Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

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Remember Me? Help Identify Displaced Children

November 16, 2011

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has launched a new project “Remember Me: Displaced Children of the Holocaust.”

The Museum is asking for your help to identify displaced children and document what became of these young Holocaust survivors after the war.

“They are the most vulnerable victims of war and genocide. Between 1933 and 1945, millions of children were displaced as a result of persecution by the Nazis and their collaborators. After World War II, relief agencies photographed some of the children who survived to help find their families. Now, more than 65 years later, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is working to discover what became of these young survivors.”

On the museum’s website, you can browse the names of the children or view their pictures. Please contact the museum at RememberMe@ushmm.org or click on “I remember this child!” button near his/her individual photo if you recognize a child or see yourself in the pictures. The images for this project have been provided by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and The Museum of Jewish Heritage, A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

The photo above shows Berthe Moscowicz, who now goes by the name Bracha Aris and lives in Israel. She came across her own picture in the photo gallery and identified herself.

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Research Project: 3rd Generation German Jewish Interpersonal Relationships

September 12, 2011

Here is a query from a reader. Please reply to her directly or comment to this post.

My name is Charla R. Malamed. I am a doctoral student at Derner Institute, at Adelphi University on Long Island, New York.

I am currently conducting a research project, in which I am interested in learning about the transmission of Holocaust WWII experience across the generations, and about how that experience influences the individual’s relationships with the self and with others, specifically with a German/Jewish individual (German non-Jewish, if the individual is Jewish; Jewish, if the individual is German non-Jewish).

I want to understand how cultural and familial memory of the Holocaust influences the development of the self and the ways in which an individual is able to relate to the ‘other;’ that is, how has the Holocaust affected Jewish/German non-Jewish relations today, in the 3rd generation?

To be eligible to participate, you must:

(1) Be a  grandchild of a someone who lived during the Nazi regime in one of the Nazi-occupied territories

(2) have had, or currently have, a meaningful and ongoing relationship with a German non-Jewish individual (if you are Jewish) or a Jewish individual (if you are German and non-Jewish).

Anyone who is interested will be asked to participate in a 75-90 minute interview, as well as complete a pencil-and-paper questionnaire. All the information resulting from this research will be anonymous.

Charla Malamed

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Final Sale

November 29, 2010

The Leo Baeck Institute in New York will be showing a new exhibit, “Final Sale: The End of Jewish Owned Businesses in Nazi Berlin.”  The exhibit opens December 9 and will run through March 31, 2011 at the Katherine and Clifford Goldschmidt Gallery, Center for Jewish History.

“From 1933 on, Jewish businesses were under direct threat of Nazi persecution and “aryanization.” This culminated in the night of 9-10 November, 1938, when thousands of Jewish businesses were destroyed. By 1945, all Jewish businesses in Berlin had been liquidated or transferred to non-Jewish ownership. In response to increasingly hostile conditions, Jewish business owners developed a number of different strategies. Some tried to take judicial action against their persecutors. Others tried to build up foreign contracts in order to provide valuable foreign currency and secure an escape option. Many explicitly addressed the Jewish market for the first time. This exhibition illustrates the process by which Jews were disenfranchised and their livelihoods destroyed through the example of sixteen Berlin businesses.”

The exhibit originates at the Aktives Museum Faschismus und Wiederstand in Berlin e.V. in Berlin, were it was vandalized and reopened at the end of 2008 after it was temporary closed.

The museum is now showing the exhibit “Varian Fry: Berlin – Marseille – New York.”

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Hitler Exhibit in Berlin Draws Praise

October 23, 2010

Germany’s Central Council of Jews recently welcomed a new exhibition on Hitler and the Germans in Berlin  and warned against worrying parallels between the Nazi era and the current debate about integration in Germany.

Hitler and the Germans: Crime and the People’s Community opened on October 15 in the German Historical Museum in Berlin and runs through February 6, 2011. This is the first exhibit in Germany after the end of the war to focus exclusively on Hitler with the goal to explain the Nazi leader’s personality cult and how it affected the nation during his reign from 1933-45.

It took more than 10 years of planning to stage an exhibit of such nature that doesn’t conflict with the country’s strict laws against displaying Nazi paraphernalia in public. The exhibit curators have mounted more than 1,000 items, including photographs, artworks, uniforms, videos and narrative, to draw the connection between Hitler’s rise to power and the personal cult surrounding him. Approximately 10,000 people attended the opening weekend.

According to Stephan Kramer, the general secretary of the Central Council of Jews,

“The exhibition is going in the right direction, it is dealing seriously with the issue, and I don’t think there is a danger of any form of glorification. […] “The exhibition does not excuse Hitler, nor does it stylize or glorify him. […] The current debate about the integration of people of foreign backgrounds, particularly Islamic, into mainstream society in Germany, should moreover be viewed through the lens of this history. […] The exhibition does not excuse Germans for their role in Nazi Germany.”

The New York Times recently published a lengthy article on the exhibit, under the headline Hitler Exhibition Explores a Wider Circle of Guilt. The paper states,

“The planners began discussing this kind of show 10 years ago [and] an expert committee viewed it as part of a continuum of penance and awareness that historians say began with the Auschwitz trials. […] The exhibit, with all its photographs of young and old adoring Hitler, also sought to dispel the notion that the Nazi spirit was simply impossible to resist.”

 

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Sugar Cones and Bittersweet Memories

October 20, 2010

German-Jews in exile, who fled Germany to escape the Holocaust, shared many memories of their childhood. They remembered friends, the language spoken and the foods they ate. They remembered bullying, being cast aside, harassed or worse.

But childhood memories were also filled with warmth, of remembering a first day in school. German school children carry cardboard cones, filled with sweets and little treats, to their first day in school. The so-called Schultüten are a century-old tradition. There’s not a child in Germany, then or now, that has not carried his or her precious load to school.

That old tradition that unites all school children led to the idea to launch a unique remembrance project, initiated by Carolyn Naumann and co-organized by the Anne-Frank-Zentrum and the Humboldt University in Berlin:  “The sugar cone project” — a collection of photographs of  German Jewish schoolchildren just before they fled Nazi Germany into exile and their stories of life before the war. The idea for the project was born while Naumann accompanied German Jewish refugees on their federally funded visit to their hometown, Berlin, where they shared such childhood memories as standing side-by-side with their non-Jewish school friends, all proudly displaying their cones. (In the picture, the brochure of the project, showing Heinz Goldstein on the left with an unknown friend, ca. 1935, in the Jewish Elementary School Fasanenstrasse in Berlin).

The collection of pictures showing six-years-olds and their sugar cones — just before they were deemed unfit to stay (or were sent to their death) — can help school children of today understand the realities of that time, the brutality of daily struggles, when people were clinging to even a sliver of normalcy.

If you have photos of that time, showing Jewish schoolchildren with their sugar cones, or would like to share your story, please contact Carolyn Naumann, who is also searching for teachers that are interested in the project and would like to help.