2012 - 2013 Events

Spring 2013

During the spring quarter, the Holocaust Living History Workshop will continue its year-long series of all-new speakers called "The Long Shadow of the Past." The series is part of theWorkshop's effort to broaden understanding of the past and to foster tolerance. Interested individuals are invited to listen to local Holocaust survivors, witnesses, and scholars share their stories and to learn about the Visual History Archive, the world's largest database of Holocaust testimony.

Recorded events are available via:

April 3 - Anatomy of Malice: Rorschach Results from Nuremberg War Criminals
In the past Joel E. Dimsdale, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, has researched the concentration camp survivors. More recently, he has studied the mental world of the perpetrators. At this talk, he presents his latest research based on an analysis of Rorschach inkblot tests administered at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

April 24 - The Murders at Bullenhuser Damm
Mark James tells the story of his brother and namesake Marek who was one of twenty Jewish children taken from the concentration camp Neuengamme and hanged in the basement of a school in Hamburg, barely three weeks before war's end.

May 8 - Living the Past: In Honor of San Diego's Holocaust Survivors
San Diegan Holocaust survivors Lou Dunst and Frances Gelbart share their memories of the Holocaust. They both passed through several concentration camps including Auschwitz and Mauthausen. Sponsored by Phyllis and Dan Epstein.

May 29 - The Force of Things: A Marriage in War and Peace
The turbulent relationship of Alexander Stille's parents, a mid-Western Protestant and an Italian Jew of Russian descent, is at the heart of his new family memoir. The Force of Things: A Marriage in War and Peace explores the ways two people contend with events and powers beyond their control in a time out of joint. Stille is an internationally renowned and award-winning journalist and the author of several books.

June 5 - Surviving Auschwitz
Livia Krancberg was born in the Romanian town of Petrova in 1919. During World War Two she was deported to Auschwitz and later to the women's concentration camp Ravensbrück. A regular speaker at local San Diego schools, this is her first visit to UCSD. Sponsored by William and Michelle Lerach.

Courses using the Visual History Archive:

HIEU 158, "Why Hitler? How Auschwitz?" taught by Susanne Hillman
In this course students are introduced to the history of the Holocaust. Alongside the historical instruction, students will familiarize themselves with the Visual History Archive. They will learn to evaluate video select interviews for the purpose of research and to critically "read" audiovisual sources as a type of text. As part of the course requirements, students will write a research paper based primarily on video testimony.

Thurgood Marshall Honors Seminar taught by Susanne Hillman:
Participants of this seminar learn to evaluate Holocaust video testimony as a type of text. Topics include affective involvement with primary sources, the ethics of listening, layers and types of memory, the performative function of witnessing, etc. Selected clips from the Visual History Archive will supplement discussions of the assigned texts. As a term project, students will analyze one entire interview and give a brief presentation of their findings.

Winter 2013

In the winter quarter of 2013, the Holocaust Workshop continues its year-long series "The Long Shadow of the Past."

January 9, He Walked Through Walls: A Reading and Discussion of Survival Ethics
5:00 - 7:00pm
Geisel Library, Seuss Room

Speaker Dr. Myriam Miedzian is a professor of philosophy and author of numerous books, articles, blogs, and op-eds on social, cultural, and political issues. He Walked Through Walls tells the story of how her father, born in Poland in 1901, survived three 20th century European wars including WW II and the Holocaust.

January 30, Wednesday: We are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust
7:00 - 9:00pm
JCC Astor Judaica Library

Sponsored by Miriam and Jerome Katzin. Speaker Ellen Cassedy, a scholar of Yiddish and a playwright, researches and writes about Lithuania's genocidal past, the Soviet era, and Lithuanian hopes for the future. Her new book We Are Here is a testimony of her decade-long study of an unparalleled tragedy.

Please note: this event is jointly sponsored with the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center and held at the JCC Astor Judaica Library. For ticket information please contact Marcia Tatz Woellner at marciatw@lfjcc.com or 858-362-1174.

February 20, Wednesday: Jackie Gmach and the Sephardic Experience: Between Two Worlds
5:00 - 7:00pm
Geisel Library, Seuss Room

Sponsored by Joan and Irwin Jacobs. Speaker Jackie Gmach-Nataf was a little girl when the Germans occupied her native Tunisia. She is currently at work on her memoirs of this tumultuous and unforgettable period.

