Wisnia to his grandchildren. “It’s absolutely amazing. Amazing.”

There was more. “I was waiting for you,” Ms. Tichauer said. Mr. Wisnia was astonished. After she escaped the death march, she had waited for him in Warsaw. She’d followed the plan. But he never came.

She had loved him, she told him quietly. He had loved her, too, he said.

KEREN BLANKFELD, “Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later. He Had One Question,” New York Times, December 8, 2019

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November 5, 2019 by

Poetry: Greetings from Treblinka

He stood there, waiting for
the
104 bus.
An old man with a cane
wearing a shabby black coat
and carrying an umbrella
even though the sidewalk
sparkled with sun.
Just another old man
on the Upper West Side.
But she recognized
the zigzag scar
that ran down like
a lightning bolt
from his right cheek
the small hands with
the stubby fingers
that still could do
such horrendous acts,
She could never forget those hands
Squeezing her in a death grip
for the soldiers.

“Jewish vermin,”
He had called all of them.
Her grandmother.
Her aunt.
Her mother.
Her sister.
She was only seven.
But taught never to forget.

Memory is like a dying plant
that with just a little water
flourishes.

He tapped his umbrella
impatiently,
The bus was late.

She had a knife in her bag
Always. Even though
her husband
told her she was safe
In America.

She opened the clasp
felt the sharpness of the blade.
So easy to plunge
into the old man’s heart
and say
Greetings from Treblinka.

The bus groaned to the stop.
She moved quickly
and stood behind him
Smelling his sour stale
old man scent
like milk gone bad
Such an old man now.
His hand trembling as he
reached
into his pocket.

Now,
she said
in her own language.
But now passed too quickly.
The old man was an old man
Shuffling toward the unfold-
ing bus door.
The sun filled her eyes.
And just maybe
maybe
he was the wrong
man.

 

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The Lilith Blog

July 9, 2019 by

I Walked Away Furious from an Auschwitz Exhibit: Here’s Why

On June 26, my mother—the daughter of Eta Wrobel, a partisan fighter in the Holocaust—took me to the Auschwitz exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan. While many people who visit Holocaust museums and memorials leave feeling sad or moved, I walked away deeply furious.

The museum was full of artifacts from Auschwitz, photos of prisoners, and videos of survivors, all with accompanying descriptions. Many of the videos featured survivors who felt not just an urge, but a need to use their voices to ensure this type of inhumane and cruel treatment never happens again. As I heard their stories, all I could think about were the Jews that I have encountered who are anti-immigrant, pro detention center. The thought flooded me with anger. 

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July 9, 2019 by

Daria Martin: Tonight the World •

Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 12.15.36 PMAn unusual new exhibition of works by artist Daria Martin explores the unconscious memories of her paternal grandmother, who fled the former Czechoslovakia during the Holocaust. Martin’s art springs from an extensive archive of dream diaries her grandmother created over a 35-year period, originally chronicled for the purposes of psychoanalysis. This multimedia exhibition includes two films, one created using computer gaming technology that takes users on a journey through a 3-D rendering of the villa in Brno as it appeared when the grandmother lived there, and another, with actors, that presents a reimagining of four of the grandmother’s dreams.

The installation operates simultaneously as a portrait of Martin’s ancestor, a self-portrait, and an exploration of intolerance, migration, loss, resilience and intergenerational trauma. The exhibition was co-commissioned by Barbican Centre, London, and The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco where it is showing through February 19, 2020. thecjm.org/exhibitions/110

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July 9, 2019 by

Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. •

The most significant site of the Holocaust, Auschwitz was a complex of 48 concentration and extermination camps, at which 1,000,000 Jews—and tens of thousands of others—were murdered. This groundbreaking exhibition explores the dual identity of the camp as a physical location—the largest documented mass murder site in human history—and as a symbol of the borderless manifestation of hatred and human barbarity.

Ruth Grunberger, determined to survive and to have a head of hair again one day, made this comb (left) for herself at Auschwitz using stolen scrap metal and wire.

Ruth Grunberger, determined to survive and to have a head of hair again one day, made this comb (left) for herself at Auschwitz using stolen scrap metal and wire.

It brings together more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs from institutions and museums around the world. Included are personal items—suitcases, eyeglasses, shoes and more—that belonged to survivors and victims. Concrete posts that were part of the fence of the Auschwitz camp; fragments of an original barrack for prisoners; an original German-made Model 2 freight wagon used for the deportation of Jews. At the Museum of the Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, through January 3, 2020. Then it tours other cities around the world. mjhnyc.org

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