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‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ and TV’s Holocaust Obsession – TIME

Posted By on May 11, 2024

When you think about the Holocaust, as we all do in a 21st century shaped by the cataclysms of the 20th, what images appear in your minds eye? I see Nazis marching into city squares. Jews crushed into airless cattle cars. An iron gate with the inscription arbeit macht frei, and beyond it, rows of spartan dormitories housing skeletal inmates in filthy striped uniforms, subjected to all manner of dehumanization. There are smokestacks, barbed wire, mass graves.

These awful tableaux are the products of a lifelong immersion in Holocaust narratives, from factual accounts in textbooks to visits to museums to documentaries screened at Hebrew school. But because I grew up in the era of Schindlers List and Life Is Beautiful, my most indelible impressions of the genocide come from pop culture. When I envision a concentration camp, I am seeing a collage of movie stills.

The very same imagery suffuses The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Peacocks new, six-part adaptation of Heather Morris internationally best-selling 2018 novel. Inspired by the authors conversations with Lali Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew who spent the final years of World War II tattooing ID numbers on new arrivals at the notorious death camp, it is ultimately, as Harvey Keitels elderly Lali explains to Heather (Melanie Lynskey), a love story. But that romance, between young Lali (Jonah Hauer-King) and another prisoner, Gita (Anna Prchniak), unfolds against what I can only describe as a familiar Holocaust backdrop. Viewers witness suffering that fits our broadest conceptions of the camps: sadistic Nazis; lines of naked bodies slouching towards death; Jews praying and singing to reassert their humanity.

The Tattooist is solidly made historical fiction, built on benign intentions and open-hearted performances. Its also the latestand, in that quotidian concentration-camp hell dominates the plot, the most genericexample of a dubious TV trend: the Holocaust drama. While the genre dates back decades, and isnt limited to the small screen, the past year has seen an explosion of such shows about Nazis and their prey, from We Were the Lucky Ones to The New Look to Transatlantic; A Small Light to All the Light We Cannot See.

Each of these series has its own angle. What unites most of them, however, is unwittingly exploitative imagery that long ago lost its power to shock and an adherence to tropes of individual suffering and perseverance, heroism and villainy, that abstract the Holocaust from any but the most anodyne political context: Nazis evil, Jews brave. This is a tumultuous moment for Jewish identity. Antisemitism and fascist ideology are surgingand that trend is driving Hollywoods demand for Holocaust scriptsas Jews weigh the morality of Israels ongoing assault on Gaza. Yet the stories TV keeps telling about the most painful years in modern Jewish history too often cling to sentiment and clich. What we need from these narrativespolitical insight, introspectionremains elusive.

In high school, I took two classes that happened to screen French New Wave filmmaker Alain Resnais documentary Night and Fog just weeks apart. Released in 1956, the half-hour film exposed an international audience to photographic evidence of the multifarious horrors of the camps. The first viewing was as enlightening as it was harrowing. But the second felt obscene. I was staring at those same distressing imagesslow pans across gas chambers disguised as showers, mounds of emaciated corpseswithout learning anything new. I had to excuse myself after a few minutes.

Susan Sontag recounted a similar experience in her 1977 book On Photography. The cultural critic wrote that when she first encountered photos from the camps, at 12, "something broke. Some limit had been reached, and not only that of horror; I felt irrevocably grieved, wounded, but a part of my feeling started to tighten; something went dead; something is still crying. But as the photos proliferated, she grew inuredevidence of a familiarity with atrocity that was alarming in itself: At the time of the first photographs of the Nazi camps, there was nothing banal about these images. After 30 years, a saturation point may have been reached. In these last decades, concerned photography has done at least as much to deaden conscience as to arouse it.

