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Dina Babbitt

Dina Gottliebova-Babbitt 

(January 21, 1923, BrnoCzechoslovakia – July 29, 2009)

Was an artist and Holocaust survivor. A U.S. citizen, she resided in Santa Cruz, California.

As Dina Gottliebova, she was imprisoned in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp during WWII, where she drew portraits of Romani inmates for the infamous Dr. Mengele. Following the liberation of the camp and the end of the war she emigrated to the United States and became an animator. She had been fighting the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum for the return of her paintings.

Gottliebova-Babbitt formally requested the return of her paintings. The museum rejected her claims.

In 1944, while in Auschwitz Concentration Camp, she was chosen by Josef Mengele to draw portraits of Romani inmates. Mengele wished to capture the Romanis' skin coloration better than he could do it with camera and film at that time. Gottliebova agreed if her own mother's life were spared as well. As of 2009, seven watercolors survive, all located in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

According to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum's website, seven of her portraits of Romani inmates were discovered after World War IIoutside the Auschwitz camp in the early 1970s and sold to the Museum by people who apparently did not know that Gottliebova was still alive and living in California as Dina Babbitt. The Museum asked Babbitt to return to the Auschwitz site in 1973 to identify her work. After she did so, she was informed that the Museum would not allow her to take her paintings home. 

The U.S. government became involved with House and Senate resolutions. The House version was authored by Representative Shelley Berkley. The Senate version was co-authored by Senator Barbara Boxer and the former Senator Jesse Helms. Both became part of the Congressional Record in 2003 and passed unanimously.[citation needed]

In collaboration with Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studiescomic-book industry legend Neal Adamschampioned Babbitt's efforts. Using text from Medoff, Adams illustrated a six-page graphic documentary about Babbitt that was inked byJoe Kubert and contains an introduction by Stan Lee. Adams called the Babbitt situation "tragic" and "an atrocity". In 2008, Adams, the Wyman Institute and Vanguard Publications publisher J. David Spurlock spearheaded a petition campaign in which over 450 comic book creators and cartoonists urged the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum to return Babbitt's seven portraits.

A reprint of the graphic documentary and an account of Babbitt's plight were included in the final issue of the comic X-Men: Magneto Testament.

A group of students from Palo Alto High School, led by a teacher, David Rapaport, have worked to help Babbitt by communicating with officials from the State Department to have the paintings returned, and by writing to individuals in the government. They have written a book about this experience.

Personal

She was the second wife of animator Art Babbitt. She had two daughters, Michele Kane and Karin Babbitt, and three grandchildren, Angela and Elizabeth Chilcott and Jon A. Kane, all of whom have been active in pursuing her claims.

Gottliebova-Babbitt was diagnosed with an aggressive form of abdominal cancer and had surgery on July 23, 2008. She died on July 29, 2009, aged 86

 

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Zoran Muši?

Zoran Muši? 

(February 12, 1909 — May 25, 2005)

Was a Slovenian painter. He spent half of his life living and working in Italy.

Zoran Muši? was born in a Slovene-speaking family in Bukovica, a village in the Vipava Valleynear Gorizia, in what was then the Austrian County of Gorizia and Gradisca (now in Slovenia). Muši?'s father was headmaster of the local school, while his mother was a teacher. Both parents were Slovenes from the Goriška region: his father was from the village of Šmartno in the Brdahills, while his mother was born in a small village Kostanjevica near Kanal ob So?i.

During the Battles of the Isonzo, the family was forced to flee to Arna?e near Velenje, where Zoran attended elementary school. In 1918, towards the end of World War I, the family moved back to Gorizia, but they were expulsed again by the Italian authorities that had occupied the region. They moved to Griffen in Carinthia, but were expelled once again by the Austrian authorities after the Carinthian Plebiscite in October 1920. They finally settled in the Slovenian Styria, then part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.[citation needed]

Muši? attended high school in Maribor till 1928. Between 1930 and 1935 he continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb.

After graduation in 1934, he travelled extensively. He spent three months in Spain, mainlyMadrid, he visited Vienna and Dalmatia several times while being based in Maribor and Ho?e. In 1940, he moved to Ljubljana. During this period (1942), he painted several churches in his nativeGoriška region, together with his friend Avgust ?ernigoj (DrežnicaGrahovo). In October 1943, he moved to Venice and Trieste. In November 1944, he was arrested by the Nazi German forces and sent to Dachau concentration camp, where he made 200 sketches of life in the camp under extremely difficult circumstances. From the drawings executed in May 1945, he managed to save around seventy. After liberation by Americans in 1945, Muši? returned to Ljubljana. There, he was subjected to the pressures by the newly established Communist regime and moved to Gorizia already at the end of June 1945. In October 1945, he settled in Venice. In September 1949 he married Ida Cadorin - Barbarigo.

In 1950 he won the prize and in 1956 the Grand Prize for his Graphic work at theVenice Biennale. In 1951 and 1952 he was awarded the Prix de Paris, (jointly withAntonio Corpora in 1951). After 1952 he lived in Paris for a while, where the 'lyrical abstraction' of the French Informel determined the art world. Throughout this period he kept his studio in Venice and exhibited again at the Biennale in 1960, when he was awarded the UNESCO Prize. The much acclaimed series We are not the Last, in which the artist transformed the terror of his experiences in the concentration camp into documents of universal tragedy, was made in the 1970s.

In 1981 Muši? was appointed Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in Paris. Muši?'s work has been honoured in numerous international exhibitions, such as the large retrospective exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1995, opened by the French and Slovenian presidentsFrançois Mitterrand and Milan Ku?an

In 1991, Muši? was given the Prešeren Award for lifetime achievement, the highest decoration in the field of the arts in Slovenia.

He died in Venice in 2005 at the age of 96. He is buried in the local St. Michele cemetery.

 

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David Olère

David Olère 

(January 19, 1902 in Warsaw – August 21, 1985 in Paris)

Was a Polish-born French painter and sculptor best known for his explicit drawings and paintings based on his experiences as a Jewish Sonderkommando inmate at Auschwitz concentration camp duringWorld War II.

Life

Olère studied at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, and upon completion of his studies there at the age of 16, moved to Gda?sk and laterBerlin, where he exhibited woodcuts at museums and art houses. In 1921 he was hired by Ernst Lubitsch at the Europäische Film Allianzto work as a set builder for the film Les Amours de Pharaon. Olère also lived in Munich and Heidelberg before moving to Paris in 1923 and settling in Montparnasse, where he designed costumes and publicity posters for Paramount Pictures. In 1930, Olère married Juliette Ventura who gave birth to his son, Alexandre. When war broke out, Olère was drafted into the infantry regiment at Lons-le-Saunier.

The Holocaust

On February 20, 1943, Olère was arrested by French police during a round up of Jews in Seine-et-Oise and placed in Drancy internment camp. On March 2, 1943, he was one of approximately 1,000 Jews deported from Drancy to Auschwitz. From this transport, Olere was one of 119 people selected for work; the rest were gassed shortly after arrival. He was registered as prisoner 106144 and assigned to theSonderkommando at Birkenau, the unit of prisoners forced to empty gas chambers and burn the bodies, firstly working in Bunker 2 and later in Crematorium III. In addition to these duties, he was also forced to work as an illustrator, writing and decorating letters for the SS.

Olère remained at Auschwitz until January 19, 1945, when he was taken on the evacuation death march, eventually reaching Mauthausen concentration camp, then the Melk and Ebensee subcamps, from which he made five unsuccessful escape attempts. Following his liberation on May 6, 1945, he learned that his entire family had been exterminated in Warsaw. He subsequently moved back to Paris.

Olère began to draw at Auschwitz during the last days of the camp, when the SS became less attentive. His work has exceptional documentary value: there are no photos of what happened in the gas chambers and crematoria, and Olère was the only artist to have worked as a member of the Sonderkommando and survived. He was also the first witness to draw plans and cross-sections to explain how the crematoria worked.

Olère felt compelled to capture Auschwitz artistically to illustrate the fate of all those that did not survive. He sometimes depicts himself in his paintings as a ghostly witnessing face in the background. He exhibited his work at the State Museum of Les Invalides and the Grand Palais in Paris, at the Jewish Museum in New York City, at the Berkeley Museum, and in Chicago. He retired from being an artist in 1962, and died in 1985. His widow and son have continued to inform the world about Auschwitz via his artwork

 

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Robert Clary

Robert Clary (born Robert Max Widerman;

March 1, 1926) is a French-born American actor,published author, and lecturer, best known for his role in the television sitcom Hogan's Heroes as Corporal LeBeau.

Clary was the youngest of 14 children. At the age of twelve, he began a career singing professionally. In 1942, because he was Jewish, he was deported to the Nazi concentration camp, Ottmuth. He was later sent to BlechhammerGross Rosen, and finally Buchenwald where he was liberated on 11 April 1945. Twelve other members of his immediate family were sent to Auschwitz. Clary was the only survivor. When he returned to Paris after the war, he was ecstatic when he found that some of his siblings had not been taken away and had survived theNazi occupation of France.

Clary returned to the entertainment business and began making songs that not only became popular in France, but in the United States as well. He came to the U.S. in October 1949. One of Clary's first American appearances was a French language comedy skit on The Ed Wynn Show in 1950. Clary later met Merv Griffin and Eddie Cantor. This eventually led to Clary meeting Cantor's daughter, Natalie Cantor Metzger, whom he married in 1965. Cantor later got Clary a spot on the Colgate Comedy Hour. In the mid-1950s, he appeared on NBC's The Martha Raye Show and on CBS's Appointment with Adventure, a dramatic anthology series.

Clary's comedic skills were quickly recognized by Broadway, where he appeared in several popular musicals including New Faces of 1952, which was produced as a film in 1954. In 1952, he appeared in the film Thief of Damascus which also starred Paul Henreid and Lon Chaney Jr. In 1958, he guest starred on NBC's The Gisele MacKenzie Show.

LeBeau on Hogan's Heroes

In 1965, Clary was offered the role of Corporal Louis LeBeau on a new TV sitcom called Hogan's Heroes, and he accepted the role when the pilot sold. The series was set in a German POW camp during World War II, and Clary played one of the prisoners, who ran an underground Resistance unit from inside the camp.

After his stint on Hogan's Heroes, Clary appeared in a handful of feature films with World War II themes including the made-for-television film,Remembrance of Love about the Holocaust. Clary also made notable appearances on Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless.

Clary appeared in the 1975 film The Hindenburg which dramatized a fictional plot to blow up the Nazi airship after it arrived at the Lakehurst, New Jersey Air Station. His character was a showman/escape artist who hoped to use the airship in one of his shows.

 

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Bettina Le Beau

Bettina Le Beau (born 23 March 1932 in AntwerpBelgium), also known as Bettine Le Beau, is an actress known for her film and television appearances in the UK.

Life

During World War II she was separated from her parents; as she was Jewish, she was held in aconcentration camp in southern France. She escaped from Camp DeGurs and was hidden by a family from the Nazis. She went to England in 1945 and attended Pitman's College. She worked as a model, graphologist and cabaret artist and learned several languages.

As an actress her television appearances include The Benny Hill ShowThe PrisonerCall My Bluff and The Golden Shot. Film appearances include My Last DuchessA Ferry AnnDevil's Daffodil and an uncredited role as Professor Dent's secretary in the first James Bond film, Dr No.

She worked on a programme for women on radio and wrote a book entitled Help Yourself to Happiness (ISBN 0953421600). She has also lectured on her experience of the Holocaust.

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Curt Lowens

Curt Lowens (born in AllensteinEast Prussia, 17 November 1925) is a German actor of the stage and films, and a survivor and resistant of the Holocaust.

Lowens was born into a Jewish family in the East Prussian town of Allenstein (since become Olsztyn, Poland) in the 1920s. His father was a respected lawyer, but his career folded due to loss of clients with the rise of the Third Reich. The family moved into a Jewish community in Berlin in 1936, but later decided to leave for the United States. While waiting to set out from Rotterdam, however, the Germans invadedHolland on the intended day of their departure. In June 1943, they were sent to Westerbork, and from there to Auschwitz, though they were later released. On leaving, the family went underground. Lowens became an active member of the resistance, rescuing Jewish children under a false identity.

Following the close of World War II, the family immigrated to the United States and Curt Lowens became an actor. His career is still active today, and he has appeared in over 100 films and TV shows since 1960. Ironically, given his background, he has often been cast as a German soldier.

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Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski (born 18 August 1933) is a French-Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA he is considered one of the few "truly international filmmakers.

Born in Paris to Polish parents, he moved with his family back to Poland in 1937, shortly before the outbreak of World War II. He survived the Holocaust and was educated in Poland and became a director of both art house and commercial films. Polanski's first feature-length film,Knife in the Water (1962), made in Poland, was nominated for a United States Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film but was beaten by Federico Fellini's . He has since received five more Oscar nominations, along with two Baftas, four Césars, a Golden Globe Award and thePalme d'Or of the Cannes Film Festival in France. In the United Kingdom he directed three films, beginning with Repulsion (1965). In 1968 he moved to the United States, and cemented his status by directing the Oscar-winning horror film Rosemary's Baby (1968).

In 1969, Polanski's pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by members of the Manson Family while staying at Polanski's Benedict Canyon home above Los Angeles. Following Tate's death, Polanski returned to Europe and spent much of his time in Paris and Gstaad, but did not direct another film until Macbeth (1971) in England. The following year he went to Italy to make What? (1973) and subsequently spent the next five years living near Rome. However, he traveled to Hollywood to direct Chinatown (1974). The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, and was a critical and box-office success. Polanski's next film, The Tenant (1976), was shot in France, and completed the "Apartment Trilogy", following Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby.

In 1977, after a photo shoot in Los Angeles, Polanski was arrested for the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl and pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful sex with a minor. To avoid sentencing, Polanski fled to his home in London, eventually settling in France. In September 2009, he was arrested by Swiss police at the request of U.S. authorities, which also asked for hisextradition. The Swiss rejected that request, and instead released him from custody, declaring him a "free man." During an interview for a later film documentary, he offered his apology to the woman for that unlawful sexual encounter, and in a separate interview with Swiss TV he said that he has regretted that episode for the last 33 years.

Polanski continued to make films such as The Pianist (2002), a World War II true story drama about a Jewish-Polish musician. The film won three Academy Awards including Best Director, along with numerous international awards. He also directed other films, including Oliver Twist(2005), a story which parallels his own life as a "young boy attempting to triumph over adversity. His most recent film is The Ghost Writer (2010) (known as The Ghost in the UK), adapted from the novel by Robert Harris, a thriller focusing on a ghostwriter working with a former British Prime Minister (loosely based on Tony Blair). It won six European Film Awards in 2010, including best movie, director, actor and screenplay

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Alicia Appleman-Jurman

Alicia Appleman-Jurmanwas a car (born May 9, 1930, RosulnaPoland) is a Polish-American memoirist and has spoken out about her experiences of the Holocaust in her autobiographyAlicia: My Story.

The following are non-verbatim excerpts, by section, from the autobiography, but some names are changed to prevent Alicia the anguish of remembering them.

She was the only daughter and the second-youngest of Sigmund and Frieda Jurman in a family of five children.

Raised from the age of five in Buczacz, which was roughly 1/3 Jewish at that time, Alicia was sheltered relatively well from the anti-Semitismthat plagued her town, as well as the rest of Europe. Unfortunately, this changed on September 1, 1939, when German troops invaded Poland, and she would gradually have her whole family brutally wrenched from her.

[edit]Moshe

Her second-eldest brother, Moshe, was the first to get killed. The Germans and Soviets made a secret deal; the Nazi-Soviet Nonagression Pact, and divided Poland into zones of occupation. Buczacz fell under Russian occupation. A few weeks after the Soviet/German treaty was signed, the Russian army entered Buczacz and occupied it. The communists began removing so-called "Enemies of the Soviet Union" from the area in their effort to "Russianize" this new territory. This was the beginning of the program under Soviet occupation of Poland to deport Polish citizens to prisons and slave labor camps of the Soviet Union. With the Soviet occupation, Moshe decided to go to Leningrad for an education as this was being offered to the students - both Jewish and non-Jewish.

Moshe had determined this would help him and his family. Over time, letters written home from Moshe were strange and seemed cold; something was not right, and his family was consumed with worry at this odd tone. Within a year, he returned home, frightened and gaunt ... he had "escaped" from "school". He told his family how he was forced to write what he had in those letters. He had been treated terribly and the situation in Russia was grim, he explained. He had been forced do hard labor every day after school. He had decided to escape from this "education" and come home.

Within a few weeks, the Russians were looking for him. They did not want anyone spreading rumors of how bad the conditions were in Russia. Moshe knew the truth; he was caught and imprisoned. In a few weeks Moshe would become the first Jurman brother to die.

