July 20, 2016 |
By David Lee Preston I'll be following the Republican National Convention this week in Cleveland with particular interest, partly because I am a child of Holocaust survivors, and partly because of my relationships with two men who are no longer among us. One is Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate who died July 2, who famously beseeched President Ronald Reagan not to visit the graves of Nazi SS soldiers at Bitburg, Germany. "That place, Mr. President, is not your place," the survivor told the Republican icon, speaking truth to power when he accepted the Congressional Gold Medal in April 1985.
July 16, 2016 |
Paul B. Winkler, 79, of Lawrenceville, N.J., the groundbreaking executive director of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education from 1975 to May of this year, died of cancer on Tuesday, July 12, at his home. In March 1994, the New Jersey Senate adopted "an act regarding genocide education in the public schools. " It stated that "every board of education shall include instruction on the Holocaust and genocide in an appropriate place in the curriculum of all elementary and secondary school pupils.
May 30, 2016
ISSUE | HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL Remember all victims Philadelphia's Holocaust Memorial should incorporate the five million non-Jews who were killed by Adolf Hitler's forces (" 'A uniquely Jewish experience,' " Monday). I take issue with the letter writer who implied that to do so would deny the Nazis' obsession with the Jews. These Polish Christians and other non-Jews were not some sort of collateral damage but were Nazi targets, too. As a Jewish American born in Amsterdam, I identified deeply with Anne Frank and took to heart that she cried watching Romani and Hungarian children being led to the crematoria.
May 24, 2016
ISSUE | HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL 'A uniquely Jewish experience' A letter took issue with the plan for the Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial being solely about Jews ("Remember five million others, too," Tuesday). Writer Elie Wiesel said it best: "While not all victims were Jews, all Jews were victims. " Like it or not, the Holocaust was a uniquely Jewish experience. I don't write this with pride, but rather with extreme sadness and bitterness. The Polish Christians and others who were killed by Adolf Hitler's forces were not written about in Mein Kampf as a subhuman race that had to be destroyed.
May 18, 2016
ISSUE | HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL A reminder to stop all genocide As a Jewish American, I was heartened to learn of the plans for a Holocaust Memorial Park, including the 1964 sculpture at 16th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway ("Never, ever forgotten," Thursday). To me, the three famous questions of the renowned Jewish thinker Hillel are germane: 1. If I am not for myself, who will be for me? The proposed memorial, and many similar efforts nationwide, should serve as a living reminder that never again should Jews be threatened or killed, or allow ourselves to be. 2. But if I am only for myself, who am I?
May 13, 2016 |
When it was installed in 1964, Philadelphia's Holocaust Memorial - a statue depicting figures consumed in fire - was the first of its kind in North America. On Tuesday, city officials and a group of Holocaust survivors announced plans for the statue at 16th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to serve as the entrance to a memorial park - one that aims to educate future visitors as the events of the Holocaust recede further into the past. On hand at the memorial Tuesday were members of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, which spearheaded the plan, as well as local Holocaust survivors, some of whom worked to erect the original statue, by Polish artist Nathan Rapoport, more than 50 years ago. Max Shieman of North Philadelphia was among them.
May 3, 2016 |
Holocaust survivor David Tuck will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Yom HaShoah Observance at York's Jewish Community Center. At age 9, Tuck spent was taken to the Lodz ghetto in Poland in 1940. He spent the next five years circulating from a labor camp in Posen in Poland to Auschwitz in Germany. He eventually landed in Güsen II, an underground factory to build German aircraft for the war. He weighed only 78 pounds at th end of the war, Tuck was liberated from Güsen II on May 5, 1945.
April 12, 2016 |
As a child growing up outside Warsaw, David Wisnia was a prodigy. He sang in opera houses and spent time with prominent cantors who tutored him in chanting prayers for synagogue. Years later, as a teenager imprisoned at the Auschwitz concentration camp, that talent became his lifeline. "What kept my grandfather going, and what saved his life, was his voice," said Wisnia's grandson, Avi, speaking on Sunday at the National Museum of American Jewish History to an audience that included his grandfather.
March 17, 2016
ISSUE | JEWISH IDENTITY Holocaust lives in today's anti-Semitism I share columnist Charles Krauthammer's concern that too many American Jews view Holocaust memory as the substance of their Jewishness and agree that we need to base Jewish identity on positive Jewish content ("Identity and the Holocaust," Monday). While the Holocaust happened in the past, the anti-Semitism that caused it is growing, so the lessons of the 1930s and '40s remain relevant. That is why the American Jewish Committee, the global Jewish advocacy agency, has organized the largest protest against anti-Semitism in history, encouraging mayors in American and European cities to sign a statement denouncing anti-Semitism as incompatible with democratic values and committing to advance respectful coexistence in their own communities.
March 16, 2016
ISSUE | GENOCIDE More than Holocaust In the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, there is a message commissioned by survivors: "Never Again. " Sadly, their message goes unheeded as one genocide follows another. Columnist Charles Krauthammer worries that Jews will reduce their heritage to one catastrophic event, the Holocaust ("Identity and the Holocaust," Monday). As a friend of survivor Eva Kor who will accompany her for the third time to Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Camp, I am dedicated to keeping the memory alive, to silencing deniers, and to teaching others so that one day, genocides really will never happen again.