holocaust

The Niskayuna town board hears comments from the public on Thursday, June 20th, 2019.
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Town of Niskayuna in Schenectady County has granted a special use permit that would allow the construction of a controversial Holocaust memorial.

A rendering of the proposed Holocaust memorial planned for Niskayuna, NY
Dembling + Dembling Architects P.C.

A community forum was held Wednesday night on a redesigned proposal for a Holocaust memorial in the Schenectady County town of Niskayuna.

Town of Niskayuna

A controversial Holocaust memorial planned for the Schenectady County Town of Niskayuna is set for a public meeting this week.

What if you had the chance to listen to living Holocaust survivors?

SageArts local songwriters and creative arts facilitators met with local survivors and their caregivers to compose songs and craft meaningful pieces of art – including masks, collages, prints and paintings – based on the themes that emerged from their conversations. This spring, they'll share these powerful pieces in an event that highlights the healing power of the arts.

“Honoring Holocaust Survivors: A Concert of Resilience and Hope” will be held on May 5th at 1:00 p.m. at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh. The entire Hudson Valley community is invited to join Jewish Family Service of Orange County in honoring survivors.

To tell us more we welcome: Elise Gold, Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of Orange County; Julie Last, Musical Director of SageArts; and Jude Roberts, Songwriter of SageArts.

The Battenkill Chorale opens its 24th season with “Children of the Holocaust, Immigrants of Hope” featuring "Annelies" by James Whitbourn with English texts translated from Anne Frank’s diary, soprano soloist Sylvia Stoner, and chamber ensemble.

Also on the program are Ronald Perera’s "The Golden Door," a cantata based on interviews with immigrants who passed through Ellis Island, and "I Never Saw Another Butterfly" by Charles Davidson, with texts written by children at Terezin concentration camp and performed by the Glens Falls Symphony Children’s Chorus.

The performances is January 19 at 3 p.m. at Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. Janet McGhee, Artistic Director of the Battenkill Chorale and composer Ronald Perera join us.

Note: There was a scheduled performance for January 20 but it was cancelled due to a predicted snowstorm.

Tara Westover’s memoir, “Educated,” has made its way to the number one spot on the New York Times bestsellers list.

She tells her story of being a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.

Listener Essay - Exquisitely Sane

Sep 11, 2018

Julia Indichova is the author of "Inconceivable" and "The Fertile Female" and the founder of FertileHeartedHuman.org. "One-Heart Revolution: The Perils of Positive Thinking" is due in the spring of 2019.

Exquisitely Sane

I never saw my mother cry. She kept a safe distance from the incoming tide of sorrow, which, left unchecked, might have washed away her two new children, her husband, her brand new second life.

She never mentioned the day the order came for every person of Jewish descent to report to the two brick factories at the edge of her town. In her stories her son was alive, taking a daily pre-dinner walk through the neighborhood, playing a game of multiplying the numbers in the small square plaques next to each entryway.

For my mother grieving was not an option. And after all these years of attempting to understand the forces that have shaped my life, part of me still doubts the legitimacy of my own claim to grief.

Dr. Menhaz Afridi is an Associate Professor of Religious studies and Director of Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College. She is committed to interfaith, and the Holocaust education. She teaches contemporary Islam, Holocaust, Genocide and issues of gender within Islam. 

She will join the Sidney and Beatrice Albert Inter-Faith Lectureship Program at The College of St. Rose next Tuesday, April 17 to present a lecture entitled “The Rise of Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: Solutions and Challenges.”

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A planned Holocaust memorial has drawn controversy in the Schenectady County Town of Niskayuna. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard was at a crowded public hearing on the project Tuesday night.

James Carroll is a National Book Award winner and distinguished scholar in residence at Suffolk University and a columnist for The Boston Globe. He is the author of ten novels and seven works of fiction.

"The Cloister" is his novel about the timeless love story of Peter Abelard and Héloïse, and its impact on a modern priest and a Holocaust survivor seeking sanctuary in Manhattan.