A half-century later, The New Look on Apple TV+, Lucky Ones on Hulu, and The Tattooistall based on true stories, cast with recognizable stars, and released in the past three monthscement a new era of Holocaust-fiction supersaturation. The New Look is an origin story for Christian Dior (Ben Mendelsohn), whose struggle to free a sister (Maisie Williams) condemned to the camps for her role in the French Resistance is contrasted with the brazen Nazi collaboration of his rival Coco Chanel (Juliette Binoche). In Lucky Ones, a family of Polish Jews fleeing the Nazis endures years of separation and hardship. The Tattooist is the most conventional concentration-camp narrative of the three, framed by Lalis conversations, in the early aughts, with the woman who would transform his reminiscences into a biographical novel.

Although their plots diverge, the shows have strikingly similar emotional arcs and moral agendas. Each one drags the viewer through endless human suffering, whether behind the gates of Auschwitz or in a Soviet work camp or even in a Paris atelier where Dior is all but forced to design gowns for the wives of the Nazi officers whose minions are holding his sister, Catherine, captive. At long last, the finales bring catharsis. Families and lovers reunite. Inspired by Catherine, Dior reinvents French fashion for an exuberant postwar era. Careful to temper happy endings with somber tributes to the millions who died while these heroes lived, albeit scarred by their experiences, the creators of these series nonetheless leave us to exult in the triumph of the human spirit over the swastika-draped forces of evil.

The morality that underlies these dramas tends to be simplistic. No one seriously disputes that the Nazis are the bad guys. (When Netflixs All the Light We Cannot See, which focuses on French resisters rather than Jewish captives, attempts to inject nuance into the depiction of Nazis, through the thought-experiment character of a brilliant orphan conscripted to fight for a cause he finds repugnant, the result is unintentionally funny.) But that doesnt mean the Reich must always be represented by one or two conniving, mid-level psychopath characters, plus dozens of faceless foot soldiers. The implication of such depictions is that Germany during the Second World War was populated by millions of extraordinarily deranged individuals, rather than overtaken by a regime that normalized, euphemized, and incentivized genocidal hatred to such an extent that only Europeans of remarkable courage resisted.

The impression that the Holocaust was an anomaly, perpetrated by avatars of rootless evil, isnt just a comforting misapprehension. With fascist ideology gaining traction in the U.S. and abroad, its a dangerous one, blind to the systemic workings of authoritarian populism. As the historian Dan Stone argues in The Holocaust: An Unfinished History: The Holocaust is not a lesson about the dangers of bullying, nor even a tale of the dangers of hatred. It is a warning that states, when elites become desperate to hold on to power, can do terrible, traumatic things, and that the deep psychology of modernity produces monsters the likes of which even the sleep of reason would struggle to generate.

The best recent representation of this phenomenon is The Zone of Interest, Jonathan Glazers Oscar-winning film about the family of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Hss (Christian Friedel). Instead of reproducing the now-commonplace sights of the Holocaust, Glazer confines himself to this upwardly mobile home that shares a wall with Auschwitz, gazing with disdain upon the perfect flowers Rudolfs wife Hedwig (Sandra Hller) cultivates in her garden. That the Hsses are not remarkably evilthat they celebrate birthdays and reminisce about vacationsis the point. Like so many of their peers, they are beneficiaries of a system whose hateful leaders mobilized the manpower to implement their Final Solution, in part, by fulfilling the frustrated ambitions of an entitled, Christian working class.

Television has not been entirely bereft of politically aware histories of the Holocaust. Viewed by 120 million people in the U.S. and exported around the world, NBCs 1978 NBC miniseries Holocaust is like Lucky Ones if the family at its center wasnt so lucky. When it isnt mawkish, its stiff. Yet the presence of the gentile Erik Dorf (Michael Moriarty), a desperate, out-of-work lawyer with leftist sympathies, who nonetheless rises through the ranks of the SS to become a legal architect of the genocide, speaks to an understanding of the Holocaust as the product of a broken society seduced into fascism.

