Documentary on Fanya Gottesfeld Heller focuses on the relationships she developed speaking in
inner-city schools about her wartime experience.
The first time Holocaust survivor Fanya Gottesfeld Heller told her story at Pacific High School, an alternative public school in downtown Brooklyn, she jumped every time a school bell sounded. The students, mostly black and Latino, all from low-income and troubled homes, noticed.
And all understood. Some 70 years after she came under Nazi rule as a young teen in her native Ukraine, and some 50 years after she immigrated to the United States, part of her is still that frightened adolescent.
Amid Holocaust fatigue and farce, Otto Frank’s letters pack a punch.
Special To The Jewish Week
Last week, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research revealed nearly 80 documents showing that Otto Frank, the father of the world’s most famous diarist, Anne Frank, attempted in 1941 to emigrate his entire family from Holland to America.
When an ethnic group or race endearingly becomes the nickname for a sports team, does that signal their arrival or shame? Native Americans have long decried the way sports fans have adopted tomahawk chops and tribal chants as ways to either root for or ridicule the Indians, Braves, and Redskins. On the other hand, the Irish don't seem at all bothered by Notre Dame's celebration of the poetry to their more pugnacious side.
The new obsession with Jewish vengeance, and what it suggests.
Special To The Jewish Week
In the topsy-turvy post-Holocaust world, genocide never ended and the Holocaust itself became a brand name. Yom HaShoah competed with Yom Kippur for mourners. A museum in Washington, D.C., doubled as a Jewish Mount Rushmore. And Anne Frank was adopted by every culture on earth as a metaphor for adolescence interrupted. Elie Wiesel, a precocious, sensitive boy from a remote region of Transylvania, ended up as a Nobel laureate, a worldwide celebrity, and an honored guest on “Oprah.”
Who would have imagined all that when the death camps were liberated in 1945?
Frankfurt, Germany - Amsterdam has long been a place of education and remembrance of Anne Frank. But in her hometown of Frankfurt, Germany, Frank's life and death for years have been marked only with a plaque on one of her two former homes and an elementary school renamed in her honor. Annual ceremonies were held on her birthday from 1957 to 1970, but until now there has never been an ambitious permanent site dedicated to telling the story of one of the most famous and eloquent victims of the Holocaust.
Weddings are normally joyous occasions, especially ones planned with the care and devotion Leona Zeplin put into her daughter’s simcha last month. The guests were invited, the catering hall rented and the flowers ordered. Everything was set to go.
But on the morning of the wedding, Zeplin, a loving and committed mother, began having second and third thoughts about the occasion, despite the love and affection between her daughter, Joslin, and Joslin’s fiancé.
Twenty students from a tough, inner-city school walked through parts of a museum last week devoted to the Holocaust and other genocides. They also met with a Holocaust survivor, the leader of their tour, and wrote about their impressions afterward.
Their tour could easily have been a scene in “Freedom Writers,” the new movie about a teacher in Long Beach, Calif., who connects with her tough, inner-city students by discussing the pain and trauma other children have suffered, including those who experienced the Holocaust.
Next June, Anne Frank would be 70 years old. Public interest in the young Anne Frank and her diary — an account of her 25 months hiding from the Nazis in a secret annex in Amsterdam, which has now been translated into 55 languages, with more than 25 million copies sold — is unceasing, with new editions of the diary, a recent revival of the Broadway play, documentary films, children’s books, dissertations and critical articles, with frequent contention between the people and organizations who claim to represent her interests.