The trauma of second-generation Holocaust survivors

Rita GoldbergThe children of people who lived through the Holocaust – mostly Jewish – are known as second-generation survivors. In recent years, large numbers of these middle-aged men and women have been trying to make sense of their backgrounds, which have sometimes been obscured, especially where their parents have been unable to talk about their experiences.

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Religious minorities helped rescue Jews


The Netherlands had the lowest Jewish survival rate of any Western European country during the Holocaust. Only 27 percent of its 140,000 Jews outlived the German occupation, compared to 60 percent in neighboring Belgium and 75 percent in France. This is despite relatively modest levels of anti-Semitism before the war. Conventional explanations range from Dutch obedience to authority, the ease by which Jews could be located in this densely populated flat country, and the absence of borders to countries that could offer refuge. Yet, these are still unsettled questions in what is a surprisingly novel political science of the Holocaust.

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Mark It With a Stone – Sunday evening, March 9th 6pm at Valley Chabad

Sandy Rubenstein is a teacher at the Horace Mann School in New York. Teaching is her passion, what she loves to do and has been doing for over thirty years. She is also the child of Holocaust survivors. In 1996, her father, Joseph Horn, published his memoirs, Mark It With a Stone, the fulfillment of a life-long dream. In 2008, the book was reprinted in paperback, with an introduction written by Sandy Rubenstein from the point of view of a child of survivors.

Joseph Horn passed away in 1999. Now, his daughter, Sandy Rubenstein, speaks to middle and high school students and others. Teaching about the lessons of the Holocaust is a calling, a compelling force for her. As she relates her father’s story, sharing excerpts from his book, she intersperses video clips of her father speaking directly about his experiences: a powerful medium. Students are riveted and full of questions. She addresses the need for young people, our future leaders, to reflect on their own moral responsibilities to stand up against today’s hate, bigotry, and genocide. As survivors are no longer with us, Sandy Rubenstein’s presentation allows new generations to witness history first hand.

Program for teens participating in the Eternal Flame Fellowship program. Click here to register.

Jordanian News Site: All Peoples Must Learn From the Holocaust

On Monday’s International Holocaust Memorial Day, Jordanian news site  Almamlakah News posted an article declaring the Holocaust as “the most heinous crime in human history” and describing it as a lesson for all people to learn from, according to a translation by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, on Wednesday.

Full Story: Algemeiner

Holocaust Told in One Word, 6 Million Times

JERUSALEM — There is no plot to speak of, and the characters are woefully undeveloped. On the upside, it can be a quick read — especially considering its 1,250 pages.

The book, more art than literature, consists of the single word “Jew,” in tiny type, printed six million times to signify the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust. It is meant as a kind of coffee-table monument of memory, a conversation starter and thought provoker.

Full Story: NYTimes

Watch – Downplaying the Holocaust: The story of the New York Times

Anna Blech won first prize at the New York City History Day competition for her research paper, “Downplaying the Holocaust: Arthur Hays Sulzberger and The New York Times.” For this paper, she also was awarded The Eleanor Light Prize from the Hunter College High School Social Studies Department and membership in the Society of Student Historians. Anna’s paper on anti-slavery sentiment in pre-Civil War children’s literature was published in The Concord Review. Anna was a finalist at the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where she won third place in microbiology for her project, “Reinventing Antibiotics.” She has received national and regional Scholastic Writing awards, mostly for her one-act musical comedies, and she is an active member of the Hunter theater community.

Holocaust Survivor Bella Miller Recounts her Experience – Sunday Evening, March 23, 2014 6pm at Valley Chabad

Bella Miller still remembers the day the tattoo was engraved on her arm.

She was inside a barracks at Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi death camp in Poland, weeks after she arrived with her family in August 1944. Another inmate dipped a long needle in ink and punched the number into her arm. There were about three minutes of excruciating pain.

“You were not anymore a human being, you were a number and believe me that number will never leave my mind,” Miller says. “A24977: That’s what I was.”

Bella will be sharing her story of horror strength and inspiration to the teen of the Eternal Flame Fellowship Program at Valley Chabad.

Come and Learn

A collection of news articles, stories and essays bringing the memory of the Holocaust to powerful positive action.