Last year, two TV series, Netflixs Transatlantic and Nat Geos A Small Light, illuminated the other side of the epochal struggle between Nazism and humanism, dramatizing the stories of real people who fought to save the lives of Jews and other targets of the Reich. Set amid the brave souls who led the Emergency Rescue Committee, in Marseille, helping artists and intellectuals escape German-occupied Europe, Transatlantic was disappointingly shallow. Much more perceptive, A Small Light follows Miep Gies (Bel Powley), the heroic young woman who hid Anne Franks family from the Nazis in Amsterdam. Through her bond with the Franks, she discovers an ethical obligation to join the Dutch resistance. While she risks her own life on a daily basis, the acquiescence of her friends to the Nazis assault on their Jewish and queer neighbors horrifies Miep. Its the one TV Holocaust drama from the past several years whose profound insight justifies reimmersing viewers in one of humanitys lowest moments.

This really happened continues to be the take-home message of most Holocaust series in 2024, as though Holocaust and Schindlers List (not to mention crucial works of nonfiction like Night and Fog, Hannah Arendts Eichmann in Jerusalem, Primo Levis memoir If This Is a Man, and Claude Lanzmanns nine-hour documentary Shoah) havent been part of Western pop culture for decades. The only subtext that sneaks through is: We can never let it happen again.

Its an obvious conclusion, though it can be depressingly divisive once you start breaking it downwhich is probably why most Holocaust TV declines to do so. Who, for one thing, is we? Is it individuals or governments? Citizens of the afflicted nation or the world at large? And what is itthe mass slaughter of Jews in particular or the attempted annihilation of any group of people based on their shared identity?

For contemporary art about the Holocaust to matter, it must engage with these questions, which are more central to Jewish identity in the present than ever before. On college campuses and in the streets, Jews in the U.S. and beyond are finding themselves on opposite sides of a conflict rooted in divergent interpretations of the Nazi genocide. Is the lesson of the Holocaust that Israel, a sanctuary state for the worlds vulnerable Jewish minority, must be protected at all costs? Or is it that the global community must stop the violence of powerful states against disempowered communities like the one in Gaza?

Levi meditated on the universal political implications of the Holocaust in If This Is a Man, observing that it is in the normal order of things that the privileged oppress the unprivileged: the social structure of the camp is based on this human law. But despite its obsession with Nazis and death camps, television has yet to forge a thoughtful connection between this history and the matter that consumes the consciences of Jews in the present. With the exception of an empathetic season of Transparent that sent the central Jewish family to Israel and the West Bank, and a smattering of American and Israeli thrillers that too often stereotype Arabs as terrorists, the medium has, likely in its reticence to offend, barely touched the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Maybe there are bold TV creators who are, right now, synthesizing the devastations of Oct. 7 and Israels assault on Gaza into art that will help us think through this polarizing conflict. If so, then the Holocaust will surely play a part in that storyjust as it is already informing a handful of stories that speak to our increasingly authoritarian moment. Whether for political or moral reasons, or simply in order to tell cathartic tales of resilience, we cant keep cordoning off history from a present to which its so urgently relevant.

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'The Tattooist of Auschwitz' and TV's Holocaust Obsession - TIME

DeWine honors Holocaust victims and survivors at annual commemoration – The Columbus Dispatch

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Ownership of Egon Schiele Drawing Lost During Holocaust to Be Decided by New York Court – ARTnews

Posted By on May 11, 2024

A 1917 drawing by Egon Schiele is at the center of a restitution case that will soon head to court in New York.

The work in question, Portrait of the Artists Wife (1917), depicts Edith Schiele with her hands folded in her lap. The drawing was made a year before both Edith and the artist, both at 28 years old, during the 1918 influenza epidemic. Portrait of the Artists Wife is estimated to be worth several million dollars.

The heirs of two Jewish collectors, Karl Maylnder and Heinrich Rieger, have both claimed ownership of the work. Maylnder was a textile merchant; Schiele made at least two portraits of him. Rieger was Schieles dentist. Both were killed by the Nazis during World War II, and their respective heirs both claim their relatives lost the work during the Holocaust.

