Holocaust Living History Workshop Winter Line-up Features Talks Jan. 9 & 30, Feb. 20, March 13

During winter 2013, the Holocaust Living History Workshop (HLHW), a collaboration between the UC San Diego Library and the University’s Judaic Studies Program, will continue its year-long series of all-new speakers reflecting on “The Long Shadow of the Past.” The series is part of the HLHW’s efforts to broaden understanding of the past and foster tolerance. Interested members of the local and campus communities are invited to come listen to local Holocaust survivors, witnesses, and scholars share their stories and learn about the Visual History Archive, the world’s largest database of Holocaust testimony. Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to attend these special sessions which are free and open to the public. All events will be held in the Seuss Room in Geisel Library from 5 to 7 p.m. with the exception of the January 30 event, co-sponsored with the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, which will be held at the JCC Astor Judaica Library in La Jolla.

On January 9th, Myriam Miedzian kicks off the winter quarter with a talk about her father’s harrowing and life-threatening experiences during the first half of the 20th century. Born in Poland in 1901, Henyek Miedzianagora survived three European wars including World War II and the Holocaust. His daughter Myriam, a professor of philosophy and a prolific author on social, cultural, and political issues, has reconstructed his life in her acclaimed book He Walked Through Walls. At the workshop, Dr. Miedzian will present a reading and lead a discussion on survival ethics.

The killing fields at Ponar, Lithuania

On January 30th, Ellen Cassedy presents We are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust, a talk sponsored by Miriam and Jerome Katzin. A playwright and a scholar of Yiddish, Cassedy researches and writes about Lithuania’s genocidal past, the Soviet era, and Lithuanian hopes for the future. Her new book We are Here, which she introduces at this event, is testimony to her decade-long study of an unparalleled tragedy. The talk is held at the JCC Astor Judaica Library. For ticket information, please contact Marcia Tatz Woellner at marciatw@lfjcc.com or 858-362-1174.

The next workshop, scheduled for February 20th, features Jackie Gmach, a well-known Jewish educator. Gmach’s presentation, The Sephardic Experience: Between Two Worlds, introduces a perspective on recent Jewish history that is often overshadowed by the focus on Ashkenazi life and death. Jacqueline Nataf was a little girl when the Germans occupied her native Tunisia. Growing up in the land of bomboloni—the sweet fried pastry of her childhood—she had to make the painful transition, via Israel and France, to the land of the bagel. At this talk, sponsored by Joan and Irwin Jacobs, she shares excerpts from her in-progress memoirs.

Like Gmach, who lived on three continents before settling down in the U.S., Franklin Gaylis is no stranger to the immigrant experience and the challenges it brings with it. Growing up in South Africa, Gaylis came to America in 1982 and began to practice as a physician. The birth of his children sparked an interest in his ancestors. In From Shtetl to Shetl: A Journey Across Three Continents, to be held March 13th, he shares the insights he gained in the course of his quest for his Lithuanian roots.

The killing fields at Ponar, Lithuania

The Holocaust Living History Workshop, launched in 2007 by the UC San Diego Library and the Judaic Studies Program, connects UC San Diego students, San Diego Holocaust survivors and interested individuals, to increase the visibility and use of the Visual History Archive, a database of approximately 52,000 survivor and witness testimonies. The UC San Diego Library is one of only three university libraries on the West Coast to have access to the archive. The archive, which is administered by the Shoah Foundation Institute at the University of Southern California includes testimonies recorded in 56 countries and 32 languages. Students and members of the public can access the videos from any computer on the UC San Diego campus.

For more information about UC San Diego's Holocaust Living History Workshop, contact program coordinator Susanne Hillman at hlhw@ucsd.edu or go to: http://libraries.ucsd.edu/hlhw. Training in the use of the Visual History Archive is available for individuals and groups upon appointment.

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