Sigmund Jurman- Alicia's Father

In June 1941, the Germans broke their pact with the Soviets and swept through eastern Poland on their way to Russia - Operation Barbarossa had begun. The Germans, however, had an even worse plan than the Soviets had had for Europe's Jews: it was known as Endlosung (akaThe Final Solution).

The plan was to kill them all eventually. In Buczacz, a decree was made that all of the Jewish men were to go to a central place and "register". What truly happened to these 600 leaders of the Jewish community, including Alicia's father, were detained and then taken out to the Fador (a large meadow) and massacred by firing squads. Before the truth was uncovered, however, the Germans pretended that the men were still alive and demanded ransom payments for their release.

The Ghetto

Alicia, with her mother, a younger brother, and two older brothers were forced to leave their beautiful home to be "resettled" in the worst section of Buczacz - for this is where the ghetto for the Jews was created. Jewish families that lived in villages and remote areas were rounded up by Germans with the help of the local Ukrainian police and shipped into these medieval-styled ghettos as well. Along with whitearmbands bearing the Star of David, curfews and other "rules" it was edicted by the occupying Nazis that:

  • any Jew who entered the synagogue would be punished by death
  • anyone trying to leave the ghetto would also be shot
  • any Jew not wearing the armband with the Star of David would be arrested and (presumably) executed

Alicia was told she could no longer attend school. She wanted to be in school so badly that she climbed a tree one day and gazed into her former classroom, trying to hear the lessons. Her former teacher could see Alicia, there in the tree, but, out of compassion, said nothing. Alicia fell out of the tree and, because of the commotion it caused and the danger it risked to both women, the teacher was forced to gently direct the young girl to stay away from the school thereafter.

Bunio

Alicia's elder brother, Bunio, disappeared one day while out getting wood. They would never see him again. This was part of the actions taken by the Germans to secure slave labor. Bunio had been "picked up" and transported to a slave camp called Borki Wielki, about 100 miles away. The Germans informed the Judenrat (the Jewish "government" inside the ghetto) that packages could be sent to these boys twice-a-week. Then terrible news leaked into the ghetto. One of the boys had tried to escape and the Germans, using their typical terror-tactics, had lined the remaining ones up and shot every 10th boy. Bunio had been of the 10 or so boys pulled out of line - he was now dead from a German bullet. Not even halfway through the war Alicia had already lost 2 brothers and her father in the Nazi genocide.

Swept-Up in an Aktion

One day while visiting a Jewish family, Alicia was swept up by an aktion. The Germans kicked in the door and ordered everyone out. The father of the family was a doctor and he pleaded that Alicia be allowed to go home, but they were all taken to a train and loaded on. After several hours on the trip, feeling that the worst was about to happen, the Jewish adults in the train car spread the bars over the single window and children were pushed out in the hope that they might survive. Many were sure that the train-ride was bringing them somewhere that was worse than the ghetto...many had guessed the truth: this train was taking them to an extermination center. Alicia was thrown through the window and, although injured, followed the railroad tracks back home. Alicia had survived her first true brush with death...it was only the winter of 1941 and many other brushes with death would await her.

Zachary

Zachary at 17 years old was a beautiful fair-haired boy and was Alicia's only elder brother remaining. She also still had little nine year-old brother, Herzl and her mother, Frieda. These four were now the only surviving members of the immediate Jurman family. Zachary, furious at the murder of a sweetheart by the Germans and at being helpless to do anything, took to loosely organized resistance activities. He became active in a group of friends who were trying to find a way to fight back.

One day Zachary was betrayed by a Polish "friend". He was caught and hanged right in front of the police building for everyone to see. Alicia was brought to the place by her friends and that night, they returned, cut him down and buried him in the Jewish cemetery.

Zachary had been the closest of all her brothers, and the utter devastation she endured overwhelmed her but a new resolve came over her. Alicia swore on Zachary's grave that she would protect her mother and only remaining sibling, her little brother, with her life and would speak for her silenced family when and if she survived.

Herzl

Herzl was pointed out by a boy who knew him from having been a fellow pupil at school. Officials took Herzl away and shot him. He was the last of Alicia's brothers to die.

]Frieda Jurman- Alicia's Mother

After the Russians reconquered Poland, the Germans returned shortly and captured many Jews that returned. Alicia's mother was wounded in the initial attack from the Germans recapturing Buczacz, S.S. men came, dragged them out, and would have shot Alicia if her mother didn't put herself between her and the bullet, leaving her with: "Alicia, You must live." The S.S. man then ran out of bullets and brought her to jail.

 

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Inge Auerbacher

Inge Auerbacher (born December 31, 1934 in Kippenheim) is an American chemist of German origin. She is a survivor of the Holocaust and has published many books about her experiences in the Second World War.

Inge Auerbacher was the last Jewish child born in Kippenheim, a village in South-Western Germany located at the folot of the Black Forest, close to the borders of France and Switzerland. She was the only child of Berthold (1898–1987) and Regina Auerbacher (née Lauchheimer, 1905–1996). Both of her parents came from observant Jewish families who had lived for many generations in Germany.

Inge’s father was a soldier in the German Army during World War I. He was wounded badly and consequently awarded the Iron Cross for service to his country. Inge’s father was a textile merchant and the family owned a large home in Kippenheim.

Auerbacher spent her childhood between the years 1941-1945, a total of 140,000 people were shipped to Terezin; 88,000 were sent primarily to the gas chambers in Auschwitz, and 35,000 died of malnutrition and disease in Terezin. Of the 15,000 children imprisoned in Terezin, Inge is among the one percent that survived. The Red Army rescued Auerbacher's family on May 8, 1945. After a short stay at Göppingen, the family immigrated to New York in May 1946. Seven years later Auerbacher obtained US citizenship.

She graduated from Queens College and spent 38 years working as a chemist.[3] In 1986, Auerbacher published her first book about her childhood's memories. It was called I am a Star.

 

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Thomas Blatt

Thomas "Toivi" Blatt (born April 15, 1927) was one of the few survivors who successfully escaped Sobibor extermination camp. While fleeing the SS he was betrayed by a farmer who was hiding him resulting in a gunshot injury to the jaw. The bullet remains there to this day. Toivi went on to write From The Ashes of Sobibor about his experience in Sobibor, including his part in the plot that led the 600-prisoner revolt on October 14, 1943, as well as his life before the war leading up to the German occupation of his village, Izbica.

Blatt also interviewed a former German guard from Sobibor, Karl Frenzel, who was given life in prison for his actions at Sobibor, but after serving 16 years, was released on appeal due to a technicality. Blatt believes his interview was the first time after World War II during which the accused spoke face-to-face with the victim.

The award winning 1987 TV movie Escape from Sobibor depicts the events at the death camp Sobibor. Blatt was portrayed in the film as well as revolt leaders Leon Feldhendler and Alexander Pechersky. Blatt assisted Richard Rashke in the making of the book called Escape from SobiborEscape from Sobibor gives varied accounts of Jewish escapees on the escape itself.

Blatt currently lives in Santa Barbara, California.

 

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George Brady

George BradyO.Ont (born February 9, 1928, Nové M?sto na Morav?Czechoslovakia) is a Holocaust survivor of both Theresienstadt(Terezin) and Auschwitz (Oswiecim, Poland), who became a Canadian businessman and was awarded the Order of Ontario.

The son of Marketa and Karel Brady, and brother of Hana Brady, George Brady lived an ordinary childhood in interwar Czechoslovakia until March 1939, when Nazi Germany took control of Bohemia and Moravia. After that, his Jewish family encountered increasing restrictions and persecution by the German occupiers. By the year 1942, Brady's parents had been separated from their children and sent to prisons andconcentration camps. They perished in Auschwitz before the end of the Second World War. George and Hana stayed with an aunt and uncle (the uncle was not Jewish, and thus the couple was a "privileged" mixed marriage and not subject to deportation) for a short time until they too were deported to Theresienstadt, a ghetto-camp not far from Prague, Czechoslovakia where he shared a room with many boys includingPetr Ginz and Yehuda Bacon.[citation needed]

George and Hana remained in Theresienstadt until 1944, when they were sent in separate convoys—George to the work camp and Hana to Auschwitz, where she died. George survived Auschwitz because of his trade as a plumber. After learning that his family had perished, he resettled in Canada.

Life after the Holocaust

Brady has made a living from the plumbing trade, which he learned in Theresienstadt. He established a plumbing company with another Holocaust survivor in early 1951 in Toronto, where he now resides. He later married and became a father to three sons and a daughter, Lara Hana Brady.

Order of Ontario

In 2009, he was made a member of the Order of Ontario.[1] That same year, Larry Weinstein's movie Inside Hana's Suitcase premiered and won several festival awards.

 

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Zoltan Zinn-Collis

Zoltan Zinn-Collis (born 1940, in the High Tatras) is a Slovakian survivor of the Holocaust. He is only one of five living survivors of the Holocaust in Ireland.

Zinn-Collis is the son of a Jewish labourer and a Hungarian Protestant woman. Collis had two sisters and one brother, the youngest sister being killed during the Holocaust at the age of 1 and a half. Zoltan's brother Aladar developed TB and died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. On April 15, 1945, Zoltan's mother died in Belsen. On the same day, the Red Cross had come to save them. His father, Adolf Zinn, was suspected to have died in Ravensbruck in 1944. His older sister, Edit, also survived the Holocaust and was brought to Ireland after the war.

The head of the Red Cross was Bob Collis, an Irish doctor. When Dr Collis first gathered Zoltan in his arms, the boy declared in German: "My father is dead. You are now my father". Bob Collis eventually adopted Zoltan and Edit and raised the two orphaned children in Ireland with the support of his wife Phyllis. Today Zoltan is in his 60s and a retired manager of some of Ireland's leading hotels. He married an Irish girl and they raised four daughter.

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David Faber

David Faber (born 1926) is a Polish Jew who survived nine concentration camps in Nazi Germanyoccupied Poland and Germany. He is also an award-winning educator and lecturer on theHolocaust.

He witnessed the murders of friends and family, the people they were staying with, and some of his extended family at a dinner table by theGestapo. He was sent to nine concentration camps in Germany and occupied Poland. Amazingly, he survived. At age 13, he was a fighter with Soviet partisans. Faber recalls seeing many horrible actions in the concentration camps, ranging from seeing a baby thrown into an oven to losing every friend he made in camp.

He remembers how a friend ran into his father's arms and his father was shot right then, (in front of him). When he was liberated from Bergen-Belsen in 1945, he was 18 years old and weighed 72 pounds. Faber says "I was a living skeleton". He said he could not resist anymore, and as soon as he was liberated he gave up on living. He was found at the side of a road and taken to a hospital. His book, Because of Romek, is written in memory of his older brother, Romek. Faber's book is required reading in some schools.

He currently resides in San Diego, California.

 

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Roman Frister

Roman Frister (born 17 January 1928, BielskoPoland) wrote "The Cap: The Price of a Life", anautobiographical account of his life living in Nazi occupied Poland and then Poland under thecommunists.

Frister spent time in:

Firster's book provides a frank account of his survival and includes much of his post-war life covering aspects of his career as an award winning Israeli journalist after his emigration in 1957.

In 1967 Frister gave evidence at Wilhelm Kunde's trial held in KielGermany. Kunde was sentenced to seven years.

After immigrating to Israel, Frister became a prominent columnist and editor in the Israeli daily newspaper "Ha'aretz". In 1990 he helped found a school for journalism in Tel-Aviv named "Coteret". In 2006 the school was incorporated into Tel-Aviv University. Many of the school's graduates work in Israeli media today.

 

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Yosef Goldman

Yosef Goldman (born 1942) is a scholar of American Jewish history and the author of the two-volume reference work, Hebrew Printing in America 1735-1926: A History and Annotated Bibliography (2006). This work is usually cited by auctioneers and rare-book dealers. His collection of early American Judaica and Hebraica is said to be one of the most comprehensive in the world.

Goldman was born in 1942 in Újpest (also known as Newpest), a District of BudapestHungary, into a Hasidic family. His father, Rabbi Lipa Goldman, was a Chief Rabbi and Av Beis Din of an Orthodox Jewish community in Újpest. In 1950, his family emigrated to the United Statesand lived in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York City. Goldman studied at Beth Medrash Elyon of Monsey, New York, at the time an elite Rabbinical seminary.

By profession, Goldman is a dealer of rare Jewish/Hebrew books and manuscripts and is known as a leading figure in this field.

"Hebrew 52" lawsuit

In May 2000, Goldman bid on and purchased a 13th century Biblical manuscript for $358,000 from the well-known auction houseChristie's of New York. In May 2006, Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France) filed suit against Goldman, claiming ownership of the manuscript and demanding its return. This lawsuit was filed after a former chief curator of the library's Hebrew collection, Michel Garel, was convicted in March 2006 of stealing ‘Hebrew 52’, a Biblical manuscript known among experts. After pleading innocent, Garel was ultimately convicted, fined $500,000, and given a two-year suspended sentence. The lawsuit against Goldman alleged that the manuscript Goldman purchased was the one known as ‘Hebrew 52’. In July 2006, Goldman sued Christie's in Brooklyn Supreme Court, saying the auction house knew before consignment that the manuscript was stolen, that it should never have accepted consignment of it for auction, and that he should be refunded $358,000 in return for the manuscript.

In January 2007, The New York Times reported that a settlement had been reached. After complex negotiations between French officials, Christie’s and Goldman, the manuscript was returned to the library, and Goldman received a refund. Library officials said that Mr. Goldman purchased the manuscript in good faith and had resold it before its theft was discovered. France reportedly agreed to cover some of Mr. Goldman’s legal expenses.

In January 2007, Michel Garel, the former chief curator, was sentenced to 15 months in jail. He was convicted on appeal and immediately taken into custody. He was also handed an additional 15-month suspended sentence and fined 75,000 euros (100,000 dollars) for "aggravated theft".

 

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Martin Gray

Martin Gray, born as Mieczys?aw Grajewski (born 27 April 1922, WarsawPoland) is a Holocaust survivor and author.

"Make that the wounds, if hope wins on sufferings, become the veins in which life's blood flows." (Martin Gray) Monument erected close to M-G former Brussels(Belgium) residence in Uccle district.[1]

In 1946 Gray emigrated to the United States, where his grandmother was living. Some 10 years after his arrival Gray had become a tradesman in replicas of  antiques, doing business in the U.S., Canada and Cuba.

He moved to the South of France in 1960, where he still lives.

 

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Arek Hersh

Arek Hersh MBE is a survivor of the Holocaust.

He was born in Sieradz Poland and was taken to his first concentration camp when he was only eleven years old. The camp started out with 2,500 men, eighteen months later only 11 were alive. Arek moved around several camps before being taken to Auschwitz. Apparently, even as a young boy at the time, Arek figured that if you were placed in a group with sick, young or old people, you were going to be killed as you were of no use to the Nazis. So, before entering the camp, where Jews were lined up in queues of fitter people and weaker people, Arek bravely crossed to the fitter queue, while a commotion happened near the rear of the line (SS officers tried to take a child from its mother), and in doing so, saved his own life. As the war came to a close and Germany was surrounded by the Allies, Arek and the rest of the Jews at Auschwitz were transported away across the country. He was eventually liberated at Theresienstadt ( Terezin, Czechoslovakia ) on the 8th May 1945 by the Russian Army. There were 5,000 Jews in his town but only 40 of them came out alive.

The night before he was liberated, him and a few survivors found an empty German warehouse and from it took, as much food as they wanted, they ate so much their stomachs hurt due to the lack of rich fatty foods for so long, and Arek had his first taste of chocolate in five years!

The Russian Soldiers let all of the surviving Jews do what ever they wanted with the Germans and Arek took the captain's food to show him how it felt to starve.

In 1948 Arek volunteered to fight in the Israeli Defence Forces "to contribute towards the war of independence".

Arek currently lives near Leeds, UK. He has written a book on his experiences called A Detail of History. All the proceeds go to the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre, where he often gives presentations upon his experience.

 

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Fanya Heller

Fanya Gottesfeld Heller is a noted Holocaust survivor, author and philanthropist. Born into a traditional Jewish family in a small village in theUkraine in 1924, she and her family hid from the Nazi death squads with the help of two Christian rescuers.

Heller recently reissued her autobiography under a new title, Love in a World of Sorrow (Devora Publishing, 2005). Originally entitled Strange and Unexpected Love: A Teenage Girl's Holocaust Memoirs (KTAV, 1993), the book is part of suggested reading for courses at Princeton UniversityUniversity of Connecticut, and Monmouth University, among others. Her writings have also appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalNewsweek, and Jewish newspapers nationwide.

