Holocaust Awareness Week

holocaust awareness week 3

Monday, January 25th – Thursday, January 28th

Northeastern gathers to remember the tragedy of the Holocaust

The Holocaust was the mass genocide of nearly six million Jews carried out by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Regime and its collaborators before and during WWII. From its start in 1933 to its end in 1945, approximately 11 million people were killed; in addition to the Jewish community, ethnic Slavs and Poles, homosexuals, and the mentally or physically disabled were brutally targeted. It remains one of the most horrific human catastrophes in history and still shapes our world 70 years later.

Nations, institutions, and communities across the globe take time on different days throughout the year to carry out the very important task of remembering the Holocaust and maintaining its memorial. Here at Northeastern, we as a community will spend the week reflecting on tragedy and learning from the past. “Stories of Slave Labor and the Art of Freedom” is a collection of events full of both tragedy and miraculous survival. All events are free and open to the public, although RSVP is encouraged.

“Silence of the Quandts” Film: Monday, Jan 25th. Snell Library 90, 5 pm.

Northeastern begins its week-long commemoration of the Holocaust on Monday, and one of the first events is a free screening of “Silence of the Quandts.” This groundbreaking documentary revealed to the public the Nazi background of the Quandts, a German family of enormous wealth earned from heavy manufacturing during and after WWII. The film recounts the stories of slave laborers gathered from concentration camps to work in the Quandts’ factories, a harrowing crime that has never been fully brought to justice.

Philip N. Backstrom, Jr. Survivor Lecture Series: Tuesday, Jan 26th. 909 Rennaisance Park, 12 pm. 

Max Michaelson was born in 1924 into a large and loving Jewish family in Riga, Latvia. His peaceful childhood was torn apart first by the annexation of Latvia by the Soviet Union, and then by the Nazi invasion when he was just 16. Unlike many of his friends and family members, Michaelson survived the brutality of the Holocaust and was liberated with the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945. He later made his way to New York, and then settled in the Boston area. He will tell his story of both pain and survival to an audience of both students and faculty over lunch.

“Letters to Sala” Exhibit Opening and Reception: Wednesday, Jan 27th. IV, 4 pm.

International Village hosts a breathtaking exhibit of letters, photographs, and other documents from the life of Sala Garncarz, a 16-year-old survivor of seven Nazi forced-labor camps. The exhibit will open with a short service in observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, lead by Alexander Kern, Executive Director of Northeastern’s Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service and Eli Herb, Northeastern’s Jewish Spiritual Advisor. Sala’s daughter and author of her biography, Ann Kirschner, will give brief remarks.

Telling Sala’s Holocaust Story: Her Letters’ Story into a Book, Exhibit, Play, and Film: Wednesday, Jan 27th. Raytheon Amphitheater, 6 pm.

Sala’s story will continue at a panel discussion, lead by Ann Kirschner, examining the transformation of her story into a book, an exhibit, a play, and a film. Playwright Arlene Hutton, documentarian Murray Nossel, and curator Jill Vexel will each speak on their relationship with the more than 300 letters sent to Sala Garncarz during her incarceration. Copies of Sala’s Gift: My Mother’s Holocaust Story will be available for purchase with book signings to follow with author Ann Kirschner.

A Staged Reading of the Play “Letters to Sala”: Thursday, Jan 28th. 909 Rennaisance Park, 4 pm. 

Northeastern University’s Department of Theater has partnered with author Ann Kirschner and playwright Arlene Hutton to bring Sala’s Gift: My Mother’s Holocaust Story to life. The play follows the emotional journeys of Sala and her daughter Ann as over 350 letters from Sala’s time in Nazi forced-labor camps resurface, bringing with them a bevy of untamed emotions. As both women begin to grapple with this window into the past, the question remains: what is to be done with the letters?





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