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Blog Archives: Remembering

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Preserving the Memory – Teaching the History – JFR 2018 European Study Program

The JFR’s European Study Program to Germany and the Netherlands was exceptional. The design and flow of the study program provided each of us the opportunity to explore and understand different aspects of the Holocaust in greater depth.

We met at the Frankfurt airport and traveled to Bad Camberg where we met Ann Mollengarden (Lerner Fellow 2003), from the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center in Birmingham, AL. Ann’s father’s family was from Bad Camberg. We met with Dr. Peter Schmidt, a local historian, who guided our group through the small town and provided history of what happened to both Ann’s family and the Jews of Bad Camberg during the Holocaust. We ended our first day at the Fritz Bauer Institute where we met with Professor Dr. Sybille Steinbacher, the Director of the Institute, and several members of her staff. We discussed Holocaust education in Germany at both the high school and university levels and we learned about the work of the Fritz Bauer Institute.

The next day we explored the Holocaust memorial to the Jews of Frankfurt. Professor Hayes gave a lecture on the horror of the round-up and deportation of Frankfurt’s Jews. We then traveled to Speyer and Worms, two of the three towns where Jews initially settled upon their arrival in Germany. During our visit with Dr. Susanne Urban, Managing Director of the ShUM Cities of the Rhine, which includes Speyer, Worms, and Mainz, she provided a grounding in the beginnings of the Jewish community in Germany. Dr. Urban gave background on the synagogue and the Jewish cemetery as she walked our group through Worms. Our visit to Speyer and Worms provided a firm base for an understanding of the development of Jewish life in Germany.

We traveled to Weimar, Buchenwald, Dora-Mittelbau, Westerbork, and Amsterdam. Each of these sites added different layers to our knowledge of camps – concentration, slave labor, and transit. Each site was distinct and different. Perhaps Dora-Mittelbau was the site that impacted the group the most. While one can describe going into the tunnels, words do not do justice to one’s feelings and personal experience. Dr. Stefan Hördler, Director of the Dora-Mittelbau site, spent the day with us and provided detailed background on the slave labor facility and the other sub-camps in the area. The mortality rate at Dora-Mittelbau was higher than at most other concentration camps; the average life expectancy of a new inmate was six to eight weeks.

Part of our Study Program followed Anne Frank’s journey during the Holocaust. She was born in Frankfurt in June 1929. We saw the small steel blocks for Anne, Margot, and their mother at the Holocaust Memorial Wall in Frankfurt near the Judengasse Museum. The Frank family fled Germany in 1933 for Amsterdam. We went to the Frank home in Amsterdam and to the Secret Annex attached to her father’s factory in Amsterdam. We went to Westerbork, to the site of the punishment block the Frank family was placed in upon their arrival in Westerbork, and we were in Bergen-Belsen where Anne and Margot died of typhus before the British liberated the camp on April 15, 1945. This study program did not visit Auschwitz where Anne and the others in hiding were deported to from Westerbork. However, this part of the Study Program afforded participants a deeper understanding of how life was for Jews trying to survive during the Third Reich.

We look forward to hearing from our Study Program participants over this coming school year to see how they have incorporated their time in Germany and the Netherlands into their Holocaust unit of study.

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Celebrating an Anniversary!

September 7, 1992, was my first day at the JFR.  Last week, I celebrated my 25th anniversary at the JFR – it has been a terrific 25 years! I have no idea where the time has gone. I work with an outstanding board, fabulous leadership, and a dedicated staff – and I thank you.

It has been my honor and privilege to help repay a debt of gratitude on behalf of the Jewish people to those precious few non-Jews ,who risked their lives and often the lives of their families, to save Jews during the Holocaust. The rescuers we support are very special and we are helping them to live out their lives in dignity.

To our Alfred Lerner Fellows, you are the very best! I am so fortunate to know you. Together we have improved the quality of Holocaust education.

To our donors – none of the above would have been possible without your continued support and commitment. I thank you for helping the JFR to make a difference in the lives of the rescuers, our teachers, and their students.

To the future!

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Remembering an American Solider Who Gave his Life for our Country – Stanley Goldblum

The grave of Stanley Goldblum

The grave of Stanley Goldblum

On May 28 1944, PFC Stanley Goldblum was killed in action in the battle of Rome. Stanley Goldblum was my uncle and I am named for him. My Uncle Stanley was in the 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. He is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery which is on the north edge of the town of Nettuno, Italy, which is immediately east of the Anzio beachhead. The Italian campaign was brutal and we lost many young men. Rome was liberated on June 4, 1944, seven days after my uncle Stanley was killed.

His Hebrew date of death is 28 Iyar – which this year is May 28, 2014 – exactly 70 years ago to the day he died.

May his memory be for a blessing.

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Remembering a Noble Man

Guido[1]

Guido de Gorgey, a Righteous Gentile from Hungary, passed away peacefully this morning in New York City at the age of 93.  Guido was a very special man.  In meeting Guido one would never know that this kind, gentle man stood up to the Nazis to save Jews during the Holocaust not only risking his life, but also the lives of his family.

Guido would come and speak with our teachers and would meet with New York City school children.  May his memory be for a blessing.  To read his rescue story, please click here.

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Remembering our Heroes

The grave of Stanley Goldblum

On May 28 1944, PFC Stanley Goldblum was killed in action in the battle of Rome. Stanley Goldblum was my uncle and I am named for him. My Uncle Stanley was in the 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. He is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery which is on the north edge of the town of Nettuno, Italy, which is immediately east of the Anzio beachhead. The Italian campaign was brutal and we lost many young men. Rome was liberated on June 4, 1944, seven days after my uncle Stanley was killed. May his memory be forever a blessing.

As we take time today to remember those men and women who have made the supreme sacrifice on behalf of our country, let us also remember the men and woman who protect our freedom today. May this Memorial Day find the members of our armed forces both here at home and around the world safe.

Go to the following link for more information about the Sicily- Rome American Cemetary: http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries/cemeteries/sr.php

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