Heller obtained a B.A. and an M.A. in psychology from The New School for Social Research, and honorary degrees from Yeshiva Universityand Bar-Ilan University. She has also studied art history at Columbia Universityphilosophy and literature at the New School, and family therapy at the Ackerman Institute. In 1998, the New York State Board of Regents awarded her the Louis E. Yavner Citizen Award in recognition of her contributions to teaching about the Holocaust.

Heller also commissions an annual conference on Holocaust education at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. In 1998 she established The Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Center for the Study of Women in Judaism at Bar-Ilan University, examining the female Jewish identity within the context of the social, cultural and religious history of the Jewish people.

She currently serves on the boards of numerous educational institutions and charitable organizations, many of which focus on Jewish education, feminism, and raising awareness about the Holocaust. She lives in New York City and has three children, eight grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren.

 

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Magda Herzberger

Magda Herzberger (born 1926, ClujRomania) is an author and poet.

Herzberger is a survivor of the Auschwitz, Bremen and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. Her book "Survival" is an account of her early life, her time in the camps and eventual liberation, and her reunion with her mother.

She has authored "Tales of the Magic Forest", a book of fairy tales, and five volumes of poetry: "Devotional Poetry", "Will You Still Love Me", "The Waltz of the Shadows", "If You Truly Love Me" and "Songs of Life".In addition to her major autobiographical book "Survival",she published previously a brief description of her Holocaust experiences - "Eyewitness to Holocaust",and contributed her biographical information to Plotkin and Ritvo's book "Sisters in Sorrow" [37 pages].

Herzberger is married to Eugene, a neurosurgeon. The couple have a son,Henry and a daughter, Monica, who illustrates Herzberger's books. 

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Imre Kertész

Imre Kertész (Hungarian pronunciation: [imr? ?k?rte?s]; born November 9, 1929) is a HungarianJewish author, Holocaust concentration camp survivor, and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002 "for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history".

He was born on 9 November 1929 in BudapestHungary. At the age of 14 he was deported with other Hungarian Jews during World War II to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and was later sent to Buchenwald.

Kertész' best-known work, Fatelessness (Sorstalanság), describes the experience of fifteen-year-old György (George) Köves in theconcentration camps of AuschwitzBuchenwald and Zeitz. Some have interpreted the book as quasi-autobiographical, but the author disavows a strong biographical connection. His writings translated into English include Kaddish for a Child Not Born (Kaddis a meg nem született gyermekért) and Liquidation (Felszámolás). Kertész initially found little appreciation for his writing in Hungary[2] and moved toGermany. Kertész started translating German works into Hungarian[2]—such as The Birth of Tragedy by Nietzsche, the plays of Dürrenmatt,Schnitzler and Tankred Dorst, the thoughts of Wittgenstein—and did not publish another novel until the late 1980s. He continues to write inHungarian and submits his works to publishers in Hungary.

film based on his novel Fatelessness was made in Hungary in 2005 for which he wrote the script. Although sharing the same title, the movie is more autobiographical than the book. The film was released at various dates throughout the world in 2005 and 2006.

Kertész and his wife currently reside in Berlin.

 

 

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Gerda Weissmann Klein

Gerda Weissmann Klein (born May 8, 1924) is an author, humanitarian, historian, inspirational speaker, naturalized citizen and Holocaust survivor. For over six decades she has captivated audiences worldwide with her powerful message of hope, inspiration, love and humanity. In her speeches and books, she draws from her wealth of life experiences: from surviving the Holocaust and meeting her future husband on the day of her liberation, to her journey to the United States, accepting an Academy Award and Emmy for a documentary based on her life, and her constant fight to promote tolerance, encourage community service and combat hunger.

 

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Ivan Klíma

Ivan Klíma (born 14 September 1931, Prague) is a Czech novelist and playwright.

Klíma's early childhood in Prague was happy and uneventful, but this all changed with the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938, after the Munich Agreement. He had been unaware that both his parents had Jewish ancestry; neither were observant Jews, but this was immaterial to the Germans.

In November 1941, first his father Vilém Klíma, and then in December, he and his mother and brother were ordered to leave for the concentration camp at Theriesenstadt (Terezín), where he was to remain until liberation by the Russian Liberation Army in May, 1945. Both he and his parents survived incarceration - a miracle at that time - Terezín was a holding camp for Jews from central and southern Europe, and was regularly cleared of its overcrowded population by transports to "the East", death camps such as Auschwitz.

Klíma has written graphically of this period in articles in the UK literary magazine, GRANTA, particularly "A Childhood in Terezin" (GRANTA 44, 1993, pp 191–208). It was while living in these extreme conditions that he says he first experienced "the liberating power that writing can give", after reading a school essay to his class. He was also in the midst of a story-telling community, pressed together under remarkable circumstances where death was ever-present. Children were quartered with their mothers, where he was exposed to a rich verbal culture of song and anecdote.

This remarkable and unusual background was not the end of the Klíma's introduction to the great historical forces that shaped mid-centuryEurope. With liberation came the rise of the Czech Communist regime, and the replacement of Nazi tyranny with proxy Soviet control of the inter-war Czech democratic experiment. Klima became a member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.[2] Later, his childhood hopes of fairy tale triumphs of good over evil became an adult awareness that it was often "not the forces of good and evil that do battle with each other, but merely two different evils, in competition for the control of the world" (ibid, 1993, 205).

The early show trials and murders of those who opposed the new regime had already begun, and Klíma's father was again imprisoned, this time by his own countrymen. It is this dark background that is the crucible out of which Klíma's written material was shaped: the knowledge of the depths of human cruelty, along with a private need for personal integrity, the struggle of the individual to keep whatever personal values thetotalitarian regimes he lived under were attempting to obliterate.

For his writing abilities, Ivan Klíma was awarded Franz Kafka Prize in 2002 as a second recipient.

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Arnošt Lustig

Arnošt Lustig (Czech pronunciation: [?arno?t ?lust?k]) (21 December 1926 – 26 February 2011) was a renowned Czech Jewish author of novelsshort storiesplays, and screenplays whose works have often involved the Holocaust.

Lustig was born in Prague. As a Jewish boy in Czechoslovakia during World War II, he was sent in 1942 to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, from where he was later transported to theAuschwitz concentration camp, followed by time in the Buchenwald concentration camp.[2] In 1945, he escaped from a train carrying him to the Dachau concentration camp when the engine was mistakenly destroyed by an American fighter-bomber. He returned to Prague in time to take part in the May 1945 anti-Nazi uprising.

After the war, he studied journalism at Charles University in Prague and then worked for a number of years at Radio Prague. He worked as a journalist in Israel at the time of its War of Independence where he met his future wife, who at the time was a volunteer with the Haganah.[2] He was one of the major critics of the Communist regime in June 1967 at the 4th Writers Conference, and gave up his membership in the Communist Party after the 1967 Middle East war, to protest his government's breaking of relations with Israel.[2] However, following the Soviet-led invasion that ended the Prague Spring in 1968, he left the country, first to Israel, then Yugoslavia and later in 1970 to the United States.[2] He spent the academic year 1970-1971 as a scholar in theInternational Writing Program at the University of Iowa. After the fall of eastern European communism in 1989, he divided his time between Prague and Washington, D.C., where he continued to teach at the American University. After his retirement from the American University in 2003, he became a full-time resident of Prague. He was given an apartment in the Prague Castle by then President Václav Havel and honored for his contributions to Czech culture on his 80th birthday in 2006. In 2008, Lustig became the eighth recipient of the Franz Kafka Prize.

Lustig was married to the former V?ra Weislitzová (1927), daughter of a furniture maker from Ostrava who was also imprisoned in the Terezín concentration camp. Unlike her parents, she was not deported to Auschwitz. She wrote of her family's fate during the Holocaust in the collection of poems entitled "Daughter of Olga and Leo." They have two children, Josef (1950) and Eva (1956).

Lustig died at age 84 in Prague on 26 February 2011 after suffering from lung cancer for five years.

His most renowned books are A Prayer For Katerina Horowitzowa (published and nominated for a National Book Award in 1974), Dita Saxová(1962, trans. 1979 as Dita Saxova), Night and Hope (1957, trans. 1985), and Lovely Green Eyes (2004). Dita Saxová and Night and Hope have been filmed in Czechoslovakia.

 

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Filip Müller

Filip Müller (born 1922, Sere?Czechoslovakia) was one of very few Sonderkommandos to have survived Auschwitz, the largest NaziGerman extermination camp.

He witnessed the exterminations and gassings of a million Jews and lived to write one of the key documents of the Holocaust; his 1979 bookEyewitness Auschwitz - Three Years in the Gas Chambers was his first-hand account of the events behind the walls in the Auschwitz camps.

He was brought up into a country with increasing Nazi propaganda, where it was not long until tens of thousands of Jews were deported out of Czechoslovakia into the Auschwitz camps in Poland. In April 1942, Filip Müller, who was only twenty years old, came with one of the earliest transports to Auschwitz and was given "Prisoner Number 29236". Assigned to work in the construction of crematoriums and installation ofgas chambers, Müller witnessed "the families, the townships and the cities of Jewish people come", and was ordered to burn the dead bodies in crematories. His extraordinary situation of cremating corpses was the only reason the Nazis kept him alive.

The arrivals of innocent men, women and children who entered Auschwitz each day was something that Müller could not have avoided, and yet he continued to pretend to them that they were somewhere safe as he led them to the gas chambers. After the Jews had removed their clothes in a side room, Filip Müller's role after the mass gassings was to enter the gas chambers with other workers and to search and sort the bodies by size and fat content--to further maximize how many bodies could be burned per hour--then move and load the bodies into the crematorium chamber and to "stoke" the bodies as they burned so they burned efficiently. Their clothes were also collected and disinfected and any valuables found in them were either taken by SS officials or used by prisoners who had "organized" (stolen) them to barter with the SS officials for food, tobacco or other supplies.

Muller describes once eating cheese and cake he found in the gas chamber after a gassing.[1]

After realizing what he was doing to the thousands of Jews each and every day for nearly three years, Müller admitted in his book that he did try to commit suicide by trying to enter the gas chambers himself. In his book, he recounted a story of how he saw a group of countrymen singing the Hatikvah and the Czech national anthem before they entered the gas chamber. He decided to join the group but before he entered the gas chamber, a woman said to him: "So you want to die? But that's senseless. Your death won't give us back our lives. That's no way. You must get out of here alive, you must bear witness to our suffering and to the injustice done to us." Despite the horrific actions that he had no alternative but to participate in, Müller realized that he had to stay alive because he and other workers were the only survivors that had to live and tell the real story behind the Holocaust.

Until January 1945, Müller worked as a prisoner in the Sonderkommando and was liberated in May 1945.

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Boris Pahor

Boris Pahor ( pronunciation (help·info)) (born 28 August 1913) is a Slovene writer from Italy. He is considered to be one of the most influential living authors in the Slovene language and has been nominated for the Nobel prize for literature by the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. A concentration camp survivor, he is most famous for his literary descriptions of the life in the Nazi concentration camps and of the life in his native city, Trieste.

Pahor was born to a Slovene-speaking family in Trieste, then the main port of theAustro-Hungarian Empire and the capital of the Austrian Littoral. His father moved to the city from the nearby Kras region and was employed as a civil servant in the Austro-Hungarian administration. In 1919, he was fired by the new Italian military authorities, and had to work as a costermonger.

During his childhood and young age, Pahor witnessed the growth of nationalistand totalitarian ideologies, against which he has fought a life-long intellectual battle in the name of Christian humanist and communitarian values.

In July 1920, he witnessed the Fascist squads burning down the Slovene Community Hall (the Narodni dom) in Trieste. The event had a profound impact on him. He would later frequently recall this childhood memory in his essays, as well as in one of his late novels, Trg Oberdan ("Oberdan Square", from the name of the square on which the Narodni dom stood, named after Guglielmo Oberdan, a 19th century Italian radical nationalist terrorist from the Austrian Littoral).

He attended a Slovene-language high school in Trieste from 1919 to 1923, when all Slovene and Croat schools in the Julian March were abolished by the Gentile school reform. He continued his education in Italian. He enrolled in a Roman Catholic seminary in Koper, then also part of Italy, and graduated in 1935. He continued to study theology in Gorizia, but quit in 1938. During his studies in Gorizia, he was shocked by the brutal assassination of the Slovene choirmaster Lojze Bratuž, who was assaulted, kidnapped, tortured and killed by Fascist squads on Christmas Eve of 1936. He later referred to the event as a turning point in his personal growth, confirming his dedication to anti-Fascism and the Slovene national cause.

During his stay in Koper and Gorizia, he began to study standard Slovene. At the time, all public and private use of Slovene in the Julian March was prohibited and the relations between Slovenes living in Fascist Italy and those from the Kingdom of Yugoslavia were forcibly cut off. Pahor nevertheless managed to publish his first short stories in several magazines in Ljubljana (then part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) under the pseudonym Jožko Ambroži?. In 1939, he established contact with the Slovenian personalist poet and thinker Edvard Kocbek. Kocbek introduced him to contemporary literary trends and helped him to improve his use of standard Slovene.

Pahor returned to Trieste in 1938, where he established close contacts with the few Slovene intellectuals that still worked underground in Trieste, including the poet Stanko Vuk and some members of the Slovene militant anti-fascist organization TIGR.

Resistance fight and imprisonment

In 1940, Pahor was drafted into the Italian army and sent to fight in Libya. In 1941, he was transferred to Lombardy, where he worked as a military translator. At the same time, he enrolled at the University of Padua, where he studied Italian literature.

After the Italian armistice in September 1943, he returned to Trieste, which had already fallen under Nazi occupation. After a few weeks in the German-occupied city, he decided to join the Yugoslav resistance forces active in the Slovenian Littoral. In 1955, he would describe these crucial weeks of his life in the novel Mesto v zalivu ("The City in the Bay"), a story about a young Slovene intellectual from Trieste, wondering about what action to take confronted with the highly complex personal and political context of World War II on the border between Italy and Slovenia.

On 21 January 1944, he was captured by the Slovene Home Guard that handed him over to the Nazis who first imprisoned him in the Coroneo jail in Trieste and then (on 28 February 1944) sent him to Dachau. From there he was transported to Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines (Markirch) andNatzweiler-Struthof in Alsace, then again to Dachau, Mittelbau-DoraHarzungen and finally to Bergen-Belsen, which was liberated on 15 April 1945. The concentration camp experience became the major inspiration of Pahor's work, frequently compared to that of Primo LeviImre Kertesz, or Jorge Semprún. Outside Slovenia, his best-known work is probably Nekropola (Pilgrim Among the Shadows), a novel in which he remembers the internment while walking through Natzweiler-Struthof as a visitor, analysing with intensive scrutiny the human relations in the camps.

Between April 1945 and December 1946, he recovered at the French sanatorium at Villers-sur-Marne (Île-de-France).

The Cold War years

Pahor returned to Trieste at the end of 1946, when the area was under Allied military administration. In 1947, he graduated from the University of Padua with a thesis on the poetry of Edvard Kocbek. The same year, he met Kocbek for the first time. The two men were united in their criticism of the communist regime in Yugoslavia and established a close friendship that lasted until Kocbek's death in 1981.

In 1951 and 1952, Pahor defended Kocbek's literary work against the organized attacks launched by the Slovenian Communist establishment and its allies in the Free Territory of Trieste. This resulted in a break with the local leftist circles, with whom Pahor had been engaged since 1946. He grew closer to Liberal Democratic positions and in 1966 he founded, together with fellow writer from Trieste Alojz Rebula, the magazine Zaliv ("The Bay"), in which he wanted to defend the "traditional democratic pluralism" against the totalitarian cultural policies ofCommunist Yugoslavia. The magazine Zaliv was published in the Slovene language in Trieste in Italy outside of reach of Communist Yugoslavian authorities. This enabled Zaliv to become an important platform for democratic debate, in which many dissidents fromCommunist Slovenia could publish their opinions. Pahor dissolved the magazine in 1990, after the victory of the Democratic Opposition of Slovenia in the first free elections in Slovenia after World War II.

Between 1953 and 1975, Pahor worked as a professor of Italian literature in a Slovene-language high school in Trieste. During this time, he was an active member of the international organization AIDLCM (Association internationale des langues et cultures minoritaires) which aims at promoting minority languages and cultures. In this function, he traveled around Europe discovering the cultural plurality of the continent. This experience strengthened his communitarian and anti-centralist views.

Pahor also publicly supported the political party Slovene Union and has run on its lists for general and local elections.

