The UCLA Festival of Preservation engagements featuring This Is Your Life, Hanna Bloch Kohner, has completed its 2011-2012 tour at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Julie Kohner was the guest speaker on Sunday evening, May 20, 2012 at the museum. Three episodes of This Is Your Life featured Holocaust survivor’s stories, and Julie as the guest speaker for an introductory talk about her mother, Hanna Bloch Kohner, one of three television show guests, and the first Holocaust survivor to have her story told to a national television audience. A question & answer session with Julie Kohner followed the showing. Thanks to Marian Luntz for hosting Julie’s visit, and, the Holocaust Museum Houston for helping to sponsor this engagement.
As this was the final stop for this year’s Festival of Preservation tour, I would like to extend a special thank you to the Ralph and Barbara Edwards Family Foundation for helping to fund this speaking tour.
The May 17 2012 Houston Chronicle is featuring an article about the upcoming presentation of the UCLA Festival of Preservation programs, This Is Your Life, at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts on Sunday, May 20. The article also mentions Julie Kohner and Voices of the Generations, since Julie will be the featured speaker on Sunday evening at the museum during the presentation of the Holocaust episodes of This Is Your Life. Visit the museum web site at http://www.mfah.org/films/this-is-your-life/.
Voices of the Generations is thrilled to announce that “Hanna & Walter, A Love Story” has just been optioned for a motion picture, to be produced by Josh Safran and Greg Shapiro. This is an exciting opportunity to continue the legacy for the next generation.
Sunday February 22; lecture by Michael Berenbaum at Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Sponsored by Second Generation.
Dr. Berenbaum is one of the foremost Holocaust scholars in the USA and the world. He is the director of the Sigi Ziering Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Ethics at American Jewish University where he is also a Professor of Jewish Studies. Not only is Dr. Berenbaum generous with his time speaking weekly it seems on topics of interest to those who share his passion to preserve the memory of the Holocaust as well as understand it, he is always engaging in that he has something to offer that is not widely known about the Holocaust. Such was the case on this Sunday afternoon.
He announced that a new field known as genocide archaeology has emerged. One of the initial scholars working in the field is Father Patrick DuBois who has located more than 2,000 previously unknown
graves of murdered innocents in Lithuania, Latvia and the Ukraine. These discoveries are completely new and are the foundation for the reconsideration of the death tool in this region, as well as for the Holocaust itself. The methods used by DuBois, who is a Roman Catholic priest, are powerful if subtle. He visits villages and inquires of the elder citizenry “where are the Jews buried?” These are the people, he suspects, who had contemporary knowledge of where were killing fields. He counts on his frocks to persuade a “confessional” response. When he travels to the sites he begins digging in the topsoil. More often than not DuBois finds keys and bullets that tell him a story.
The significance of the keys, said Berenbaum, is that victims were innocent and did not realize they were being taken to their death. It also suggests they knew their murderers. The significance of the bullets is that certain casings were used by certain groups: i.e., the SS used one kind, the Wehrmacht another, and the local police a third kind. DuBois’ chilling conclusion is that, based upon his discoveries, the victims’ murderers were often local police encouraged in one way or another by neighbors.
Berenbaum described German occupied Russia as the “black hole” of Holocaust death data. These new discoveries will help fill in the gap as well as document the long suspected pattern of opportunistic murder wherein the locals pulled the triggers but attributed the actions to the Nazis. Claims based upon memories of survivors from these regions have been discounted because of the lack of evidence. Until now.