Photos bring horrors, joys of Polish Ghetto to Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
The experiences of Jewish youngsters trapped in a ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland will be vividly evoked in “Through the Eyes of Youth: Life and Death in the Będzin Ghetto,” a traveling photographic exhibit that will be on display at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – The Bayit, 3700 Henry Hudson Parkway East, from Sunday, January 21 through Friday, January 26.
The exhibit will kick off with a panel discussion on January 21, with Holocaust Survivors Sam Bradin, Gela Majerczyk Buchbinder, Josef Guttman and Dasha Werdyger Rittenberg, from the neighboring towns of Będzin and Dąbrowa Gornicza; Moderated by Jeffrey Cymbler, Founder of the Będzin-Sosnowiec-Zawiercie Area Research Group, and Będzin Town Leader for Jewish Records Poland, Inc.
Dr. Björn Krondofer, a professor of religion and director of the Martin-Springer Institute, which seeks to apply the lessons of the Holocaust to the crises of today, will speak at the opening.
“Today, we often encounter survivors as people who could be our grandparents but most of them were teenagers when they experienced the Holocaust,” Dr. Krondorfer said. “In this exhibit, we focus on the struggle of young people; we hope that our audiences, especially students, can more easily identify with them.”
The exhibit shares the struggles of the youth in Będzin, a small town in southern Poland, who grew up amid tragedy while still trying to find small joys in life. It follows seven young people from prewar life to the harsh conditions of German occupation and finally deportation to Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration camp in Europe. The exhibit ends with their lives after the Holocaust in America and other places. Most did not survive the war.
During the opening event monitors will play testimonials from Będzin Survivors: Joe Guttman, Dasha Rittenberg, Ben Fainer and Sam Bradin; and trailers to the BBC documentary Rutka Laskier: The Lost Diary of the Holocaust, and By A Thread: A Daughter’s Search for her Mother’s Hidden Holocaust Past; Sam Pivnik’s A Visit to Poland and the movie Cardinal Lustiger: Jewish Archbishop of France.
Inspirations, Cantor David Props sings Memories of Home : Holocaust Museum of Houston’s Tribute to the Survivors will be featured at the exhibit opening and the award winning documentary: Diamonds in the Snow, directed by Będzin Survivor Mira Reym Binford will be aired.
The program is sponsored by The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale; The Doris-Martin Springer Institute at Northern Arizona University; The Holocaust, Genocide Interfaith Education Center of Manhattan College; Healthy Communities; The Rutka’s Notebook Holocaust Education Continuity Project, and members of the Riverdale and Zaglebie (Zaglembie), Poland communities.
For more information, or to schedule a visit by schools or senior centers, contact: Rick Feldman at firstname.lastname@example.org/ 646 431 7734. Light refreshments will be served at the opening. Suggested donation $10. Save time and pre-register online @ www.thebayit.org/bedzin
Edited by: JV Staff