During the winter quarter at UC San Diego, the Holocaust Living History Workshop—sponsored by the UCSD Libraries and the UCSD Judaic Studies Program—will continue to host monthly events on campus involving local Holocaust survivors and witnesses. The presentations are part of this year’s “Living With History” series, intended to broaden understanding of the past and to foster tolerance. Interested individuals have the opportunity to attend a talk or discussion involving Holocaust witnesses who share their experiences. All events are free and open to the public, and will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Seuss Room in Geisel Library.
The workshop's first event of the year on Jan. 19 will feature Horst Cahn, who will share his experiences and the lessons he drew from them in a talk titled “Three Years in Auschwitz.” Cahn was born in 1925 in the German city of Essen. He apprenticed to a baker and was barely 14 when he as arrested by the Gestapo, resulting in a three-month confinement in prison. At 17, he was taken to Auschwitz where his parents were immediately put to death. For three seemingly endless years, Cahn withstood the physical deprivation, back-breaking labor, and constant threat of death at the National Socialist’s most infamous concentration camp. After he was liberated, Cahn emigrated to the U.S., where he became a celebrated chef. Cahn will be introduced by UCSD Literature Professor Luis-Martin Cabrera, who will discuss the importance of memory and oral history.
On February 9, the workshop will host an event titled “From Bialystok to Palestine: The Holocaust and Israel,” featuring survivor Ben Midler. Midler, originally from Poland, survived several concentration and death camps including Majdanek, Auschwitz, and Sachsenhausen. After he was liberated, Midler went to Palestine and fought in the Palmach, the strike force of the Jewish underground army under the British Mandate. Midler will talk about his experiences on the frontlines and what prompted him to leave Palestine and settle in the U.S. His presentation will be followed by a round-table discussion moderated by UCSD Sociology Professor Gershon Shafir. Location of this week's event has been changed to the Science & Engineering Library Events Room (also in Geisel Library).
Is it possible to overcome the bitterness of the past, to have a family, and to live a productive life after having survived the Holocaust? The March 2 workshop event titled “The Story of Rose and Max Schindler” will provide answers to those questions. Rushka (Rose) was 14 years old when her family was deported from Hungary to Auschwitz. After the war, she traveled to England where she met and fell in love with, Max, who was also a Holocaust survivor who had been liberated from Theresienstadt after having passed through seven different concentration camps. Rose and Max got married and moved to San Diego where they launched a business and raised four children.
The Holocaust Living History Workshop, a joint project of the UCSD Judaic Studies program and the UCSD Libraries, was launched in 2007 to connect UCSD students, San Diego Holocaust survivors and interested individuals through theVisual History Archive, a database of approximately 52,000 Holocaust survivor and witness testimonies. The UC San Diego Libraries are 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.
To find out more about UC San Diego's Holocaust Living History Workshop, contact Susanne Hillman, program coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org 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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