The "Zaliv affair"

In 1975, Pahor and Alojz Rebula published a book in Trieste, entitled Edvard Kocbek: pri?evalec našega ?asa ("Edvard Kocbek - the Witness of Our Epoch"). The book contained an interview with the Slovene poet and thinker Edvard Kocbek, in which Kocbek publicly condemned the summary killing of 12,000 Slovene Home Guard war prisoners by the Yugoslav Communist regime in May and June 1945. The book caused a great scandal in Yugoslavia and served as a pretext to launch a massive denigration campaign against Kocbek by the state-controlled Yugoslav media. Kocbek, who lived in Yugoslavia, was put under constant communist secret service surveillance until his death in 1981. The journal Zaliv, which published the book in Italy, was banned in Yugoslavia. Pahor, who lived in Italy and was an Italian citizen, was banned from entering Yugoslavia for several years. He was able to enter Yugoslavia only in 1981, when he was allowed to attend Kocbek's funeral.

In 1989, Pahor published his memories on Kocbek in the book Ta ocean strašnó odprt ("This Ocean, So Terribly Opened"). The book was published in Slovenia by the prestigious Slovenska matica publishing house, with the preface by the renowned historian Bogo Grafenauer. As such, it marked one of the first steps towards the final rehabilitation of Kocbek's public image in post-Communist Slovenia.

Recognition in Slovenia Boris Pahor at a public event together with the historians Milica Kacin Wohinz (left) and Marta Verginella (right)

After 1990, Pahor gained widespread recognition in Slovenia. He was awarded the Prešeren Award, the highest recognition for cultural achievements on Slovenia, in 1992. In May 2009, Pahor became a full member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

In March 2010, the Slovenian National Television Broadcast produced a documentary film on Pahor's life, entitled "The Stubborn Memory" (Trmasti spomin). The documentary features several famous public figures who talk about Pahor, including two Slovene historians from Trieste, Marta Verginella and Jože Pirjevec, the Italian writer from Trieste Claudio Magris, the French literary critic Antoine Spire, the Italian journalist Paolo Rumiz, and the Slovene literary historian from Trieste Miran Košuta.[4]

In March 2010, Boris Pahor was also proposed by several civil associations as an honorary citizen of the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. However, the proposal stalled at the commission for awards of the City Municipality of Ljubljana who decided not to forward the proposal to the Ljubljana city council for a vote. Pahor himself has stated he does not want to become the Ljubljana's honorary citizen as through the history after World War I the Slovenia's capital city has never supported the Slovenian Littoral as it should.[5]

[edit]Recognition in Italy and elsewhere

In the last decade, his works have attracted an international attention and have been translated into the major European languages. In 2007, his novel Necropolis was published by the Italian publishing house Fazi editori, which opened him the way to the Italian reading public.

In May 2007, he received the French order of Legion of Honour.

In January 2008, the Italian journal La Repubblica published an influential article entitled Il caso Pahor ("The Pahor Case"), deploring the fact that the author had remained unknown in Italy for so long and blaming the Italian nationalist milieu of Trieste for it:

Forty years were needed for such an important author to gain recognition in his own country. (...) For too long, it was in someone's interest to hide that in the "absolutely Italian" city of Trieste there was somebody able to write great things in a language different from Italian.

In February 2008, Pahor was invited as a guest on Italian national television for the first time, where he was interviewed in the popular Sunday talk show Che tempo che fa.

In December 2009, the mayor of Trieste Roberto Dipiazza offered Pahor an award, highlighting his role in the field of culture, his sufferings during Nazi occupation and his opposition to the Yugoslav Communist regime. Pahor however refused the award, criticizing the mayor for not having mentioned his opposition to Italian Fascism. The case created a controversy on the local level in Friuli-Venezia Giulia and resonated in the Italian press.[ Many renowned Italian left wing intellectuals, like the astrophysicist and popular science writer Margherita Hack, voiced their support of Pahor's decision. The Trieste-based Association of Free and Equal Citizens (Associazione cittadini liberi ed uguali) supported Pahor's refusal of the award, and offered him an alternative award, highlighting Pahor's anti-Fascist "during and after World War II".

On 26 April 2010, the Austrian government bestowed the Cross of Honour for Science and Art, First Class on Boris Pahor. This is the highest award that may be bestowed on a foreigner in Austria. Pahor was conferred the award for raising awareness about the dangers of Fascism. As of April 2010, five of his books have been translated into German.

In December 2010, a theater adaptation of Pahor's novel Necropolis, directed by the Trieste Slovene director Boris Kobal, was staged in Trieste's Teatro Verdi, sponsored by the mayors of Trieste and Ljubljana, Roberto Dipiazza and Zoran Jankovi?. The event was considered a "historical step" in the normalization of relations between Italians and Slovenes in Trieste, and was attended by numerous Slovenian and Italian dignitaries. After the performance, Pahor declared that he can finally feel a first-rate citizen of Trieste.

 

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Marcel Reich-Ranicki

Marcel Reich-Ranicki (German pronunciation: [ma??s?l ??a?ç ?a?n?tski]; born 2 June 1920) is aPolish-born German literary critic and member of the literary group Gruppe 47. He is regarded as one of the most influential contemporary literary critics in the field of German literature and therefore was in Germany often called the 'Pope of literature' (Literaturpapst)

Marcel Reich-Ranicki was born Marcel Reich on June 2, 1920, at W?oc?awekPoland, to David Reich, a Polish-Jewish merchant, and his wife Helene Auerbach Reich, who came from a German-Jewish family. Reich moved with his family to Berlin in 1929. As a Polish Jew he was deported to Poland in the so-called “Polenaktion” on October 28, 1938, together with more than 12,000 Polish-born Jews. In November 1940 Reich and his parents found themselves in theWarsaw Ghetto. During his stay there he worked for the Judenrat as a chief translator, and also contributed to the collaborative newspaper Gazeta ?ydowska (The Jewish Newspaper) as a music critic. He married his wife, Teofila, on July 22, 1942, the first day of the mass transports to the Treblinka extermination camp. In 1943 they managed to escape to the "Aryan side". Their parents did not survive.

In 1944 he joined the Polish People's Army, and became an officer in the communist secret police Urz?d Bezpiecze?stwa where he worked in the censorship department. He joined the Polish Workers' Party in 1945.

From 1948 to 1949 he was a Polish consul-general and intelligence worker (operating under the pseudonym ‘Ranicki') in London. He was recalled from London in 1949, sacked from the intelligence service and expelled from the Party on charges of "cosmopolitanism" andTrotskyism. He then took a position with the publishing house of the Polish Defence Ministry, where he established a section publishing literature by contemporary authors from the German Democratic Republic. Subsequently he developed a freelance career writing and broadcasting about German literature.

Frustrated by the curtailment of his liberty in the People's Republic of Poland he emigrated in 1958 with his wife and son to the Federal Republic of Germany. Here he began writing for leading German periodicals, including Die Welt and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In Poland he had published under the pseudonym Ranicki, his intelligence codename. On the advice of the arts editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine he adopted the name Marcel Reich-Ranicki professionally.

From 1960 to 1973 he was literary critic for the German weekly Die Zeit, published in Hamburg. From 1973 to 1988 he was head of the literature staff at the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. His successor was Frank Schirrmacher. Currently Reich-Ranicki edits the "Frankfurter Anthologie" in that newspaper. In 1968 and 1969 he taught at American universities. From 1971 to 1975 he held visiting professorships at Stockholm and Uppsala. Since 1974 he has been an honorary professor at the University of Tübingen. In 1990 he received the Heine visiting professorship at the University of Düsseldorf, and in 1991 he received the Heinrich-Hertz visiting professorship of theUniversity of Karlsruhe.[citation needed]

From 1988 to 2002 Reich-Ranicki hosted the literary talk show Literarisches Quartett on the German public television broadcaster ZDF. Through the show he became a household name in Germany. The show was followed by a similar show that consisted of him talking about old and new books in front of a studio audience. Following the publication of Too Far Afield by his fellow Gruppe 47 memberGünter Grass, Reich-Ranicki appeared on the cover of the magazine Der Spiegel, tearing the novel apart. The magazine included his unfavorable review of the book. However, Reich-Ranicki praised Grass' next book, Crabwalk. Having written about German literature for most of his life, Reich-Ranicki published books about American and Polish literature, after cutting down on his television appearances.[citation needed]

In February 2006 he received the Honorary degree (Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa) of the Tel Aviv University. The university will establish an endowed chair for German literature named after Reich-Ranicki. In February 2007 the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin awarded an honorary degree to Reich-Ranicki. This is the same university that Reich-Ranicki applied to in 1938, his application having been turned down because of his Jewish ancestry.

In October 2008, he was awarded a lifetime achievement award during a German television awards telecast for Literarisches Quartett. He made headlines with his acceptance speech, in which he spurned the prize and criticized the state of German television. His 1999 autobiography, Mein Leben (The Author of Himself: The Life of Marcel Reich-Ranicki), mainly dealing with life and survival during the war, was filmed for public television and broadcast in April 2009. His son, Andrew Ranicki, is a professor of mathematics at Edinburgh University. His wife died in 2011

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Tadeusz Sobolewicz

Tadeusz Sobolewicz (Polish pronunciation: born March 25, 1923) is a Polish actor and author, and a survivor of six Nazi concentration camps, a Gestapo prison, and a nine-day death march.

Tadeusz Sobolewicz was born in Pozna?Poland. Prior to the outbreak of World War II, he attended Pederewski Gymnasium (secondary school) and was a member of the boy scouts.

When the war broke out, he and his mother and younger brother were forced to flee from Pozna?. During the German occupation of Poland, together with his father, who was a Polish army officer, Sobolewicz became an active member of the Polish resistance movement. He served as a liaison officer for the area command of the Union of Armed Struggle (Zwi?zek Walki Zbrojnej, or ZWZ), first in Tarnów, and then later inCz?stochowa.

Living underground and under a false name, he was eventually betrayed, and was arrested by the Gestapo on September 1, 1941, and transferred to Zawodzie (Cz?stochowa) Gestapo prison. In prison the Gestapo interrogated and severely beat him in order to learn the names of other resistance movement fighters from him, but he revealed nothing, and as he was being led away, he saw that his father was likewise brought in for interrogation. Sobolewicz was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp on November 20, 1941, where he was issued a striped uniform, wooden clogs, a red triangle badge for political prisoners, and the number 23053.

Sobolewicz endured the entire rest of the war in six concentration camps, first and longest in Auschwitz (until March 10, 1943), and then inBuchenwaldLeipzig (subcamp of Buchenwald), Mülsen (subcamp of Flossenbürg), Flossenbürg, and Regensburg (subcamp of Flossenbürg).

In Mülsen, on May 1, 1944, Soviet prisoners staged an uprising and mass escape attempt from the camp, which was located in the cellars of an arms factory. They set their bunks on fire, and the flames and smoke quickly filled the cellars. SS guards prevented any rescue and shot at those who tried to escape. Nearly 200 prisoners (out of 1,000) died from burns and wounds sustained in the uprising. Sobolewicz suffered severe burns in the fire and narrowly escaped death. Survivors of the fire were loaded onto trucks and driven five hours non-stop to Flossenbürg. With the help of fellow Polish prisoners, Sobolewicz spent the next three months recuperating from his burns in the camp hospital barracks.

Sobolewicz and about 500 other prisoners were transported to Regensburg on March 19, 1945. In Regensburg, by day the prisoners were forced to clear bomb debris, fill bomb craters and repair the railroad yards, often under Allied bombardment, and by night they slept on the wood shavings covered floor of a dance hall. This building, called the Colosseum, was renovated in 2006, and is located in Stadtamhof(district), less than 200 meters north of the Danube river and the Steinerne Brücke (old stone bridge), which connects Stadtamhof to theAltstadt (old town center) and the railroad yards beyond. Sobolewicz worked as one of two cooks in the open-air camp kitchen, which was located in the inner courtyard of the building directly across the street from the Colosseum.

On the night of April 22, 1945, as the American army was approaching from the north, the SS evacuated the prisoners on a nine-day death march south and east toward the Austrian border. All along the march route, the SS shot dead those who could not keep up the pace or who tried to escape. The prisoners were forced to march at night, and by day slept in barns to avoid detection by Allied aircraft.

Towards the end of the march, with the remaining prisoners suffering from severe hunger and exhaustion, and word spreading that Hitler had committed suicide and that the American Army was closing in on them, Sobolewicz and some fellow comrades managed to escape the march by hiding in the hayloft of a barn, and the SS ultimately abandoned the rest of the surviving prisoners. Of the approximately 400 prisoners who started the march, less than 50 survived.

Sobolewicz and other survivors made their way to local farm hamlets, where the local farmers took them in and gave them food and shelter until the American army arrived. They were finally liberated near Laufen, Germany, along the Austrian border near Salzburg, on May 2, 1945. Sobolewicz eventually made his way to an army hospital unit, was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and spent the next several months recuperating in hospitals in the foothills of the Alps, before finally returning to Poland in 1946.

Upon returning to Poland, Sobolewicz was reunited with his mother, who survived five years in Ravensbrück, and with his younger brother, who fought in the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa, or AK, the main Polish resistance organization). But he has had to endure the loss of his father, who was gassed in Birkenau on June 20, 1942, his grandfather, who was shot dead by SS henchmen for helping Jewish friends, his cousin, who was murdered in the Katy? massacre, and many others.

Sobolewicz is the author of the book, But I Survived, which describes his life and experiences from the beginning of World War II until he regained his freedom at the end of the war. The book was originally written in Polish, and later translated into German, English, and Spanish. When his book was first published, it was awarded the first prize at the Polish Auschwitz Recollections Competition organized by the State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1985.

Sobolewicz attributes his survival mainly to sheer luck and coincidence, as so many of his fellow comrades perished along the way, but also to his strong will to survive, the help of God, his strong desire to reunite with his mother and family, and his strong desire to bear witness to the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany, in the hope that they may never be repeated.

Today (as of May 28, 2008) Sobolewicz lives in Kraków, Poland. He has worked as an actor in the Theater for over 40 years, which has also helped him to deal with and share his experiences. He also served as a consultant and played the role of an SS officer in the 1989 film,Triumph of the Spirit. He frequently gives talks to various groups of all ages, especially youth groups on student trips to Auschwitz, about his life and experiences during the Holocaust.

 

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Ruth Westheimer

Ruth Westheimer (born June 4, 1928) is an American sex therapist, media personality, and author. Best known as Dr. Ruth, the New York Times described her as a "Sorbonne-trained psychologist who became a kind of cultural icon in the 1980s. She ushered in the new age of freer, franker talk about sex on radio and television—and was endlessly parodied for her limitless enthusiasm and for having an accent only a psychologist could have.

Westheimer was born Karola Ruth Siegel in Wiesenfeld (Karlstadt), Germany, the only child ofOrthodox Jews, Julius Siegel and Irma Siegel née Hanauer. In January 1939 she was sent to Switzerland by her mother and grandmother after her father was taken by the Nazis. There she came of age in an orphanage, and stopped receiving her parents' letters in September 1941. In 1945, Westheimer learned that her parents had been murdered in the Holocaust, possibly at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Westheimer decided to emigrate to the British Mandate of Palestine. There, at 17, she "first hadsexual intercourse on a starry night, in a haystack—without contraception." She later told theNew York Times that "I am not happy about that, but I know much better now and so does everyone who listens to my radio program." Westheimer joined the Haganah in Jerusalem. Because of her diminutive height of 4 ft 7 in (1.40 m), she was trained as a scout and sniper. Westheimer was seriously wounded in action by an exploding shell during the Israeli War of Independence in 1948, and it was several months before she was able to walk again.[3][5]

In 1950, Westheimer moved to France, where she studied and then taught psychology at theUniversity of Paris. In 1956, she emigrated to the United States, settling in Washington Heights, Manhattan.[6] She still lives in the "cluttered three-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights where she raised her two children and became famous, in that order," because the two synagogues she belongs to, the YMHA she was president of for three years, and a "still sizable community of German Jewish World War II refugees" remain in the neighborhood.[6] She speaks English, German, French, and Hebrew.

She earned a master's degree in sociology from The New School and an Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University. She completedpost-doctoral work in human sexuality at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, training with pioneer sex therapist Helen Singer Kaplan.

Westheimer has written several books on human sexuality, including Dr. Ruth's Encyclopedia of Sex and Sex for Dummies. The full version ofDr. Ruth's Encyclopedia of Sex is currently available online.

Westheimer has given commencement speeches at the Hebrew Union College seminaryLehman College of the City University of New York, and, in 2004, at Trinity College.[9] She has also taught courses and seminars at Princeton and Yale.

Westheimer was the guest speaker at the Bronx High School of Science in New York in commemoration of Yom HaShoah 2008. She spoke about her life story and the audience of 500 sang "Happy Birthday" in honor of her 80th birthday. At the ceremony she received an honorary Bronx High School of Science diploma. In 2008 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Westfield State College.

