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Holocaust Awareness Week: Children of the Holocaust

The University of Colorado Boulder’s Hillel and the Program in Jewish Studies are proud to be collaborating in the presentation of events for CU’s 28th Annual Holocaust Awareness Week. The date this year has been moved to coincide with the United Nations’ International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is January 27 and commemorates the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. With the creation of International Holocaust Remembrance in Day in 2005, every member nation of the U.N. has an obligation to honor the memory of Holocaust victims and develop educational programs as part of an international resolve to help prevent future acts of genocide.

CU’s 2012 Holocaust Awareness Week will also adopt the UN’s theme this year which will focus on the “Children and the Holocaust.” Some children managed to survive in hiding, others fled to safe havens before it was too late, while many others suffered medical experiments or were sent to the gas chambers immediately upon arriving at the death camps. Highlighting the impact of mass violence on children, this theme has important implications for the 21st century. CU’s keynote lecture, “Hidden Children of the Holocaust” on Thursday, January 26 at 7:00 pm in the University Memorial Center room 235 features University of California Davis professor and author Diane Wolf.

Anne Frank has largely shaped the image of the Jewish child hiding from the Nazis, yet her experience was not the norm. Wolf’s keynote lecture is based on her book “Beyond Anne Frank: Hidden Children and Postwar Families in Holland” in which she draws on interviews with seventy Jewish men and women who, as children, were placed in non-Jewish families during the Nazi occupation of Holland. Wolf analyzes the experiences of these Holocaust survivors, which were diametrically opposed to those who suffered in concentration camps. Although the war years were tolerable for most of these children, it was the end of the war that marked the beginning of a traumatic time, especially if parents survived, leading many of those interviewed to remark, “My war began after the war.”

Diane Wolf, professor of Sociology and director of Jewish Studies at UC Davis

Diane Wolf is professor of Sociology and director of Jewish Studies at the University of California, Davis. She has authored Beyond Anne Frank: Hidden Children and Postwar Families in Holland,” “From Auschwitz to Ithaca: The Transnational Journey of Jake Geldwert” and “Factory Daughters“. She edited “Feminist Dilemmas in Fieldwork” and co-edited “Sociology Confronts the Holocaust: Memories and Identities in Jewish Diasporas. Her current research focuses on American cultural memory of the Holocaust, children of Holocaust survivors, and comparing the religious practices of secular Jews in both Israel and the U.S.

CU’s 28th Annual Holocaust Awareness Week includes film screenings, presentations  and testimonies from survivors. The schedule of events begins Tuesday, January 24:

Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00 pm
Film screening of “Mephisto”
Boulder JCC, 3800 Kalmia Avenue
$10 at the door**
This Oscar-winning political drama is based on Klaus Mann’s 1936 novel of the same name. In early 1930s Germany, ambitious actor Hendrik Hofgen cares little for politics and lives only for his art. But when the Nazis rise to power, Hofgen seizes the opportunity to perform propaganda plays for the Reich, gaining popularity and fame. But can he survive in a world where the ideology of evil is the ultimate drama?
**Presented by Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder Jewish Community Center. Visit www.boulderjcc.org for details.

The House on August Street by Aylelet Bargur

Wednesday, January 25 at 7:00 pm
The House on August Street” with post-film discussion by Diane Wolf, professor of Sociology and director of Jewish Studies at UC Davis
University of Colorado Boulder, Atlas Building Room 100
**Free and open to the public, RSVPs are required as space is limited, email Nicholas.Underwood@colorado.edu or call 303.492.7143
From award-winning director Aylelet Bargur, “The House on August Street” tells the remarkable, unknown story of Beate Berger, a German Jew who single-handedly and with great resolve and vision rescued over 100 children during the Holocaust, smuggling them from Berlin to Palestine in the 1930s. Berger, founder of the House of Love Children’s Home (Beith Ahawah Kinderheim), Berlin’s first home for poor Jewish children, was quick to recognize the Nazi threat and resolved to protect the 120 children under her care. Raising the funds and making all the clandestine arrangements, Berger brought groups of children into Palestine from Germany from 1934 to 1939. The Beit Ahava orphanage in Haifa remains open today.

Thursday, January 26 at 7:00 pm
Keynote lecture “Hidden Children of the Holocaust” with Diane Wolf, author and professor of Sociology and director of Jewish Studies at UC Davis
University of Colorado Boulder, University Memorial Center room 235
Anne Frank largely shaped the image of the Jewish child hiding from the Nazis, yet her experience was not the norm. Drawing on interviews with seventy Jewish men and women who, as children, were placed in non-Jewish families during the Nazi occupation of Holland, Wolf analyzes the experiences of these Holocaust survivors which were diametrically opposed to the those who suffered in concentration camps. Although the war years were tolerable for most of these children, it was the end of the war that marked the beginning of a traumatic time, especially if parents survived, leading many of those interviewed here to remark, “My war began after the war.”

Friday, January 27 at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm
Reading of the names and survivor testimonies
University of Colorado Boulder
University Memorial Center room 235
CU’s Holocaust Awareness Week concludes with the reading of Holocaust victims’ names called the Litany of the Martyrs which will begin at 10:00 am in the UMC. Testimonies from local Holocaust survivors will be at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm.

A complete schedule of events can be found at www.hillelcolorado.org and http://jewishstudies.colorado.edu.

Holocaust Awareness Week is presented by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Hillel and co-sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies at CU, Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC, the Cultural Events Board at CU, and Movers: Art and Conscience community collaborative series.

Diane Wolf’s visit has been made possible by generous donors to CU’s Hillel, the Program in Jewish Studies and the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project, directed by the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS). Support for the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project is generously provided by Legacy Heritage Fund Limited.

 

About Jamie Polliard

Assistant Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder

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