Philanthropist and art collector Robert Owen Lehman Sr., known for heading the Lehman Brothers investment firm through the Great Depression, bought Portrait of the Artists Wife from the London gallery Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd. for 2,000 ($5,600) in 1964. He then gifted the piece to his son, the award-winning documentary filmmaker Robert Owen Robin Lehman Jr., as a Christmas present. It remained with him until 1972, when Lehman Jr. briefly lost the work during his divorce; when his ex-wife died in 2013, the work was recovered from under her bed. In 2016, Lehman Jr. gifted the work to the Robert Owen Lehman Jr. Foundation.

The trial over the works ownership began in Rochester, New York, on Tuesday, with testimony expected to last until the end of May. In his ruling, State Supreme Court judge Daniel J. Doyle will consider circumstantial evidence, decades-old records, and a spotty provenance. Expert witnesses are expected to weigh in, with each party presenting evidence on their behalf.

Lehman Jr. testified not only to his frustration over the eight-year-long battle but also claimed that he had been open to resolving the ownership claim initially with the Maylnders. However, when a second claim emerged, Lehman said in court, I came to the conclusion that possibly two claims cant be correct.

The works whereabouts between 1930 through 1964 are disputed among the heirs. Lehman Jr. has said there are no surviving records, and his foundation claims that the drawing was not considered lost because it was not listed in a stolen or looted works database. The heirs, however, claim to have documents demonstrating their relatives ownership. They believe the foundation did not adequately investigate the provenance.

It wasnt until the foundation had planned to sell the work that these questions of ownership came to the forefront. After the foundation consigned the work with Christies, the auction house reviewed its database, where it found potential connections to Maylnder and Rieger. Christies subsequently contacted the heirs representatives; the auction house continues to hold the work.

Maylnder was deported to the Lodz ghetto in Poland in 1941 and was later killed. An acquaintance, Etelka Hofmann, took possession of Maylnders artworks after the war and later sold some of the pieces to a collector in 1960, including a Schiele work identified in a signed contract by the collector and Hofmann as Edith Schiele, seated, watercolored drawing, signed and dated 1917.

Rieger died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1942. Prior to his death, Rieger collected 120 to 150 of Schieles watercolors.

The Lehman foundation argues that neither Maylnder nor Rieger owned the portrait of Edith Schiele that was purchased by Lehman Sr.

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Commemorating the Days of Holocaust Remembrance – United States Department of State – Department of State

Posted By on May 11, 2024

During this week of National Holocaust Remembrance, we remember the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators, as well as the millions of others, including Roma, LGBTQI+ persons, Slavs, and persons with disabilities who were persecuted and killed. Holocaust survivors and their families are a testament to courage and resilience. They are a living rebuke to those who sought to extinguish the future of the Jewish people and to those who try to distort or deny the Holocaust. Nazis and their collaborators engaged in murder on an unprecedented scale, systematically killing people simply because they were different. May we never forget the harrowing lessons of the Holocaust as we recommit ourselves to ensuring such horrors are never again perpetrated, suffered, or witnessed by humankind.

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Commemorating the Days of Holocaust Remembrance - United States Department of State - Department of State

A single journey: Holocaust survivor’s daughter keeps family memories alive with debut novel – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on May 11, 2024

Everyone has a book in them and that, in most cases, is where it should stay, grumbled the influential British-American author, journalist, and educator Christopher Hitchens. Helen Joyce, however, is not like most cases.

With an extraordinary story to tell and an exceptional gift for storytelling, her debut novel, Good for a Single Journey, provides a rare glimpse into the lives of her ancestors, starting with her great-grandparents in early 20th-century Poland. It then takes us through two world wars and the Holocaust, where many of her relatives were murdered, and ultimately to modern-day Israel, where Joyce now lives.

I recently met with Joyce for an interview about her book. I was particularly interested to find out why at an age when most people are enjoying their retirement she took on the daunting task of penning her first novel.