In 2002, she received the Leo Baeck Medal for her humanitarian work promoting tolerance and social justice.

Westheimer has been married three times. Her third marriage, to Manfred Westheimer, lasted until his death in 1997. She has two children, Miriam and Joel, and several grandchildren.

 

Media career

In 1980, WYNY-FM was NBC Radio's New York City owned-and-operated station. The struggling Adult Contemporary station had recently gone through a makeover in an attempt to build an audience. Part of this rebuild was adding specialized talk shows to the evening and weekend hours. Maurice Tunick was recruited from New York's leading talk station, WOR, where he was talk show producer. As WYNY's Program Coordinator he was responsible for developing new talk shows.

Betty Elam was WYNY's Community Affairs Manager. Her job was to work closely with community groups and the station's public affairs programming. After attending a New York Market Radio (NYMRAD) convention at which Westheimer was a speaker, she was taken with Westheimer's passion, information, sense of humor, and personality and suggested that WYNY do something with her. She made two appearances as a guest on a taped Sunday morning public affairs program. WYNY's General Manager, Dan Griffin, then suggested that Tunick find a way to develop a public affairs show for her.

The show[when?] was assigned 15 minutes beginning at midnight on Sunday nights. Being a novice in radio, Westheimer thought it would be a good idea to have guests covering urologyneurologygynecology, etc. — all areas which could have an effect on sex. While that would be important, Tunick thought a better show would be to not have guests at all but to directly answer listeners' questions. NBC was reluctant to allow live phone calls for a sex advice show, which was considered very risqué in the early 1980s, but Tunick suggested soliciting questions via mail. Westheimer could then control the questions and read them on the air with her answers. Typically each question began with, "I have a letter from a listener who asks..."

The show, Sexually Speaking, using the name "Dr. Ruth," was taped in an NBC Radio studio at 30 Rockefeller Center, NBC's radio and TV headquarters, on Thursday mornings at 11:00 a.m. for airing on Sunday nights at midnight.[10][11] All NBC studios at "30 Rock" were accessible from other studios and many offices around the building. A couple of weeks into recording, it was reported that work was stopping in many places in the building on Thursdays at 11 as people were gathering to hear this "cross between Henry Kissinger and Minnie Mouse," as the Wall Street Journal would later describe her.

After two months the show was expanded to an hour and went live, with Westheimer taking phone calls with a delay. Within a year "Dr. Ruth" had a larger audience on Sunday night at midnight on this struggling station than many New York stations had in morning drive-time. She became known for being candid and funny, but respectful, and for her tag phrase, "Get some."

As "Dr. Ruth," Westheimer became nationally known after several appearances on Late Night with David Letterman in the early 1980s. In less than two years, Dr. Ruth became a household name and was being heard on radio stations across the country.

Her pioneering TV show, also called Sexually Speaking, first aired in 1982 as a 15-minute taped show on Lifetime Cable. It has since increased in popularity and has been nationally syndicated, as has her radio show.

In recent years, Westheimer has made regular appearances on the PBS Television children's show Between the Lions as "Dr. Ruth Wordheimer" in a parody of her therapist role, in which she helps anxious readers and spellers overcome their fear of long words.

She also made a cameo on PBS's Dinosaur Train as an Archeopteryx.

She appeared as herself in episode 87 of Quantum Leap, the episode title being "Dr. Ruth."

Westheimer appeared on Tom Chapin's album This Pretty Planet, in the song "Two Kinds of Seagulls," in which she and Chapin sing of various animals that reproduce sexually. "It takes two to tingle," says the song.

As marketers took "sex sells" literally, Westheimer appeared in commercials for the Honda Prelude, circa 1993 ending with "My advice to you is, 'Get a Prelude.'"

Westheimer also worked as a spokeswoman for Clairol Herbal Essences shampoo and body wash, depicting a comical side to her work as a sex therapist. The commercials usually featured a woman imagining that she was using the shampoo on her hair, apparently receiving some sexual charge from it. When the woman snapped back to reality, Westheimer was standing next to her, stating that if the woman liked the shampoo, she should try the body wash as well.

In the January 2009 55th anniversary issue of Playboy, Westheimer appears as #13 in the list of the 55 most important people in sex from the past 55 years.

On September 25, 2010 Dr. Ruth Westheimer marched as one of the Grand Marshals along with Dr. Michael Möller CEO of the world-famous Hofbräuhaus in München/Germany in the 53rd German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.

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Elie Wiesel

Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel KBE (English pronunciation: /??li v??z?l/; born September 30, 1928) is aRomanian-born Jewish-American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, andHolocaust survivor. He is the author of 57 books, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald concentration camps. Wiesel is also the Advisory Board chairman of the Algemeiner Journal newspaper.

When Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the Norwegian Nobel Committeecalled him a "messenger to mankind", stating that through his struggle to come to terms with "his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler's death camps", as well as his "practical work in the cause of peace", Wiesel had delivered a powerful message "of peace, atonement and human dignity" to humanity.

Wiesel was born in SighetTransylvania (now Sighetu Marma?iei), Maramure?Kingdom of Romania, in the Carpathian Mountains. His mother, Sarah Feig, was the daughter of Dodye Feig, a celebrated Vizhnitz Hasid and farmer from a nearby village. He was active and trusted within the community, and in the early years of his life had spent a few months in jail for having helped Polish Jews who escaped and were hungry. It was his father, Shlomo, who instilled a strong sense of humanism in his son, encouraging him to learn Hebrew and to read literature, whereas his mother encouraged him to study the Torah. Wiesel has said his father represented reason, and his mother Sarah promoted faith. In his home, his family spoke Yiddish most of the time, but also RomanianHungarian and German. Wiesel had three sisters – older sisters Hilda and Beatrice, and younger sister Tzipora. Beatrice and Hilda survived the war and were reunited with Wiesel at a French orphanage. They eventually emigrated to North America, with Beatrice moving to MontrealCanada. Tzipora, Shlomo and Sarah did not survive the war.

World War II Buchenwald, 1945. Wiesel is in the second row from the bottom, seventh from the left.

In 1940, Romania lost the town of Sighet following the Second Vienna Award. In 1944, Wiesel, his family and the rest of the town were placed in one of the two ghettos in Sighet. Wiesel and his family lived in the larger of the two, on Serpent Street. On May 16, 1944, the Hungarian authorities allowed the German army to deport the Jewish community in Sighet to Auschwitz-Birkenau. While at Auschwitz, his inmate number, "A-7713", was tattooed onto his left arm. Wiesel was separated from his mother and sisters Hilda, Bea, and Tzipora. Wiesel's mother and sister Tzipora were presumably killed in the gas chambers upon arrival. Wiesel and his father were sent to the attached work camp Buna, a subcamp of Auschwitz III-Monowitz. He managed to remain with his father for over eight months as they were forced to work under appalling conditions and shuffled between three concentration camps in the closing days of the war. On January 29, 1945, just a few weeks after the two were marched to Buchenwald, Wiesel's father was beaten by a Nazi as he was suffering from dysenterystarvation, and exhaustion. He was also beaten by other inmates for his food. He was later sent to the crematorium, only months before the camp was liberated by the U. S. Third Army on April 11.

After the war

After World War II, Wiesel taught Hebrew and worked as a choirmaster before becoming a professional journalist. He learned French, which became the language he used most frequently in writing. He wrote for Israeli and French newspapers, including Tsien in Kamf (in Yiddish)L'arche. For ten years after the war, Wiesel refused to write about or discuss his experiences during the Holocaust. Like many survivors, Wiesel could not find the words to describe his experiences. However, a meeting with François Mauriac, the 1952 Nobel Laureate in Literature, who eventually became Wiesel's close friend, persuaded him to write about his experiences.

Wiesel first wrote the 900-page memoir Un di velt hot geshvign (And the World Remained Silent) in Yiddish, which was published in abridged form in Buenos Aires. Wiesel rewrote a shortened version of the manuscript in French, and it was published as the 127-page La Nuit, and later translated into English as Night. Even with Mauriac's support, Wiesel had trouble finding a publisher for his book, and initially it sold few copies.

In 1960, Arthur Wang of Hill & Wang agreed to pay a $100 pro-forma advance, and published it in the US in September that year as Night. The book agent was Georges Borchardt, then just starting his career. Borchardt remains Wiesel's literary agent today.

The book sold just 1,046 copies over the next 18 months, but attracted interest from reviewers, leading to television interviews with Wiesel and meetings with literary figures like Saul Bellow. "The English translation came out in 1960, and the first printing was 3,000 copies", Wiesel said in an interview. "And it took three years to sell them. Now, I get 100 letters a month from children about the book. And there are many, many million copies in print." The 1979 book and play The Trial of God is said to have been based on Wiesel's real-life Auschwitz experience of witnessing three Jews who, close to death, conduct a trial against God, under the accusation that He has been oppressive of the Jewish people.

Night has been translated into 30 languages. By 1997, the book was selling 300,000 copies annually in the United States alone. By March 2006, about six million copies were sold in the United States. On January 16, 2006, Oprah Winfrey chose the work for her book club. One million extra paperback and 150,000 hardcover copies were printed carrying the "Oprah's Book Club" logo, with a new translation by Wiesel's wife, Marion, and a new preface by Wiesel. On February 13, 2006, Night was no. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list for paperback non-fiction.

Life in the United States

In 1955, Wiesel moved to New York City, having become a US citizen: due to injuries suffered in a traffic accident, he was forced to stay in New York past his visa's expiration and was offered citizenship to resolve his status. In the US, Wiesel wrote over 40 books, both fiction and non-fiction, and won many literary prizes. Wiesel's writing is considered among the most important in Holocaust literature. Some historians credit Wiesel with giving the term 'Holocaust' its present meaning, but he does not feel that the word adequately describes the event and wishes it were used less frequently to describe significant occurrences as everyday tragedies.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for speaking out against violencerepression, and racism. He has received many other prizes and honors for his work, including the Congressional Gold Medal in 1985, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and was elected to theAmerican Academy of Arts and Letters in 1996.

Wiesel also played a role in the initial success of The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski by endorsing it prior to revelations that the book was fiction and, in the sense that it was presented as all Kosinski's true experience, a hoax.

Wiesel addressing the United States Congress

He is also the recipient of The International Center in New York's Award of Excellence. Wiesel has published two volumes of his memoirs. The first, All Rivers Run to the Sea, was published in 1994 and covered his life up to the year 1969 while the second, titled And the Sea is Never Full and published in 1999, covered 1969 to 1999.

Wiesel and his wife, Marion, started the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. He served as chairman for the Presidential Commission on the Holocaust (later renamed US Holocaust Memorial Council) from 1978 to 1986, spearheading the building of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C..

Wiesel is particularly fond of teaching and holds the position of Andrew Mellon Professor of theHumanities at Boston University. From 1972 to 1976, Wiesel was a Distinguished Professor at theCity University of New York and member of the American Federation of Teachers. In 1982 he served as the first Henry Luce Visiting Scholar in Humanities and Social Thought at Yale University. He also co-instructs Winter Term (January) courses at Eckerd CollegeSt. Petersburg, Florida. From 1997 to 1999 he was Ingeborg Rennert Visiting Professor of Judaic Studies atBarnard College.

Wiesel in 1987.

Wiesel has become a popular speaker on the subject of the Holocaust. As a political activist, he has advocated for many causes, including Israel, the plight of Soviet and Ethiopian Jews, the victims of apartheid in South AfricaArgentina'sDesaparecidosBosnian victims of genocide in the formerYugoslaviaNicaragua's Miskito Indians, and the Kurds. Conversely, he withdrew from his role as chair of the International Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide, and made efforts to abort the conference, in deference to Israeli objection to the inclusion of sessions on the Armenian genocide.

In 2004 he voiced support for intervention in Darfur, Sudan at the Darfur Emergency Summit convened at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York by the American Jewish World Service and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He also led a commission organized by the Romanian government to research and write a report, released in 2004, on the true history of the Holocaust in Romania and the involvement of the Romanian wartime regime in atrocities against Jews and other groups, including theRoma. The Romanian government accepted the findings in the report and committed to implementing the commission's recommendations for educating the public on the history of the Holocaust in Romania. The commission, formally called the International Commission for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania, came to be called the Wiesel Commission in honor of his leadership.

Wiesel is the honorary chair of the Habonim Dror Camp Miriam Campership and Building Fund, and a member of the International Council of the New York–based Human Rights Foundation. On March 27, 2001, Wiesel appeared at the University of Florida for Jewish Awareness Month and was presented with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the University of Florida by Dr. Charles Young.

In 2002, he inaugurated the Elie Wiesel Memorial House in Sighet in his childhood home.]

Recent President George W. Bush, joined by theDalai Lama and Wiesel, Oct. 17, 2007, to the ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., for the presentation of theCongressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama

In early 2006, Wiesel traveled to Auschwitz with Oprah Winfrey, a visit which was broadcast as part of The Oprah Winfrey Show on May 24, 2006.[20] Wiesel said that this would most likely be his last trip there. In September 2006, he appeared before the UN Security Council with actorGeorge Clooney to call attention to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

On November 30, 2006 Wiesel received an honorary knighthood in London in recognition of his work toward raising Holocaust education in the United Kingdom. On April 25, 2007, Wiesel was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from the University of Vermont.

During the early 2007 selection process for the Kadima candidate for President of IsraelPrime Minister Ehud Olmert reportedly offered Wiesel the nomination (and, as the ruling-party candidate and an apolitical figure, likely the presidency), but Wiesel "was not very interested". Shimon Peres was chosen as the Kadima candidate (and later President) instead. In 2007, Wiesel was awarded the Dayton Literary Peace Prize's Lifetime Achievement Award. On April 9, 2008, Wiesel was presented with an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters at the City College of New York.

In 2007 the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity issued a letter condemning Armenian genocide denial that was signed by 53 Nobel laureates including Wiesel. Wiesel has repeatedly called Turkey's 90-year-old campaign to downplay its actions during the Armenian genocide a double killing.

Wiesel is a member of the International Advisory Board of NGO Monitor

On September 29, 2008, the Rochester College President Rubel Shelly, on its 50th anniversary, bestowed Wiesel with a plaque conferring on him as an honorary visiting professor of humanities.

On November 17, 2008, he received an honorary doctorate from the Weizmann Institute in RehovotIsrael.

In December 2008, the Elie Wiesel Foundation lost nearly all of its assets (approximately $15.2 million USD) through Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, an experience Wiesel later spoke about at a Conde Nast roundtable.

In 2009, Wiesel criticized the Vatican over its lifting of the excommunication of controversial bishop Richard Williamson, a member of theSociety of Saint Pius X.

On June 5, 2009, Wiesel accompanied US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as they toured Buchenwald. Merkel and Wiesel each spoke about Buchenwald in personal terms, with Merkel considering the responsibility of Germans vis-à-vis Nazihistory (National Socialist history), and Wiesel reflecting on the suffering and death of his father in the camp.

Wiesel returned to Hungary for the first official visit since the Holocaust between December 9–11, 2009 by the invitation of Rabbi Slomó Köves, executive rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation and the Hungarian branch of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. During his visit Wiesel participated in a conference at the Upper House Chamber of the Hungarian Parliament, met Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai and President László Sólyom, and made a speech to the approximately 10,000 participants of an anti-racist gathering held in Faith Hall. The speech was broadcasted live by Magyar ATV, a nationwide television channel.[31][32][33]

On May 4, 2010 Wiesel met with President Obama at the White House to discuss Middle East peace relations.

On May 20, 2011, Wiesel spoke at the 150th Commencement Ceremony of Washington University in St. Louis and was given an honorary degree.

On September 25, 2011, Wiesel spoke at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

2007 attack on Wiesel Controversy over historical and religious rights to Jerusalem

On February 1, 2007, Wiesel was attacked in a San Francisco hotel by 22-year-old Holocaust denier Eric Hunt, who tried to drag Wiesel into a hotel room. Wiesel was not injured and Hunt fled the scene. Later, Hunt bragged about the incident on a Holocaust denial website. Approximately one month later, he was arrested and charged with multiple offenses.[34] Hunt was convicted on July 21, 2008,[35] and was sentenced to two years, but was given credit for time served and good behavior; he was released on probation and ordered to undergo psychological treatment. The jury convicted Hunt of three charges but dismissed the remaining charges of attempted kidnappingstalking, and an additional count of false imprisonment, amid Hunt's withdrawal of his insanity plea.[36][dead link] District Attorney Kamala Harris said, "Crimes motivated by hate are among the most reprehensible of offenses ... This defendant has been made to answer for an unwarranted and biased attack on a man who has dedicated his life to peace."[37] At his sentencing hearing, Hunt apologized and insisted that he no longer denies the Holocaust;[38] however, he continued for some time afterwards to maintain and update a (now defunct) blog that denied the Holocaust and was critical of prominent Jewish people,[39] and has since started a new website that actively denies the Holocaust.

