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Bearing Witness: Stories of the Holocaust – “Uncovering My Family’s Heritage”

ZOOM Online

As Jews in Vienna in the late 1930s, Chris Berdy’s father’s family experienced the Holocaust across three generations. After Germany’s annexation of Austria in March 1938, Chris’s great-grandparents and grandparents were forced to emigrate to other parts of Europe. Chris’s grandparents ultimately made their way to Lyon, France, where Chris’s father was born in late 1942 as the Nazi occupation expanded into Vichy France. Through luck, hiding, and the support of friends, Chris’s family survived, and immigrated to the US in 1949. The Berdy family story is a realization of the American Dream.   Chris Berdy is a partner withContinue Reading ...

The Holocaust in Focus: French Children of the Holocaust

ZOOM Online

In 1996, Serge Klarsfeld edited French Children of the Holocaust: A Memorial, a nearly 2,000 page book documenting the roundup and deportation of thousands of French children. At the time of the book’s publication, the Los Angeles Times commented: “French Children of the Holocaust: A Memorial, more vividly than any other source I know in any language, presents the human personhood of the catastrophe. About 2,500 images–arduously gathered over 20 years from snapshots, formal portraits, family groupings, identity cards, memorial plaques, and gravestones–show French-born children and those who had found refuge in France, infants through late adolescents, looking out withContinue Reading ...

Finding Matilda: Uncovering the Life & Death of a Jewish Lithuanian Poet

ZOOM Online

International Holocaust Remembrance Day was designated by the UN General Assembly in 2005 as January 27, marking the date in 1945 when Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, was liberated. In commemoration of this date, the Vilna Shul and its partners will convene a panel to discuss the search for a little-known Holocaust victim, Matilda Olkin, and her extended family who were killed in an isolated location in northern Lithuania in the beginning of Holocaust in 1941. The film, “Finding Matilda: The Anne Frank of Lithuania” by Kyle Conti, follows the search for the mass grave. Matilda OlkinContinue Reading ...

Bearing Witness: Stories of the Holocaust – “Talent-Luck-Courage: My Family’s Story of Survival”

ZOOM Online

As Jews in Paris in the early 1940s, Brenda Hancock’s mother’s family endured the entire spectrum of experiences resulting from Nazi occupation. Some members hid in their home towns without ever being arrested. Some were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Hancock’s mother, Nicole Widerman Holland, managed to escape from Paris in 1942 with the birth certificate of a Catholic girl. She worked with the Forces Françaises De L’Interieur (French Forces of the Interior/French Resistance). Hancock’s uncle, Robert Clary (born Robert Max Widerman; LeBeau on the television show Hogans’ Heroes), is the only one of 14 immediate family members who survived the concentration camps and returnedContinue Reading ...

The Holocaust in Focus: “Auschwitz 1944 – Victims and Perpetrators in Two Photo Albums

ZOOM Online

Dr. Wiesen will explore two Nazi-era photo albums that are some of the only photographs we have from the concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau and its perpetrators. The first, The Lilly Jacobs Album (also known as The Auschwitz Album), was discovered by a survivor recovering from typhus. It depicts the arrival of Hungarian Jews to the death camp. The second, known as The Höcker Album, reveals pictures of Auschwitz camp personnel relaxing and enjoying themselves at the Solahütte, a little known SS resort some 30 km south of Auschwitz on the Sola River. When these two albums are juxtaposed, we get a troublingContinue Reading ...

The Holocaust in Focus: Who Took The Pictures?

ZOOM Online

Photographs of Holocaust events and places have become some of our lasting memories. But do we really appreciate what those photographs have to tell us? This series, “The Holocaust in Focus,” will narrow the focus on iconic Holocaust photographs and critically examine what we know and how we know it. In this first session, Amy McDonald will examine photographs from across the historical timeline of the Holocaust, looking at “Who Took the Pictures” and how that informs our historical knowledge.   Register Here  

RE-AIR-Community Education: Jennifer Teege “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me”

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Date: November 9, 2020 Time: Re-Air at 7 PM (We will re-air the Jennifer Teege event that is happening live at noon again at 7 pm, in honor of the anniversary of Kristallnacht.) UAB History and the BHEC welcome Jennifer Teege, a German woman who has chronicled her story as an Afro-German who discovers that her grandfather is Amon Goeth, the commandant of the Plaszow labor camp (played by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List).  Teege is the author of the book My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me.

Jennifer Teege, “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me”

ZOOM Online

The Rita C. Kimerling Public History Endowment, UAB Department of History, and the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center welcome Jennifer Teege, author of the international bestseller, My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me. Teege’s mother was German; her father was Nigerian. Unable to raise a newborn child, her single mother placed Teege in a children’s home when Teege was four weeks old. In her early childhood, Teege had only intermittent contact with her mother and grandmother; that ended when Teege, age 7, was adopted by a white German family, where she was raised in a loving home. Later, in her twenties, Teege struggledContinue Reading ...

The Secrets of the Great Synagogue of Vilna

ZOOM Online

The Great Synagogue of Vilna, the spiritual and physical home of the Lithuanian Jews,  was one of the oldest and most significant religious and cultural sites of Eastern European Jewry.  It was ransacked during WWII and then destroyed by the Soviets in 1956. An elementary school was built on top of the remains. Be among the first to see a sneak peek of “The Secrets of the Synagogue,” a film that chronicles the process to uncover, document, and preserve this grand religious institution in Vilna. (Please note that you will see only a portion of the film, as it is notContinue Reading ...

Community Ed: Dr. Samuel D. Kassow “Who Will Write Our History”

ZOOM Online

Please note this is a combined event with BHEC’s Teacher’s Cadre. All are welcomed and invited to attend.  Samuel Kassow is the Charles Northam Professor of History at Trinity College and author of  Who Will Write Our History: Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archives (Indiana University Press, 2007).  Kassow tells the story of historian Emanuel Ringelblum and his secret organization, Oyneg Shabes, which kept a record of Jewish life in wartime Poland and buried the documents in tins and milk cans under the Warsaw Ghetto. Two caches containing thousands of documents were discovered in 1946 andContinue Reading ...

Archives at Home: The Dr. Werner Knurr Collection

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Holocaust survivor Dr. Werner Knurr joins BHEC archivist Rachel Lopez to tell the story of his family’s escape from Nazi Germany through the rare and unique collection of artifacts he has generously donated to BHEC. From a comfortable life in Aurich, Germany, to hardships endured under the Nuremberg Laws, and finally to building a new life in Montgomery, Alabama, there is much to be learned from the Knurr family’s experiences. REGISTER HERE!

Bearing Witness: Stories of the Holocaust – “Jack Bass: Charmer, Comedian, Friend,” presented by Ann M. Mollengarden

ZOOM Online

Jack Bass, of blessed memory, lived in nearby Adamsville from 1994 until his death in 2010.  During that time he was an avid speaker on behalf of the BHEC, traveling across the state with his dear wife, Phyllis, at his side. He was one of the nine original Holocaust survivors in Birmingham who participated in the BHEC’s Darkness into Life: Alabama Holocaust Survivors Through Photography and Art exhibit. Jack’s story is unique in that he fully experienced the Third Reich’s progressive elimination of its Jewish population. He remained in Germany until the Großaktion Juden (Major Action on Jews) in February 1943, when overContinue Reading ...



Want to add your event to our calendar? Click here.  Email events at (@) BhamNow dot com for promotional options.