Born in 1953 in post-war London to a Viennese mother and a German father, Joyce had an upbringing that was not a happy one. Her mother having been violently separated from her parents in Prague, where she was fortunate enough to get the Good for Single Journey visa to Britain, which undoubtedly saved her life suffered from severe depression, sometimes resulting in suicidal thoughts. After the separation, Joyces grandparents were trapped and first sent to Theresienstadt, and then to Auschwitz, where they perished.

Because of this, Joyce spent her own childhood isolated from the outside world with a mother who overshared every detail of her childhood: the good stuff and the dark stuff. With no friends and very little idea of what the real world was like, she unwittingly absorbed all of her mothers stories, which later formed the basis of her book. I stored everything in my brain, and it came out in the book.

Vicariously carrying her mothers burden for all those years is ultimately what led Joyce to write the novel. I wanted to write the book because my mother was a beautiful, intelligent woman, but she had such an unhappy life, she began. As a child, I always wanted to make her happy, and now I want to give her life some meaning her story should count.

WHEN IT came to putting pen to paper, Joyce was able to rely on the information she had gleaned from her mother, as far as it went. In order to give the book deeper meaning and proper historical context, she had to delve further into her past. When I [looked into] my family history, I realized I had to go back two steps, to my great-grandparents, she said.

This, as you would imagine, wasnt so straightforward, as they lived in a remote Polish village in the early years of the 20th century. She knew from her mother that they had five children two girls, and three boys. But apart from their names and what happened to the girls (her grandmother and aunt perished in the Holocaust), the information she had on her great-uncles was sketchy, at best. Consequently, she had to rely on her cousins memoirs to fill in the gaps about how they came to live in Palestine, as it was known.

A significant portion of Joyces research for this part of the novel which spanned the years after World War I was carried out on the Internet, as it was important to her to include accurate historical details surrounding Jews moving to the Land of Israel around this time. It is crucial that Jews are recognized as indigenous people of this land, she stressed.

While she was keen to set out the history of the time, including details of the San Remo conference, which spawned the British Mandate for Palestine, Joyce was determined that her book should be written along the lines of a novel. I wanted to tell the history, but I also wanted a novel.

With that, she hit on a format whereby each chapter began with a historical introduction, after which she let the characters tell the story.

Joyce also made a point of weaving her ancestors who, as time went on, moved from Poland, across Europe, and to the Middle East in and out of the story, to circle around events happening at the same time in different regions.

Joyce, whose background is in psychology and education, described the writing of her first book as a visual process that required proper organization. Writing the book was the easy part, she confirmed: I spewed it out. Her mornings were set aside for writing, with a re-read after lunch.

And it didnt stop there. After going to bed, she described entering a twilight zone when the characters, came and visited me.

Although it felt strange, she said, to have the characters her ancestors guiding her, this helped her to connect with them in a way that wouldnt have been possible otherwise.

WHILE JOYCE enjoyed writing the book, she was relieved when it was finished, despite the fact that she then had the daunting task of finding a publisher.

As luck would have it, she was put in touch with Liesbeth Heenk, the owner of Amsterdam Publishers, the largest publisher of Holocaust memoirs in Europe. Unlike other publishers who showed little interest in her book, despite not even bothering to read the manuscript, Heenk was captivated by it from the start, and a book deal between the two women was signed in 2022.

Joyces debut novel, Good for a Single Journey, came out the following year on Holocaust Remembrance Day and earned significant acclaim and success in its first year of publication.

Before we wound up the interview, the author reflected on how her mother would have reacted to the current situation, particularly in light of the antisemitism that has flared up since Oct. 7. You think youre safe, she would often tell her daughter, but it can happen again.

With the horrors of the Holocaust never far from Joyces mind, she is reminded of her mothers words: This is our turn; we needed to know it, she said, regretfully. She was keen to stress, however, that she believes our survival is assured, as our history teaches us to be resilient.

Keeping that history alive is something that Joyce believes is incumbent on her and, indeed all of us.