On April 15, 2010, Wiesel took out full page ads in The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and elsewhere, in which he emphasized the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. He said that: "For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics. It is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture — and not a single time in the Koran." His position has been criticized by the Americans for Peace Now in an open letter: "Jerusalem is not just a Jewish symbol. It is also a holy city to billions of Christians and Muslims worldwide. It is Israel's capital, but it is also a focal point of Palestinian national aspirations". They also claimed that equal residential rights do not exist in the city.Wiesel has also been criticized in Israel. Haaretz published an article by Yossi Sarid which accused him of being out of touch with the realities of life in Jerusalem.

Extended quotation from the text:

"For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics. It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain. When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is not the first time; it is a homecoming. The first song I heard was my mother's lullaby about and for Jerusalem. Its sadness and its joy are part of our collective memory."

Wiesel was notably criticized by former DePaul University professor and political scientist Norman Finkelstein in his book The Holocaust Industry. Finkelstein accuses Wiesel of promoting the "uniqueness doctrine" which holds, according to Finkelstein, the Holocaust as the paramount of evil and therefore historically incomparable to other genocides.[45] Finklestein also accuses Wiesel of playing down the importance of other genocides, especially the Armenian Genocide, and thwarting efforts of raising awareness of the genocide of the Romani people executed by the Nazis. Finkelstein cited Wiesel's lobbying for commemorating Jews alone (not the Romani people) in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., in addition to his numerous other assertions on the "uniqueness of Holocaust"

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Fran Albreht

Fran Albreht (17 November 1889 – 11 February 1963) was a Slovenian poeteditorpolitician  and partisan. He also published under thepseudonym Rusmir.

He was born as Franc Albrecht in the Upper Carniolan town of Kamnik in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He grew up in aliberal milieu, but he later came closer to more leftist views. He studied at the University of Vienna and became a literary critic and a neo-romantic poet.

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Albreht was editor of the prestigious liberal literary magazine Ljubljanski zvon. After the crisis of the journal in 1932, which emerged from different interpretations of Slovene identity and attitudes towards the centralist policies in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Albreht left the journal and established, together with the literary critic Josip Vidmar and author Ferdo Kozak, a new magazine called Sodobnost ("Modernity"). Under Albreht, Vidmar and Kozak, the new magazine became the foremost progressive journal in Slovenia, in which also many Marxists and Communists could publish their articles under pseudonyms.

After the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, Albreht became an active member of the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People inLjubljana. He was imprisoned by Italian fascist authorities on a number of occasions. In 1944, the Nazis sent him to Dachau concentration camp.

Soon after the liberation from Nazi occupation and the establishment of the Communist regime in Yugoslavia in 1945, he was appointedmayor of Ljubljana. He served in that office between 1945 and 1948. In 1948, he was dismissed and shortly imprisoned under the suspiction of anti-Communist activity.

He was married to the poet Vera Albreht. He died in Ljubljana in 1963 and is buried in the Žale city cemetery.

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Vera Albreht

She was born as Vera Kessler in Krško into the well-to-do family. Her mother was Marija Kessler, nee Trenz, an ethnic German and her fatherSlovene, Rudolph Kessler. Her parents' home in Ljubljana was a well known meeting point of the Slovenian literary scene at the time, frequented among others also by Ivan Cankar and Oton Župan?i?, who married Vera's sister Ana Kessler.

She studied at the University of Vienna, but never completed her studies due to the outbreak of World War I. In 1919 she married the poet and critic Fran Albreht.

During World War II, she and her husband actively participated with the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People. They were both imprisoned by the Italian fascist authorities on a number of occasions between 1941 and 1943. In 1944, she was sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp by the Nazis.

After the war she moved with her husband to Ljubljana where she worked as a publicist and at the Slovene center of International PEN.

She died in Ljubljana.

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Miervaldis Birze

Miervaldis Birze (born as Augusts Miervaldis B?rzi?š; 21 March 1921 – 6 July 2000) was a Latvian writerpublicistphysician and Holocaust survivor.

Birze was born into the family of a municipal employee in R?jiena. He completed primary school in 1933. After the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940, Birze joined the Young Communist League. He was arrested in July, 1941, after the Occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany. He was first held in prison in Valmiera, then transferred to the Salaspils concentration camp. After this he was assigned to do forced labor in the construction of a hangar at the Spilve Airport in Riga. In July, 1944 he was among 1,200 people transported to Germany and interned in the Buchenwald concentration camp. In April 1945, during the evacuation of the camp, Birze managed to escape. He tried to return home through Poland, where he was arrested and held from May until September in the filtration camp in Hrodna. The time he spent in these camps and prisons is reflected in his literary works, especially in his novel Yet Icebound Rivers Flow.

He graduated from the University of Latvia Faculty of Medicine in 1949. After graduation he worked as a doctor in C?sis. He died there in 2000.

Yet Icebound Rivers Flow

"I took to writing when I was in my thirties. By then, I had finished secondary school in Valmiera on the lovely Gauja River, had been a medical student in Riga for two years, had spent four years of the war in various concentration camps in Latvia and in Germany, Buchenwald included, had resumed my medical studies, graduated, and been a doctor for several years. My first short stories and humorous sketches were published in 1953. In 1957, I discarded humour and wrote Yet Icebound Rivers Flow. Why did I touch once more the wounds inflicted on the Latvian people by German fascists? Does not every human being, like you and me, yearn for sunshine, for peace, for kindness? Is it necessary to bring back to mind pain and sufferings? Yes. It was necessary to write this book. First, because I knew all the people in it, good and bad, and was present at the funeral of those two whose bodies were burnt. Second, because it would have been unjust to allow the heroism of true enthusiasts to slip into oblivion, to forget those who gave everything for the happiness of their people. Finally, this event has to be recalled so that what happened then may never reoccur. I did not succeed in rendering the event in its entirety. But who has been able to paint the ocean in all its fathomless grandeur? I only hope that the events described here will never repeat themselves, so that I may continue to live in C?sis, a little town on the Gauja, and cure people with weak lungs, and write humorous short stories.

 

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Tadeusz Borowski

Tadeusz Borowski (Polish pronunciation: [ta?d?u? b??r?fsk?i]; 12 November 1922 – 1 July 1951) was a Polish writer and journalist. His wartime poetry and stories dealing with his experiences as a prisoner at Auschwitz are recognized as classics of Polish literature and had much influence in Central European society.

Borowski was born in 1922 into the Polish community in ZhytomyrUSSR, (today in Ukraine). In 1926, his father, whose bookstore had been nationalized by the communists, was sent to a camp in the Gulag system in Russian Karelia because he had been a member of a Polish military organization during World War I. In 1930, Borowski's mother was deported to a settlement on the shores of the Yenisey, in Siberia, during Collectivization. During this time Tadeusz lived with his aunt.

In 1932 Borowski and his brother were repatriated from the USSR to Poland thanks to the efforts of the Polish Red Cross. They settled in Warsaw. Their father was freed in a prisoner exchange with communists arrested in Poland, and their mother was released in 1934.

Experiences under Nazi occupation

In 1940 Borowski finished his secondary schooling in a secret underground lyceum in Nazi-occupied Poland, and then began studies at the underground Warsaw University (Polish language and literature).

He also became involved in several underground newspapers and started to publish his poems and short novels in the monthly Droga, all the while working in a warehouse as a night watchman. It was during this period that he wrote most of his wartime poetry, and he clandestinely published his first collection, titled Gdziekolwiek Ziemia (Wherever the Earth).

While a member of the educational underground in Warsaw, Borowski was living with his fiancee Maria. After Maria did not return home one night in February 1943, Borowski began to suspect that she had been arrested. Rather than staying away from any of their usual meeting places, though, he walked straight into the trap that was set by the Gestapo agents in the apartment of his and Maria's close friend. Arrested himself, he was first thrown into the infamous Pawiak prison and then was transported to Auschwitz.

Forced into slave labor in extremely harsh conditions, Borowski later reflected on this experience in his writing. In particular, working on a railway ramp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, he witnessed Jews first being told to leave their personal property behind, and then being transferred directly from the trains to the gas chambers. While a prisoner at Auschwitz, Borowski caught pneumonia; afterwards, he was put to work in a Nazi medical experiment "hospital." He was able to maintain written and personal contact with his fiancee, who was also imprisoned in Auschwitz.

In late 1944 Borowski was transported from Auschwitz to the Dautmergen subcamp of Natzweiler-Struthof, and finally to Dachau. Dachau-Allach where Borowski was imprisoned was liberated by the Americans on May 1, 1945 and after that Borowski found himself in a camp for displaced persons near Munich.

After the war

He spent some time in Paris, and then returned to Poland on May 31, 1946. His fiancee, who had survived the camps and emigrated to Sweden, returned to Poland in late 1946, and they were married in December 1946.

Borowski turned to prose after the war, believing that what he had to say could no longer be expressed in verse. His series of short stories about life in Auschwitz was published as Po?egnanie z Mari? (Farewell to Maria, English title This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen). The main stories are written in the first person from the perspective of an Auschwitz inmate; they describe the morally numbing effect of everyday terror, with prisoners, trying to survive, often being indifferent or mean towards each other; the privileges of non-Jewish inmates like Borowski; and the absence of any heroism. Early on after its publication in Poland, this work was accused of being nihilistic, amoral and decadent.[1] His short story cycle World of Stone describes his time in displaced person camps in Germany.

He worked as a journalist, joined the Communist-controlled Polish Workers' Party in 1948 and wrote political tracts as well. At first he believed that Communism was the only political force truly capable of preventing any future Auschwitz from happening. In 1950 he received the National Literary Prize, Second Degree.

In the summer of 1949 he was sent to work in the Press Section of the Polish Military Mission in Berlin. He returned to Warsaw a year later and entered into an extramarital affair with a young girl.

Soon after a close friend of his (the same friend who had earlier been imprisoned by the Gestapo, and in whose apartment both Borowski and his fiancee had been arrested) was imprisoned and tortured by the Communists. Borowski tried to intervene on his behalf and failed; he became completely disillusioned with the regime.

He committed suicide at the age of 28 by breathing in gas from a gas stove on July 1, 1951, three days after his wife had borne him a daughter.

Legacy

His books are recognized as classics of Polish post-war literature and had much influence in Central European society.

  • Tadeusz Borowski is the subject of the 'Beta' section in Czes?aw Mi?osz's book, The Captive Mind.
  • His friend Tadeusz Drewnowski published several books about Borowski, including the 1962 biography Ucieczka z kamiennego ?wiata(Escape from the World of Stone) and Postal indiscretions: the correspondence of Tadeusz Borowski.
  • The 1970 Polish film Landscape After the Battle is based on Borowski's writings.
  • Borowski's books are mentioned in the award-winning 1995 novel The Reader ("Der Vorleser") by the German author Bernhard Schlink, in which a former concentration camp guard commits suicide in remorse after reading his and other survivors' memoirs.
  • In 2002, Imre Kertész, while receiving the Nobel Prize stated that all his works were written because of his own fascination with Borowski's prose.

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Paul Celan

Paul Celan (23 November 1920, Cern?u?iBukovinaKingdom of Romania, current Chernivtsi,Ukraine - c. 20 April 1970, Paris) was a poet and translator. He was born as Paul Antschel into a Jewish family in Romania, and changed his name to "Paul Celan" (where Celan in Romanian would be pronounced Chelan, and was derived from Ancel, pronounced Antshel), becoming one of the major German-language poets of the post-World War II era.

Celan was born in 1920 into a German-speaking Jewish family in Cern?u?i, Northern Bukovina, then part of Romania (now part of Ukraine). His father, Leo Antschel, was a Zionist who advocated his son's education in Hebrew at Safah Ivriah, an institution previously convinced of the wisdom of assimilation into Austrian culture, and one which favourably received Chaim Weizmann of the World Zionist Organization in 1927. His mother, Fritzi, was an avid reader of German literature who insisted German be the language of the house. After his Bar Mitzvah in 1933, Celan abandoned Zionism (at least to some extent) and finished his formal Hebrew education, instead becoming active in Jewish Socialistorganizations and fostering support for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War. His earliest known poem, titled Mother's Day 1938 was an earnest, if sentimental, profession of love. Paul graduated from the gymnasium/high school called Liceul Marele Voivod Mihai (Great Voivode Mihai High School) in 1938.[2]

In 1938, Celan travelled to ToursFrance, to study medicine. The Anschluss precluded Vienna, and Romanian schools were harder to get in to due to the newly-imposed Jewish quota. But he returned to Cern?u?i in 1939 to study literature and Romance languages. His journey to France took him through Berlin as the events of Kristallnacht unfolded, and also introduced him to his uncle, Bruno Schrager, who later was among the French detainees who died at Birkenau.

[edit]Life during World War II

The Soviet occupation of Bukovina in June 1940 deprived Celan of any lingering illusions about Stalinism and Soviet Communism stemming from his earlier socialist engagements; the Soviets quickly imposed bureaucratic reforms on the university where he was studying Romance philology and deportations to Siberia started. Nazi Germany and Romania brought ghettos, internment, and forced labour a year later (seeRomania during World War II).

On arrival in Cern?u?i July 1941 the German SS Einsatzkommando and their Romanian allies set the city's Great Synagogue on fire. In October, the Romanians deported a large number of Jews after forcing them into a ghetto, where Celan translated William Shakespeare'sSonnets and continued to write his own poetry, all the while being exposed to traditional Yiddish songs and culture. Before the ghetto was dissolved in the fall of that year, Celan was pressed into labor, first clearing the debris of a demolished post office, and then gathering and destroying Russian books.

The local mayor strove to mitigate the harsh circumstances until the governor of Bukovina had the Jews rounded up and deported, starting on a Saturday night in June 1942. Accounts of his whereabouts on that evening vary, but it is certain that Celan was not with his parents when they were taken from their home on June 21 and sent by train to an internment camp in Transnistria, where two-thirds of the deportees perished. Celan's parents were taken across the Southern Bug and handed over to the Germans, where his father likely perished of typhusand his mother was shot dead after being exhausted by forced labour. Later on, after having himself been taken to the labour camps in theOld Kingdom, Celan would receive reports of his parents' deaths earlier that year.

Celan remained in these labour camps until February 1944, when the Red Army's advance forced the Romanians to abandon them, whereupon he returned to Cern?u?i shortly before the Soviets returned to reassert their control. There, he worked briefly as a nurse in the mental hospital. Early versions of Todesfuge were circulated at this time, a poem that clearly relied on accounts coming from the now-liberated camps in Poland. Friends from this period recall Celan expressing immense guilt over his separation from his parents, whom he had tried to convince to go into hiding prior to the deportations, shortly before their death.

[edit]Life after the war

Considering emigration to Palestine and wary of widespread Soviet antisemitism, Celan left the USSR in 1945 for Bucharest, where he remained until 1947. He was active in the Jewish literary community as both a translator of Russian literature into Romanian, and as a poet, publishing his work under a variety of pseudonyms. The literary scene of the time was richly populated with surrealists — Gellu NaumIlarie VoroncaGherasim LucaPaul P?un, and Dolfi Trost —, and it was in this period that Celan developed pseudonyms both for himself and his friends, including the one he took as his pen name.

A version of Todesfuge appeared as Tangoul Mor?ii ("Death Tango") in a Romanian translation of May 1947. The surrealist ferment of the time was such that additional remarks had to be published explaining that the dancing and musical performances of the poem were realities of theextermination camp life. Night and Fog, the earliest documentary on Auschwitz (Alain Resnais, 1955), includes a description of theAuschwitz Orchestra, an institution organized by the SS to assemble and play selections of German dances and popular songs. (The SS man interviewed by Claude Lanzmann for his film Shoah, who rehearsed the songs prisoners were made to sing in the death camp, remarked that no Jews who had taught the songs survived.)

[edit]Exodus and Paris years

Due to the emerging of the communist regime in Romania, Celan fled Romania for ViennaAustria. It was there that he befriended Ingeborg Bachmann, who had just completed a dissertation on Martin Heidegger. Facing a city divided between occupying powers and with little resemblance to the mythic city it once was, which had harboured the then-shattered Austro-Hungarian Jewish community, he moved to Parisin 1948. In that year his first poetry collection, Der Sand aus den Urnen ("Sand from the Urns"), was published in Vienna by A. Sexl. His first few years in Paris were marked by intense feelings of loneliness and isolation, as expressed in letters to his colleagues, including his longtime friend from Cern?u?i, Petre Solomon. It was also during this time that he exchanged many letters with Diet Kloos, a young Dutchsinger and anti-Nazi resister who saw her husband of a few months tortured to death. She visited him twice in Paris between 1949 and 1951.