  Despite the outpouring of books, movies, museums, memorials, and courses devoted to the Holocaust, a coherent explanation of why such ghastly carnage erupted from the heart of civilized Europe in the twentieth century still seems elusive even seventy years later. 

Peter Hayes' Why? dispels many misconceptions and answers some of the most basic, yet vexing, questions that remain: why the Jews and not another ethnic group? Why the Germans? Why such a swift and sweeping extermination? Why didn’t more Jews fight back more often? Why didn’t they receive more help?

Peter Hayes is professor of history and German and Theodore Zev Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation Professor of Holocaust Studies Emeritus at Northwestern University and chair of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

As firsthand survivors of many of the twentieth century's most monumental events―the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, the Killing Fields―begin to pass away, Elizabeth Rosner’s new book, Survivor Café, addresses urgent questions: How do we carry those stories forward? How do we collectively ensure that the horrors of the past are not forgotten? 

Elizabeth Rosner organizes her book around three trips with her father to Buchenwald concentration camp―in 1983, in 1995, and in 2015―each journey an experience in which personal history confronts both commemoration and memorialization. Examining current brain research, Rosner depicts the efforts to understand the intergenerational inheritance of trauma, as well as the intricacies of remembrance in the aftermath of atrocity. Survivor Café becomes a lens for numerous constructs of memory―from museums and commemorative sites to national reconciliation projects to small-group cross-cultural encounters. 

Niskayuna native Elizabeth Rosner will be speaking at the Schenectady County Public Library tonight at 6:30

Listener Essay - Tongue-Tied

Jul 19, 2017
The Statue of Liberty
Sarah LaDuke

Sandra Capellaro wrote this story five years ago recently became an American citizen. She lives in New Paltz and works as a translator, administrator and writer.  

Tongue-Tied

When I am in elementary school we read a book called “When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit”. It's about a Jewish girl in Germany, her non-Jewish friend and the painful truth they learn about the pre-war reality around them. And it's about the pink plush rabbit that one day disappears just as will the little Jewish girl.

About 45 minutes north of Hannover where I grew up, is Bergen-Belsen, the former concentration camp. It's here that Anne Frank perished. We read her diary in school, and one day my class goes on a field trip to Bergen-Belsen. My daughter goes on trips to the Bardavon Opera and the Mohonk Preserve, but growing up in Germany I'm on a bus to the grounds of a former concentration camp. The drive there leads through small towns and countryside. Birch trees and heather, lots of wild heather are the features I remember.

The Jewish Federation Connecting with Community series presents The Butcher's Daughter: Echoes of the Shoah with author and published poet, Florence Grende on Monday April 24th.

Grende offers a gripping, at times haunting, family history by the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. The Butchers Daughter is an account of the devastation of war and the marks left on the succeeding generation. 

Jack Mayer is a pediatrician and a writer. He was last here to talk about his book - Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project. His new novel is: Before the Court of Heaven - based on a true story of Weimar Germany and the rise of the Third Reich.

Three themes impel the book: understanding the rise of Nazism, unfathomable forgiveness, and the complexity of redemption. It is a portrait of Germany between world wars, from revolution and unrest following World War I to the rise of the Nazis, World War II and the Holocaust.

Author Diane Ackerman will read from and discuss her 2007 bestseller The Zookeeper’s Wife, in anticipation of the soon-to-be-released major motion picture based on her book at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday night at the New York State Museum in Albany.

Earlier that same day, at 4:15 p.m. Ackerman will hold a seminar in on the UAlbany Uptown Campus.  

The events are presented by The New York State Writers Institute.

Diane Ackerman is a naturalist and writer of both prose and poetry. The Zookeeper’s Wife has been adapted for film by Focus Features and is scheduled for release on March 31st. The book and film tell the little known true story of a Warsaw zookeeper’s family that saved 300 Jews during the 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. 

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