My mothers generation has entirely died out, she said. Thats why we write books so their stories live on.

The writer is a former lawyer from the UK who now lives and works in Israel as a freelance writer for The Jerusalem Post.


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Army Reserve division hosts annual Holocaust Remembrance > U.S –

Posted By on May 11, 2024


The U.S. Army Reserves 99th Readiness Division hosted its annual Holocaust Remembrance and Liberation Observation on May 7 at division headquarters here.

The Department of Defense theme for this years observance of the Days of Remembrance is, Behind Every Name a Story: The Courageous.

Days of Remembrance was established by the U.S. Congress to honor the lives of more than 6 million Jewish victims, as well as the millions of others not accepted by the Nazi and other fascist regimes during World War II, explained Mr. Stephen Harlan, 99th RD command historian.

This years DoD observance focuses on Adolfo Kaminsky, an Argentine-born member of the French resistance who forged identification papers, passports, food ration cards, and other documents to save the lives of over 10,000 Jews during the Second World War.

The math was simple in one hour, I made 30 fake documents; if I slept one hour, 30 people would die, said Harlan, quoting Kaminsky.

The guest speaker for the event was Chap. (Capt.) Yitzhak Hochman, chaplain for the U.S. Army Reserves 8th Medical Brigade.

I grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust, Hochman said. My entire community was founded by Holocaust Survivors.

Hochman explained that his inspiration for joining the Army was Chaplain Herschel Schacter, also known as the Rabbi of Buchenwald. Schacter arrived at the liberated Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945 and found hundreds of Survivors living in squalor.

Schacter thought, How do we tell them that their suffering is over? Hochman said. Instinctively, (Schacter) blurted out in his native tongue of Yiddish, My brothers, you are free it is over! And that was the Survivors introduction to the American Flag.

The American Flag means a lot, Hochman continued. This uniform means a lot to a lot of people out there.

In 1992, the 99th Infantry Division was recognized as a liberating unit by the U.S. Armys Center of Military History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The 99th ID liberated Dachau subcamps near the town of Muhldorf in May 1945.

It is up to us to keep that memory going because the first-person observers of the camps and the liberations are passing from this world, Harlan said. The Holocaust must be acknowledged and remembered, and we must all have the selflessness to protect our fellow human beings.

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Holocaust Survivor Speaks at NAVSUP Business Systems Center Days of Remembrance Event –

Posted By on May 11, 2024

Stern was born in Nuremberg, Germany in March 1936. From 1941 to 1945, his family lived in various holding, work, and concentration camps throughout Europe and Russia during World War II. Once his family was liberated, they remained in Germany before immigrating to the United States in 1947.

My name is Peter Guenter Stern. My brother's name is Samuel and I'm going to spend a little time talking about why the difference in names, said Stern.

In 1935 in Nuremberg, laws were passed laws that restricted the life of Jews. Restricted in the sense that doctors could no longer practice in a hospital, lawyers could not practice in court, teachers were fired from the public school systems. You could no longer run a business. The ability for Jews to function as citizens, andmembers of the community was taken away. These were called the Nuremberg Laws, he said.

One of those laws was that all Jewish children would be born and given a name that was out of the first book of the Bible. So, if you were a girl, you could have the name of Sarah, Esther, andRuth. Boys could be Abraham, Moses, Israel, or Samuel, he said. And that's what my parents named my brother,who wasborn in 1939.

That law was passed in 1935. I was born in 1936 and yet my name is still what it is, he said. Thething was, theGermans were wise enough to know that this was a real bad publicity thing, so they waited till after the Summer Olympics of 1936 to start enforcement of that law.

Sterns father, Artur, was an auto mechanic and shop owner but had to get rid of his business, so he started to work in a Jewish school, teaching young boys general shop and auto mechanic skills.