In 1952 Celan's writing began to gain recognition when he read his poetry on his first reading trip to Germany [3] where he was invited to read at the semiannual meetings of Group 47.[4] At their May meeting he read his poem Todesfuge ("Death Fugue"), a depiction of concentration camp life. His reading style, which was maybe based on the way a prayer is given in a synagogue and Hungarian folk poems, was off-putting to some of the German audience. His poetry received a mixed reaction.[3] When Ingeborg Bachmann, with whom Celan had an affair, won the Group's prize for her collection Die gestundete Zeit (The Extended Hours), Celan (whose work had received only six votes) said "After the meeting, only six people remembered my name". He did not attend any other meeting of the Group.

The grave of Paul Celan at the Thiais cemetery near Paris

In November 1951, he met the graphic artist Gisèle de Lestrange, in Paris. He would send her many wonderful love letters, influenced by Franz Kafka's correspondence with Milena Jesenskaand Felice Bauer. They married on December 21, 1952, despite the opposition of her aristocratic family, and during the following 18 years they wrote over 700 letters, including a very active exchange with Hermann Lenz and his wife, Hanne. He made his living as a translator and lecturer in German at the École Normale Supérieure. He was also a close friend of Nelly Sachs, who later won the Nobel Prize for literature.

Celan became a French citizen in 1955 and lived in Paris. Celan's sense of persecution increased after the widow of a friend, the French-German poet Yvan Goll, accused him of having plagiarised her husband's work. Celan was awarded the Bremen Literature Prize in 1958 and the Georg Büchner Prize in 1960.

Celan committed suicide by drowning in the Seine river around April 20, 1970.

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Yehiel De-Nur

Yehiel De-Nur testifies at the trial of Adolf Eichmann.

Yehiel De-Nur or Dinur, ('De-Nur' means 'of the fire' in Aramaic), born Yehiel Feiner (16 May 1909 - 17 July 2001) was a Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor, whose books were inspired by his time as a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

During World War II De-Nur spent two years as a prisoner in Auschwitz. In 1945, he moved to British-mandate Palestine (later Israel) and became a writer-historian survivor who wrote several works in Hebrew, which stemmed from his experience in the camp, under the identity he had been given by the guards at Auschwitz: Ka-Tzetnik 135633 (sometimes listed as "K. Tzetnik"). Ka-Tzetnik means "Concentration Camper" in Yiddish (deriving from "ka tzet", the pronunciation of KZ, the abbreviation for Konzentrationslager); 135633 was De-Nur'sconcentration camp number. He also used the name Karl Zetinski (Karol Cetinsky, again. the derivation from "KZ") as a refugee, hence the confusion over his 'real' name when his works were first published.

De-Nur presented his writings as an attempt to chronicle his time at Auschwitz. He wrote using the name Ka-Tzetnik 135633 (which he denied was a pseudonym or pen name but was what his time in Auschwitz had made him) for some time before his civic identity was revealed at the Eichmann Trial at court session 68 of the trial on 7 June 1961. After an opening statement in which De-Nur described Auschwitz as the "planet of the ashes", but before he was able to answer the general questions about Auschwitz that the prosecuting Attorney-General had prepared for him, De-Nur fainted and was subsequently unable to resume his testimony.

The House of Dolls

Among his most famous works was 1955's The House of Dolls, which described the "Joy Division", an alleged Nazi system keeping Jewishwomen as sex slaves in concentration camps. He suggests that the subject of the book was his younger sister, who did not survive theHolocaust. However, he did not have a sister. In his book Piepel, about Nazi sexual abuse of young boys, he suggests the subject of this book was his younger brother, who also died in a concentration camp.

While De-Nur's books are still a part of the high-school curriculum, young PhD candidate Na'ama Shik more recently has been advancing her hypothesis that The House of Dolls is pornographic fiction, not least because sexual relations with Jews were strictly forbidden to all Aryancitizens of Nazi Germany. This is a controversial issue since forced sexual exploitation of Jewish females and males was a common occurrence despite the Reich's edicts against "interracial" sexual relations.

Its publication is at times pointed to as the inspiration behind the Nazi exploitation genre of serialized cheap paperbacks, known in Israel asStalag fiction. Their publisher acknowledged the Eichmann trial as the motive behind the series.

The British rock band Joy Division derived its name from this book.

Personal life

Mr Dinur was married to Nina Dinur née Asherman, the daughter of a prominent Tel Aviv doctor. She served in the British Army as a young woman. Nina sought him out after reading his book "Salamandra" and eventually they were married. She was instrumental in the translation and publication of many of his books. They had two children, a son and a daughter, both still living in Israel. She trained with Virginia Satir in the 1970s. Later in life, Nina changed her name to Eliyah Dinur (sometimes spelled De-Nur).

In 1976, because of recurring nightmares and depression, he subjected himself to a form of psychedelic psychotherapy from Dr. Jan Bastiaans that included the use of LSD; the visions experienced during this therapy became the basis for his book, Shivitti. The book's title is derived from David's Psalm 16, "?????? ??: "?????? ?' ????? ????, more accurately translated in Acts 2:25: "I saw the Lord always before me" etc., or "I was always beholding the Lord in my presence;" etc.

He died of cancer in Tel Aviv on July 17, 2001.

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Charlotte Delbo

Delbo with her camp number tattoo visible

Charlotte Delbo, (August 10, 1913- March 1, 1985), was a French writer chiefly known for her haunting memoirs of her time as a prisoner in Auschwitz, where she was sent for her activities as a member of the French resistance.

Born in Vigneux-sur-SeineEssonne near Paris, Delbo gravitated toward theater and politics in her youth, joining the French Young Communist Women's League in 1932. She met and marriedGeorge Dudach two years later. Later in the decade she went to work for producer Louis Jouvetand was with his company in Buenos Aires when Wehrmacht forces invaded and occupied France in 1940.

Resistance and arrest

She could have waited to return when Philippe Pétain, leader of the collaborationist Vichy regime, established special courts in 1941 to deal with members of the resistance. One sentenced a friend of hers, a young architect named Andre Woog, to death. "I can't stand being safe while others are guillotined", she told Jouvet. "I won't be able to look anyone in the eye."

Accordingly she returned to Paris and Dudach, who was already active in the resistance as the assigned courier for the internationally famous poet Louis Aragon. The couple spent much of that winter printing and distributing pamphlets and other anti-Nazi Germany reading material. They became part of the group around communistphilosopher Georges Politzer, and took an active role in publishing the underground journal Lettres Françaises.

On March 2, 1942, police followed a careless courier to their apartment, and arrested George and Charlotte. The courier was able to escape from a back window.

Time in camps

Dudach was shot on the morning of May 23 after being allowed to bid his wife farewell. Delbo was held in transit camps near Paris for the rest of the year; then on January 23, 1943, she and 229 other Frenchwomen imprisoned for their resistance activities were put on a train for theAuschwitz concentration camp. It was one of only a few convoys of non-Jewish prisoners from France to that camp (most were sent to theMauthausen-Gusen concentration camp or other camps for political prisoners) and the only convoy of women. Only 49 returned; she wrote about this experience later in Le convoi du 24 janvier (published in English as Convoy to Auschwitz). The convoy entered camp legend as the only one to enter the gates singing: they sang "La Marseillaise", as one woman, Annette Epaux, would again later on her way to the gas chamber.

Other Frenchwomen of note on that convoy were Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier, daughter of magazine editor Lucien Vogel and Communistheroine, who would later testify at the Nuremberg Trials of war criminals; France Rondeaux, a cousin of André Gide; Vittoria "Viva" Daubeuf, daughter of Italian socialist leader and future prime minister Pietro Nenni; Simone Sampaix, daughter of the editor of L'Humanité; Marie "Mai" Politzer, wife of sociologist Georges Politzer; Adelaide "Heidi" Hautval, a doctor who would save many inmates and testify against Nazi medical atrocities; and Helene Solomon-Langevin, daughter of physicist Paul Langevin. It was partly thanks to the presence of several scientists among the prisoners (others were Laure Gatet and Madeleine Dechavassine) that a few, Delbo included, were selected to farm kok-saghyz and survived.

Most of the women on the convoy, however, were poor and uneducated and nearly all Communists. One of their number, Danielle Casanova, would be eulogized as a Communist martyr and role model for many years. Delbo later debunked much of the Casanova legend. She paid more tribute to her working-class friends such as Lulu Thevenin, Christiane "Cecile" Charua (later married to historian and Mauthausen survivor Jose Borras), Jeannette "Carmen" Serre, Madeleine Doiret, and Simone "Poupette" Alizon, many of whom figure prominently in her memoirs.

The women were in Auschwitz, first at Birkenau and later the Raisko satellite camp, for about a year before being sent to Ravensbrück and finally released to the custody of the Swedish chapter of the International Red Cross in 1945 as the war drew to a close. After recuperating, Delbo returned to France.

After the war

She wrote her major work, the trilogy published as Auschwitz and After ("None of Us Will Return", "Useless Knowledge" and "The Measure of Our Days,") in the years immediately after the war but held off on publishing the first part until 1965 to give the book the test of time, because of her fear that it would not do justice to the greatest tragedy humanity had known. The final volumes were published in 1970 and 1971.

The play "Qui Rapportera Ces Paroles?" (Who Will Carry the Word?) is about Delbo's experience at Birkenau.

In later years she abandoned Communism, influenced like other resistor-survivors (David Rousset and Jorge Semprún among them) by the exposure of concentration camps in the Soviet Union.

Her political views remained strongly left: during the Algerian War she published "Les belles lettres", a collection of petitions protesting colonial French policy. She never remarried.

During the 1960s she worked for the United Nations and philosopher Henri Lefebvre, who had worked with Politzer before the war.

She died of lung cancer in 1985.

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Leon Feldhendler

Leon Feldhendler (Lejb Feldhendler) (1910 – 6 April 1945), was a Polish-Jewish resistance fighter known for his role in organizing, with Alexander Pechersky, the 1943 prisoner uprising at the Sobibor extermination camp. Prior to his deportation to Sobibor, Feldhendler had been head of the Judenrat (Ger. "Jewish Council") in his village of ?ó?kiewka, Lublin Voivodeship, inGerman-occupied Poland.

Role in Sobibor Uprising

In the spring of 1943, Feldhendler led a small group of Sobibor prisoners formulating an escape plan. Their initial plan had been to poison camp guards and seize their weapons, but the SSdiscovered the poison and shot five Jews in retaliation. Other plans included setting the camp on fire and escaping in the resulting confusion, but the mining of the camp perimeter by the SS in the summer of 1943 rendered the plan impractical.

Portrait of Sobibor uprising survivors taken in 1944, with Feldhendler at top right

The arrival in a transport of Soviet POWs of Red Army officer Alexander Pechersky in late September gave new impetus to the escape plans. A seasoned soldier, Pechersky soon assumed the leadership of the group of would-be escapees and, with Feldhendler as his deputy, the group formed a plan that involved killing the camp's SS personnel, sending the Soviet POWs to raid the arsenal and then fighting their way out the camp's front gate.

The uprising, which took place on October 14, 1943, was detected in its early stages after a guard discovered the body of an SS officer killed by the prisoners. Nevertheless, about 320 Jews managed to make it outside of the camp in the ensuing melee. Eighty were killed in the escape and immediate aftermath. 170 were soon recaptured and killed, as were all the remaining inhabitants of the camp who had chosen to stay. Some escapees joined the partisans. Of these, ninety died in combat or were killed by local collaborators or anti-Semites. Sixty-two Jews from Sobibor survived the war, including nine who had escaped earlier.

Murdered in Lublin

Feldhendler was among those who survived the war, hiding in Lublin until the end of German occupation in July 1944. However, on April 2, 1945, he was shot through the closed door of his flat as he got up to investigate a commotion in an outer room. Feldhendler and his wife managed to escape through another door and made their way to Lublin's ?w. Wincentego á Paulo hospital, where he underwent surgery but died four days later. According to most of the older publications, Feldhendler was killed by right-wing Polish nationalists, sometimes identified as theNarodowe Si?y Zbrojne, an anti-Communist and anti-Semitic  paramilitaryorganization which formed part of the Polish resistance. However, at least one recent paper, citing the incomplete treatment of the event by earlier historians and the scant documentary record, has called into question this version of events. Feldhendler's killing was one of at least 118 murders of Jews in the Lublin district between the summer of 1944 and the fall of 1946

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Fania Fénelon

Fania Fénelon 

(2 September 1908 as Fania Goldstein – 19 December 1983 in Paris) was a French pianist, composer and cabaret singer.

Fénelon was born in Paris, the daughter of Jules Goldstein, an engineer in the rubber industry, and Maria Davidovna Bernstein (Marie in French), both parents hailing from the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. She attended the Conservatoire de Paris, where she studied underGermaine Martinelli, obtaining a first prize in piano (despite her diminutive size and very small hands) and at the same time worked nights, singing in bars. She had two brothers, Leonide and Michel Goldstein. Her marriage to Silvio Perla (a Swiss athlete, specialist in the 5000m) ended in divorce. In the Second World War she supported the French Resistance against the Nazis, was arrested, and was first deported toAuschwitz-Birkenau, where she was a member of the girl orchestra of Auschwitz, then to Bergen-Belsen, until she was freed in 1945. Suffering from a potentially fatal case of typhus and weighing only sixty pounds, she sang for the BBC on the day of her liberation by British troops. (A Library of Congress entry for this recording gives her name as Fanja Perla, her married name at the time; her divorce from Perla was finalized after the war.)

Under her pseudonym of "Fénelon" (which she took up after the war), Fania Goldstein became a well known cabaret singer. In 1966 she went with her African-American "life-partner" to East Berlin. (She never divulged his identity, but Aubrey Pankey, a baritone who chose to live in East Germany due to American racism and his own Communist sympathies, fits many of the details.) After her partner's death she returned to France. Between 1973 and 1975 she wrote the book Sursis pour l'orchestre, in which she described her experiences. The book was based on her diary from the concentration camps. It was remarkably frank on many sensitive topics: the degrading compromises survivors had to make, the black humor of inmates (the orchestra women are often depicted as laughing hysterically over gruesome sights), the religious and national tensions among inmates, and the normality of prostitution and lesbian relationships (this last perhaps the most controversial, since it was the most heavily cut in translation). Many of her fellow survivors of the women's orchestra took issue in private with her portrayal of them, particularly Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and Violette Jacquet. Almost all survivors who read the book disagreed with its negative portrayal of Alma Rosé, the orchestra's kapo and conductor. The book would be translated into German and English in slightly abridged editions. Fania Fénelon told the press at the time that she was writing another book about her life after the camps, but this never appeared.

Linda Yellen filmed the book under the title Playing For Time, using as script a dramatic adaptation by Arthur Miller. Fania bitterly opposed Miller's and Yellen's sanitized rendition of life in the camps and above all Yellen's casting of Vanessa Redgrave to play her. Redgrave was a well-known PLO sympathizer and at nearly six feet tall, bore little resemblance to the petite Fania. "I do not accept a person to play me who is the opposite of me," Fénelon declared. "I wanted Liza Minnelli. She's small, she's full of life, she sings and dances. Vanessa...doesn't have a sense of humor, and that is the one thing that saved me from death in the camp." Fénelon scolded Redgrave to her face on 60 Minutes. Redgrave, however, won the support of the acting community as the issue of her political freedom took precedence over her suitability for the role. Fania Fénelon never forgave Redgrave, but eventually softened her view of the production to cede that it was "a fair film."

Fania "Fénelon" Goldstein died on 19 December 1983 in a Paris hospital. The causes were listed as cancer and heart disease.

 

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Otto Frank

Otto Heinrich "PimFrank (12 May 1889 – 19 August 1980) was a German-born businessman and the father of Anne Frank and Margot Frank. As the sole member of his family to survive theHolocaust, he inherited Anne's manuscripts after her death, arranged for the publication of her diary in 1947, and oversaw its translation to the stage and screen.

Frank was born in Frankfurt. He was the second son of Michael Frank and Alice Stern Frank. His siblings were Robert Frank, Helene (Leni) Frank, and Herbert Frank. Otto was a cousin of the well known furniture designer Jean-Michel Frank, and a grandson of Zacharias Frank.

Frank served in the German army as an officer during the First World War. He worked in the bank his family ran until it collapsed in the early 1930s. He married Edith Holländer—an heiress to a scrap-metal and industrial-supply business—on 12 May 1925 in Frankfurt, and their first daughter, Margot Betti, was born on 16 February 1926, followed by Anne (Annelies Marie) on 12 June 1929.