March 13, Wednesday: From Shtetl to Shtetl: A Journey Across Three Continents
5:00 - 7:00pm
Geisel Library, Seuss Room

Speaker Dr. Franklin Gaylis, a San Diego physician who grew up in South Africa, has traveled three continents in search of his family's past in Lithuania.

With the exception of the January 30 talk, all events are held in the UCSD Geisel Library and free of charge. Everyone is welcome, and no RSVP is required. Refreshments provided.

UCSD Courses using the Visual History Archives --Winter 2013:

Sociology 178, "The Holocaust," taught by Richard Biernacki

Fall 2012

During the fall quarter, the Holocaust Living History Workshop will host several events on campus. They are part of a year-long series of all-new speakers and artists called "The Long Shadow of the Past." The series continues the Workshop's effort to broaden understanding of the past and to foster tolerance.

October 10: Escaping to Palestine
5:00 - 7:00pm
Geisel Library; Seuss Room

Stephen Victor Kraus kicks off the series with a talk about his experiences during the Nazi period. His is the story of a boy who grew up in interwar Poland. As the German tanks rolled in, his family fled. After an excruciating odyssey through Romania, Turkey, and Yugoslavia, they reached Palestine and safety. Kraus will share memories of his life in Warsaw and his dramatic escape.

November 5: Legalism and Memory: The Post-WW II Identity of Jewish Survivors in Budapest
5:00 - 7:00pm
Geisel Library; Seuss Room

The identity of Hungarian Jewish Holocaust survivors is the focus of a presentation by Dr. Andrea Petö. In Legalism and Memory Petö discusses Jewish participation in post-WW II trials and its negative effect on their identity. She is an associate professor in the department of Gender Studies at the Central European University in Budapest and has published widely on the Holocaust.

November 14: A Childhood in the Shadow of the Holocaust
5:00 - 7:00pm
Geisel Library; Seuss Room

This event features San Diego resident Trudie Richman-Wilder. Richman was born in Vienna in 1923 and managed to escape to the US during World War II. Her memoir Escape from Vienna details reminiscences of her childhood and her bid for freedom. An accomplished singer and guitarist who has recorded folksongs for the prestigious Smithsonian Folkways label, Richman will conclude her presentation with some Yiddish songs.

November 26: An Evening with Madame F.
7:00 - 9:00pm
Mandeville Recital Hall ( the Recital Hall is located in Mandeville Center )

Performance artist and playwright Claudia Stevens whose parents fled Europe uses music to explore the Holocaust. An Evening with Madame F.focuses on the real-life experience of Fania Fenelon, a member of the women's orchestra at Auschwitz who was forced to perform to an audience of concentration camp guards. Fenelon's story raises profound ethical questions which Stevens addresses in an original, interactive way. Stevens has been a creative and performing artist for many years. Her numerous honors include residencies at the Gitameit Art Center in Rangoon, Burma; RS9 Studio Theatre in Budapest; and Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research Center. She regularly performs her solo plays at leading universities and arts centers in the United States

Note on Time and Location: All events begin at 5 pm and last approximately two hours. With the exception of An Evening with Madame F., they are held in the Geisel Library's Seuss Room on the UCSD Campus.

UCSD Courses using the Visual History Archives -- Fall 2012:

HIEU 145, "The Holocaust as Public History," by visiting professor Margrit Frölich:

In this course students write a paper based on an in-depth engagement with select video testimony. Reflecting on the complicated relationship between history, memory, and trauma allows students to come away with a deeper understanding of the socially constructed nature of the past and the continued relevance of eyewitness testimony.

HITO 133, "War and Society/Second World War," by Ryan Zroka:

Iin this course students are given the opportunity to analyze select testimony by Jewish as well as non-Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and the Second World War and to write an essay based on their insights.

Public talk at San Diego Mesa College:

To mark the opening of the traveling exhibit "The Courage to Remember," Mesa College has invited Dr. Susanne Hillman to give a talk on the Holocaust. "What Happened, Happened: Reflections on Genocide, Unheroic Survival, and Witness Testimony" is based on extensive research in the Visual History Archive and on Hillman's experience as the program coordinator of the Holocaust Living History Workshop.