We all lived in the same house, and this was a Jew house, he said. What Nuremberg did was to get all the Jews who remained in Nuremberg to live in specific houses. It wasn't a ghetto. It wasn't a fenced-in area and the houses were scattered throughout the city, said Stern as he shared and reflected on a photograph from a childs birthday party.

I don't know whose birthday it was, but I'm the guy with the dark suspenders holding onto the tricycle. The next picture shows my father with some of those students, he said. The hope was that they would have the makings of a trade, so when they got to whatever country they were going to, they would have the ability to make a living.

My father was teaching in that school, but come November 1941, an order was issued saying that 1,000 Jews would come out of the area of southern Germany, and they would be shipped to Riga [Latvia], said Stern.

Of those 1,000 Jews, 520 came from Nuremberg, and Sterns family was deported from Germany to a holding camp in Latvia.

In 1942 they were transferred to the Riga ghetto. Stern noted that the ghetto was a crowded place but was less crowded as the Germans took thousands of people out, walked them into the woods, and executed them.

The concentration camps were designed for killing. People were killed in every concentration camp, I am sure. And there was a pretense for quite a while, hidden by the Germans that some of them were camps thatwe'llwork, he said.

In 1943 Sterns family was transferred to a work camp in Russia. One day his father saved a German officers life during a Russian attack, and the officer sent his family to a Riga prison to be hidden, instead of returning to the ghetto. In January 1944 they were deported back to Germany. His father was imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp, where he died. Peter, Samuel, and his mother were transferred to Ravensbruck and Bergen-Belsen concentration campsuntil they were liberated in April 1945.

I want to say how bad Bergen-Belsen was because, by the time that the British came, they'd had stopped feeding [us]. They had stopped burying people, and one of the first things they had to do was dig mass graves, they buried about 20,000 corpses, which the German guards had to put onto trucks, then take and put into the graves, he said.

The stench was horrible. The stench of all the camps was very noticeable. You could not have been near a camp and not known that something was going on that had no validity whatsoever, said Stern.

Stern noted that at the end of the war, there were 17 survivors from the 520 shipped out from Nuremberg, which included his mother, brother, and himself.

Each year, the Navy honors the victims and survivors of the genocide that killed more than six million Jewish people and millions of others during the week that runs from the Sunday before Holocaust Remembrance Day through the following Sunday.

Understanding these lessons from the past and taking responsibility for our future is the key to treating each other with dignity, courtesy, and respect, regardless of our religion, said Capt. DavidD. Carnal, commanding officer, NAVSUP BSC.

Bryant Esendencia, chairman for the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee at NAVSUP BSC moderated the event.

Listening to a person who wants to share their personal experiences helps us better understand their world and how it fits with ours, said Esendencia. With that knowledge, we can all be more empathetic in the people that come across our life. Its those collective experiences that contributes to our success in protecting our country and allies.

This year, the Navy observes Holocaust Days of Remembrance from May 5-12, with Holocaust Remembrance Day occurring on May 6. This year's observance theme, Behind Every Name A Story: The Courageous, is in honor of the late Adolfo Kaminsky, whose forged identification papers are estimated to have saved 10,000-14,000 Jewish people from concentration camps.

While the number of people that directly survived the Holocaust is dwindling, their legacy continues in the form of their stories, which we must never forget, said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro in a message to all Department of the Navy personnel on April 30.

For more information about the Holocaust and scheduled events to remember survivors and victims, visit the National Archives at, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum at, or

For more information about NAVSUP BSC visit,

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Extremism Headlines: Sovereign Citizen shooting, Energy Substation Attacks and Holocaust Education – Southern Poverty Law Center

Posted By on May 11, 2024

Holocaust Education: A Mixed Bag in U.S. Schools

Read last week's edition here:Extremism Headlines: Christian nationalists at protests, Jan. 6 plea, far-right election plans

Above photo:Workers with Randolph Electric Membership Corporation work to repair the Eastwood Substation in West End, N.C., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, after two deliberate attacks on electrical substations in Moore County last Saturday evening caused days-long power outages for tens of thousands of customers. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)

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Extremism Headlines: Sovereign Citizen shooting, Energy Substation Attacks and Holocaust Education - Southern Poverty Law Center

Heres What Biden Said in His Speech at the Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony – The New York Times

Posted By on May 11, 2024

President Biden delivered these remarks on Tuesday at the Capitol for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museums Days of Remembrance.

