HBI will look at the lives of child Holocaust survivors April 11-13

Children from the Jewish Children's Home in Otwock, central Poland during the early postwar period. Photo courtesy of Tamara Weinreich

WALTHAM, Mass. – Renowned child psychologist and Pulitzer nominee Eva Fogelman will visit the Brandeis University campus on April 11 to deliver the keynote address for a conference on Jewish families and childhood during and after the Holocaust. The lecture will address the topic “Holocaust Child Survivors 65 Years After Liberation: From Mourning to Creativity.”
Dr. Fogelman questions how child Holocaust survivors have channeled grief, pain, anger and helplessness into life-affirming activities of remembrance, education, “tikkun olam” (“healing the world”), human rights activism, and continuity of the Jewish people. She explores commonalities among these survivors, focusing on the mourning process at the core of the child survivors’ being. Ultimately, she asserts that what underlies the various forms of the final stage of mourning is a search for meaning, leading to creative expression. The author of “Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust,” Dr. Fogelman was a pioneer in the psychological study of rescuers during the Holocaust. She also wrote and co-produced the PBS series “Breaking the Silence: The Generations After the Holocaust.”

“The experiences of Jewish families and children during and after WWII are also relevant to the understanding of contemporary issues all over the world,” says Joanna Michlic, director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute's (HBI) Project on Families, Children, and the Holocaust. “Dr. Fogelman’s research, and the fresh perspectives offered by our international participants, conveys the complexities of the new beginnings after the war, and the intricate connections between past and present. Holocaust survivors and their families and various organizations and individuals have enthusiastically and generously supported this conference which focuses on a salient but still under-researched topic.”
This keynote address will mark the beginning of the three day conference, “Rising from the Ashes: Jewish Families and Children During and After the War,” sponsored by the the Project on Famiilies, Children, and the Holocaust. The project’s mission is to introduce a new dimension to Holocaust studies- interdisciplinary research on the histories and representations of East European Jewish families and children from 1933 to the present.
Dr. Fogelman’s April 11 lecture will take place at 7 p.m. in Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library, on Brandeis’ Waltham campus. The conference will continue on Monday, April 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel at 550 Winter Street in Waltham. The conference film screening of “My 100 Children” (“Meah yeladim sheli”) will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13 at Brandeis International Business School’s Wasserman Cinematheque. The film tells the story of Lena Kuchlar who helped smuggle dozens of orphaned Jewish children in post-World War II Krakow out of Poland, amidst antisemetic attacks in 1949. RSVPs for all events are strongly encouraged. Please email hbi@brandeis.edu with names and number of guests.
Rising from the Ashes: Jewish Families and Children During and After the War is sponsored by our partners at Brandeis University: the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life; the National Center for Jewish Film; the Department of Psychology; the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies; the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, and through the support of The Valya and Robert Shapiro Endowment.

This conference is also made possible thanks to the generous support of: Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany; Peter Kupfer and Celina M. Spiegel in honor of Daniel and Nina Libeskind; Sigmund A. Rolat, Chairman of the North American Council of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews; Alan M. & Carol Silberstein Diana and Eli Zborowski Family Foundation; Elizabeth Mundlak Zborowski, PhD; and Seymour W. Zises in honor of Daniel and Nina Libeskind.

About the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute
The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI) develops fresh ways of thinking about Jews and gender worldwide by producing and promoting scholarly research and artistic projects. For more information, visit the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Web site.

Spotlight image courtesy of Tamara Weinreich.

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