Thank you, Stu, for that introduction, for your leadership of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Youre a true scholar and statesman and a dear friend. Speaker Johnson, Leader Jeffries, members of Congress and especially the survivors of the Holocaust. If my mother were here, shed look at you and say, God love you all. God love you all.

Abe Foxman and all of the survivors who embody absolute courage and dignity and grace are here as well. During these sacred days of remembrance, we grieve. We give voice to the six million Jews who were systematically targeted and murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II. We honor the memory of victims, the pain of survivors, the bravery of heroes who stood up to Hitlers unspeakable evil. And we recommit to heading and heeding the lessons of one of the darkest chapters in human history, to revitalize and realize the responsibility of never again.

Never again, simply translated for me, means never forget. Never forget. Never forgetting means we must keep telling the story, must keep teaching the truth, must keep teaching our children and our grandchildren. The truth is, we are at risk of people not knowing the truth. Thats why growing up, my dad taught me and my siblings about the horrors of the Shoah at our family dinner table. Thats why I visited Yad Vashem with my family as a senator, as vice president, as president. And thats why I took my grandchildren to Dachau, so they could see and bear witness to the perils of indifference, the complicity of silence, in the face of evil they knew was happening.

Germany 1933, Hitler and his Nazi Partys rise to power by rekindling one of the oldest forms of prejudice and hate: antisemitism. His role didnt begin with mass murder; it started slowly across economic, political, social and cultural life. Propaganda demonizing Jews. Boycotts of Jewish businesses. Synagogues defaced with swastikas. Harassment of Jews in the street and the schools, antisemitic demonstrations, pogroms, organized riots. With the indifference of the world, Hitler knew he could expand his reign of terror by eliminating Jews from Germany, to annihilate Jews across Europe through genocide, the Nazis called the final solution. Concentration camps, gas chambers, mass shootings. By the time the war ended, six million Jews one of every three Jews in the entire world were murdered.

This ancient hatred of Jews didnt begin with the Holocaust. It didnt end with the Holocaust either. Or after even after our victory in World War II. This hatred continues to lie deep in the hearts of too many people in the world and requires our continued vigilance and outspokenness. That hatred was brought to life on October 7th of 2023. On the sacred Jewish holiday, the terrorist group Hamas unleashed the deadliest day of the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Driven by ancient desire to wipe out the Jewish people off the face of the Earth, over 1,200 innocent people, babies, parents, grandparents, slaughtered in a kibbutz, massacred at a music festival, brutally raped, mutilated and sexually assaulted.

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Heres What Biden Said in His Speech at the Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony - The New York Times

Coast Guard to host Holocaust Days of Remembrance observance on May 8 – MyCG

Posted By on May 11, 2024

The U.S. Coast Guard Holocaust Days of Remembrance Observance will take place on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, from 11 a.m. 12p.m. EDT in the Ceremonial Entrance at NCR Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The event will be streamed live here. You can also call-in at+1 410-874-6742using Conference ID: 465 578 624#.

The Coast Guard is collaborating with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) for the event. Amanda Rooney Stierli, USHMMs Program Manager of Civic and Defense Initiatives will give a presentation on Holocaust history featuring a case study and discussion focused on leadership, ethics, and choice.

Days of Remembrance is an annual, week-long commemoration of the six million Jews persecuted and murdered by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. Days of Remembrance will be hosted in the U.S. this year from May 5 to May 12, with Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) falling on May 6.

For more information, please contact: Sara A. Florini at or (202) 795-6003.


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Coast Guard to host Holocaust Days of Remembrance observance on May 8 - MyCG

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