World War II

As the tide of Nazism rose in Germany and anti-Jewish decrees encouraged attacks on Jewish individuals and families, Frank decided to evacuate his family to the safer western nations of Europe. In August of 1933 he moved his family to Aachen, where his wife's mother resided, in preparation for a subsequent and final move to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. There he started a company, Opekta, that sold spices and pectin for use in the manufacture of jam. After Germany invaded Holland in May of 1940, Otto made his business look "Aryan" by transferring control to non-Jews.

In 1938 and 1941, Frank attempted to obtain visas for his family to emigrate to the United States or Cuba. He was granted a single visa for himself to Cuba on 1 December 1941, but no one knows if it ever reached him. Ten days later, when Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy declared war on the United States, the visa was canceled by Havana.

Otto Frank took his family into hiding on 6 July 1942 in the upper rear rooms of the Opekta premises on the Prinsengracht. They were joined a week later by Hermann van Pels and his wife and son, and in November by Fritz Pfeffer, also known in Anne's diary as Mr. Dussel. Their concealment was aided by Otto Frank's colleagues Johannes Kleiman, whom he had known since 1923, Miep GiesVictor Kugler, and Bep Voskuijl.

They were concealed for two years, until they were betrayed by an anonymous informant in August 1944. Frank, his family, the four people he hid with, and Kugler and Kleiman were arrested by SS Officer Karl Silberbauer. After being imprisoned in Amsterdam, the Jewish prisoners were sent to the Dutch transit camp of Westerbork and finally to Auschwitz. It was here, in September, that Frank was separated forever from his wife and daughters. He was sent to the men's barracks and found himself in the sick barracks when he was liberated by Soviet troops on 27 January 1945. He travelled back to the Netherlands over the next six months and set about tracing his arrested family and friends. By the end of 1945, he knew he was the sole survivor of the family, and of those who had hidden in the house on the Prinsengracht.

Post-war life

After Anne Frank's death was confirmed in the summer of 1945, her diary and papers were given to Otto Frank by Miep Gies, who had rescued them from the ransacked hiding place. He left them unread for some time but eventually began transcribing them from Dutch for his relatives in Switzerland. He was persuaded that Anne's writing shed light into the experiences of many of those who suffered persecution under Nazis and was urged to consider publishing it. He typed out the diary papers into a single manuscript and edited out sections he thought too personal to his family or too mundane to be of interest to the general reader. The manuscript was read by Dutch historian Jan Romein, who reviewed it on 3 April 1946, for the Het Parool newspaper. This attracted the interest of Amsterdam's Contact Publishing, and in the summer of 1946, they accepted it for publication.

On 25 June 1947, the first Dutch edition of the diary was issued under the title Het Achterhuis (meaning literally: "the back house"). Its success led to an English translation in 1952, which subsequently led to a theatrical dramatisation and a cinematic version.

Otto Frank married a former neighbor from Amsterdam and fellow Auschwitz survivor, Elfriede Geiringer (1905–1998), in Amsterdam on 10 November 1953, and both moved to Basel, Switzerland, where he had family.

In response to a demolition order placed on the building in which Otto Frank and his family had hidden during the war, he and Johannes Kleiman helped establish the Anne Frank Foundation on 3 May 1957, with the principal aim of saving and restoring the building, to allow it to be opened to the general public. With the aid of public donations, the building (and its adjacent neighbour) was purchased by the Foundation. It opened as a museum (the Anne Frank House) on 3 May 1960, and it can still be visited today.

Otto Frank died of lung cancer on 19 August 1980 in Basel

 

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Viktor Frankl

Viktor Emil Frankl M.D.Ph.D. (March 26, 1905, LeopoldstadtVienna[1] – September 2, 1997,Vienna) was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy, which is a form of Existential Analysis, the "Third Viennese School ofPsychotherapy". His best-selling book, Man's Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism, and originally published in 1946 as trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager), chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate based on his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Frankl was one of the key figures in existential therapy and a prominent source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists.

Frankl was born in Vienna into a Jewish family of civil servants (Beamtenfamilie). His interest inpsychology surfaced early. For the final exam (Matura) in Gymnasium, he wrote a paper on the psychology of philosophical thinking. After graduating from Gymnasium in 1923, he studied medicine at the University of Vienna and later specialized in neurology and psychiatry, concentrating on the topics of depression and suicide. His early development was influenced by his contacts with Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler, although he would later diverge from their teachings.

Doctor, Therapist

In 1924 he became the president of the Sozialistische Mittelschüler Österreich. In this position he offered a special program to counsel students during the time they were to receive their grades (Zeugnis). During his tenure, not a single Viennese student committed suicide. The success of this program grabbed the attention of the likes of Wilhelm Reich who invited him to Berlin.

From 1933-1937 he headed the so-called Selbstmörderpavillon, or "suicide pavilion", of the General Hospital in Vienna. Here, he treated over 30,000 women prone to suicide. Yet, starting from the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938, he was prohibited from treating "Aryan" patients due to his Jewish identity. He moved into private practice until starting work in 1940 at the Rothschild Hospital, where he headed its neurological department, and practiced as a brain surgeon. This hospital, at the time, was the only one in Vienna to which Jews were still admitted. Several times, his medical opinions saved patients from being euthanised via the Nazi euthanasia program. In December 1941 he married Tilly Grosser.

Prisoner, Therapist

On September 25, 1942 he, along with his wife, and his parents were deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. There Frankl worked as a general practitioner in a clinic until his skill in psychiatry was noticed, when he was asked to establish a special unit to help newcomers to the camp overcome shock and grief. He later set up a suicide watch unit, and all intimations of suicide were reported to him. To maintain his own feeling of being worthy of his sufferings in the dismal conditions, he would frequently march outside and deliver a lecture to an imaginary audience about "Psychotherapeutic Experiences in a Concentration Camp". He believed that by fully experiencing the suffering objectively, he would thereby end it. Though assigned to ordinary labor details until the last few weeks of the war, Frankl (assisted by Dr. Leo Baeck and Regina Jonas among others) tried to cure fellow prisoners from despondency and prevent suicide. He worked in the psychiatric care ward, headed the neurological clinic in block B IV, and established and maintained a camp service of psychic hygiene and mental care for sick and those who were weary of life. Frankl at Theresienstadt also gave lectures on topics like Sleep and Its Disturbances, Body and Soul, Medical Care of Soul, Psychology of Mountaineering, Rax and Schneeberg, How I keep my nerves healthy, Existential Problems in Psychotherapy, and Social Psychotherapy. On July 29, 1943, he organized a closed event of the Scientific Society. Then, on October 19, 1944, he was transported to Auschwitz concentration camp, where he was processed and spent a number of days and then was moved to Türkheim, a Nazi concentration camp affiliated with Dachau, where he arrived on October 25, 1944, and was to spend 6 months and 2 days working as a slave-labourer. Meanwhile, his wife had been transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she perished; his father passed away of pulmonary edema and pneumonia in Theresienstadt camp, and his mother was sent to Auschwitz from Theresienstadt and perished as well.

On April 27, 1945, Frankl was liberated by the Americans. Among his immediate relatives, the only survivor was his sister, who had escaped by emigrating to Australia.

It was due to his and others' suffering in these camps that he came to his hallmark conclusion that even in the most absurd, painful and dehumanized situation, life has potential meaning and that therefore even suffering is meaningful. This conclusion served as a strong basis for Frankl's logotherapy. An example of Frankl's idea of finding meaning in the midst of extreme suffering is found in his account of an experience he had while working in the harsh conditions of the Auschwitz concentration camp:

... We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large puddles, along the one road leading from the camp. The accompanying guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their rifles. Anyone with very sore feet supported himself on his neighbor's arm. Hardly a word was spoken; the icy wind did not encourage talk. Hiding his mouth behind his upturned collar, the man marching next to me whispered suddenly: "If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don't know what is happening to us."

That brought thoughts of my own wife to mind. And as we stumbled on for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew: each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife's image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise.

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth -- that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way—an honorable way—in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, "The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite

glory...." 

Another important conclusion for Frankl was:

If a prisoner felt that he could no longer endure the realities of camp life, he found a way out in his mental life– an invaluable opportunity to dwell in the spiritual domain, the one that the SS were unable to destroy. Spiritual life strengthened the prisoner, helped him adapt, and thereby improved his chances of survival.

Frankl's concentration camp experiences thus shaped both his therapeutic approach and philosophical outlook, as reflected in his seminal publications. He often said that even within the narrow boundaries of the concentration camps he found only two races of men to exist: decent and unprincipled ones. These were to be found in all classes, ethnicities, and groups. Following this line of thinking, he once recommended that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast of the United States be complemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast, and there are reportedly plans to construct such a statue.

Frankl's approach is often considered to be amongst the broad category that comprises existentialists. Frankl, "who has devoted his career to a study of an existential approach to therapy, has apparently concluded that the lack of meaning is the paramount existential stress. To him, existential neurosis is synonymous with a crisis of meaninglessness".

He is thought to have coined the term Sunday Neurosis referring to a form of depression resulting from an awareness in some people of the emptiness of their lives once the working week is over. This arises from an existential vacuum, which Frankl distinguished from existential neurosis.

The existential vacuum - or, as he sometimes terms it, "existential frustration" - is a common phenomenon and is characterised by the subjective state of boredom, apathy, and emptiness. One feels cynical, lacks direction and questions the point of most of life's activities. Some complain of a void and a vague discontent when the busy week is over (the "Sunday neurosis").

Life after 1945

Liberated after three years in concentration camps, he returned to Vienna. During 1945 he wrote his world-famous book titled ...trotzdem ja zum Leben sagen (Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager) (translated: "...saying yes to life in spite of everything; A Psychologist Experiences the Concentration Camp)", known in English by the title Man's Search for Meaning. In this book, he described the life of an ordinary concentration camp inmate from the objective perspective of a psychiatrist.

Shortly after the war he voiced the opinion of reconciliation. In 1946 he was appointed to run the Vienna Polyclinic of Neurology. He remained there until 1971. In 1947 he married his second wife Eleonore Katharina Schwindt. She was a practicing Catholic and the couple respected each other's religious backgrounds, going to both church and synagogue, and celebrating Christmas and Hanukah. They had one daughter, Gabriele, who went on to become a child psychologist. In 1955 he was awarded a professorship of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna, and as visiting professor, he resided at Harvard University.

In the post-war years, Frankl published more than 32 books (many were translated into 10 to 20 languages) and is most notable as the founder of logotherapy. (Logos, λ?γος, is Greek for wordreasonprinciple; therapy, θεραπε?ω, means I heal.) He lectured and taught seminars all over the world and received 29 honorary doctorate degrees, among them, one from Universidad Francisco Marroquín due to Frankl's contribution to individual freedom. This institution also named his psychological clinic after him.

Frankl died on September 2, 1997, of heart failure. He was survived by his wife Eleonore, his daughter Dr. Gabriele Frankl-Vesely, his grandchildren Katharina and Alexander, and his great-granddaughter Anna Viktoria.

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Richard Glazar

Richard Glazar 

(November 29, 1920 – December 20, 1997,

Born Richard Goldschmid) was a Czech Jew who lived through World War II, one of only a few survivors of the Treblinka death camp. He portrayed the horror of Treblinka to the world in his book Trap with a Green Fence.

Glazar was born in PragueCzechoslovakia. His family was Jewish-Bohemian, his father having served in the Austro-Hungarian army. As such, the family spoke both Czech and German — a skill that would stand him in good stead later in life. In 1932 Glazar’s parents divorced. His mother married a wealthy leather merchant, Quido Bergmann and four years later they had two children, Karel and Adolf. Karel died in the Austrian concentration camp at Mauthausen on May 17, 1942. Adolf was captured by the Nazis, but later rescued by the Danish Red Cross. Hugo, Glazar’s father, died of pneumonia in the Soviet Union, to where he had escaped from Nisko in the General Government of Poland. 1100 Czech Jews had been deported there by the Nazis in 1939. The only member of his family still alive when he returned to Prague in 1945 was his mother, who had survived both Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.

Early life and Terezin

Richard Glazar was accepted into the Charles University of Prague in June 1939. He was originally enrolled as a philosophy student, but anti-Jewish legislation after the German occupation forced him into a course reading economics. His entire family had the chance to move to England at Christmas in 1938, when his stepfather obtained a permit. Glazar however did not take this opportunity, as he did not want to leave behind all that he had built up in Czechoslovakia. At this stage there could have been little understanding of the horrors that were to occur in the coming years.

On November 17 1939, all Czech universities were closed until the end of the war following student demonstrations against the execution of a number of their fellow students. This terrible act would have been one of the Glazar family’s first warnings of the horrific events to follow, and fearing for his safety, his family sent him to a farm outside Prague in 1940. Glazar stayed there for two years. But on September 12, 1942 he was transported to the Nazi concentration camp or ghetto at Theresienstadt (previously the fortified town of Terezin. It was located 35 miles north of Prague). Following the German occupation of the rest of Czechoslovakia on March 15 1939, Theresienstadt became a holding area for transports to other concentration camps, such as Auschwitz.

In Terezin, Glazar met Karl Unger who became a close friend. He was to stay in Terezin for only one month, before he and Unger were transported to Treblinka on October 8, 1942.

Treblinka

Glazar describes his arrival at Treblinka: “We were taken to the barracks. The whole place stank. Piled high in a jumbled mass were all the things people could conceivably have brought……As I worked I asked him: ‘What’s going on? Where are the ones who stripped?’ He yelled in Yiddish: ‘Dead! All Dead!’”

New arrivals to Treblinka were told to strip so that they could go to the disinfectant baths. Herded into communal “baths”, gas was pumped in instead of water — an efficient method of mass extermination. About a month after Glazar arrived in Treblinka, as an alternative to mass burial, the burning of bodies began. Glazar and Unger were “fortunate” that the commandant of the camp, Franz Stangl, had decided to train some inmates as workers to sort the belongings of those sent to the gas chambers. Glazar’s command of both the Czech and German languages may have helped him to secure one of these jobs. Packs of clothes were sent to Germany or to the fighting fronts, gold from teeth was extracted and added to coins and jewelry Jews had brought with them and added to the wealth of the Reich. Food and luxuries helped sustain both the German guards and any workers who could steal them. Glazar and Unger were to spend the next several months working in the camp, knowing that they were working for a cause that killed thousands of their people every month.

From January to March 1943, no transports came into the camp. The captives had virtually no food. This would have brought a horrible realisation to these Jewish workers that their lives depended entirely on the transports arriving regularly: their own survival depended on the ongoing deaths of their fellow countrymen, for food and clothing.

It was this kind of knowledge that drove them so hard to try and escape, as it would help to bring down the death camp, because with no Jews to do their work, the Nazis would have a lot more trouble running such camps so efficiently. The first escape attempt was planned for January 1943, and was code-named “The Hour”. The idea was that at a specified time, all those working for the camp would attack the SS and Ukrainian guards, steal their weapons and attack the camp Kommandantur. Unfortunately, this did not go ahead as typhus broke out and many inmates either died, were hospitalized or were too sick to participate. The escape that actually worked was slightly less violent and ambitious. On August 2, 1943, men broke out through a damaged gate during a prisoner’s revolt. While most of the escapees were arrested close to the camp, Glazar and Unger fled from the area and made their way across Poland.

It is quite surprising that Nazi security allowed this to happen, as they would have known the importance of containing all of the captives who may have been able to pass on vital information on the inner workings of the camps. While on the run, Glazar and Unger were arrested by a forester, but they managed to convince him that they were Czechs working for “Organisation Todt” (a Nazi construction and engineering group in Poland). Both men were later sent to Mannheim, in Germany, to work for Heinrich Lanz as immigrant workers, using incorrect papers.

Life After the War

Following the end of the war, when Glazar and Unger were liberated by the Americans, Glazar attended the trials of many of the Nazis concerned with Treblinka, including Franz Stangl. Glazar also went on to study in Prague, Paris, and London, and received a degree in economics — the field he had been forced into by anti-Jewish legislation in 1939. In 1968 he and his family moved to Switzerland after the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the armies of the Warsaw Pact. Glazar also helped Michael Peters, the founder of the Aktion Reinhard Camps (ARC, a network of private Holocaust researchers), build a model of the Treblinka death camp.

Glazar committed suicide on December 20, 1997 by jumping out of a window in Prague after the death of his wife, leaving the model incomplete.

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Victor Klemperer

Victor Klemperer 

(9 October 1881 – 11 February 1960)

Was a businessman, journalist and eventually a Professor of Literature, specialising in the French Enlightenment at theTechnische Universität Dresden. His diaries detailing his life under successive German states—the German Empire, the Weimar RepublicNazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic—were published in 1995. His recollections on the Third Reich have since become standard sources; extensively quoted by Saul FriedlanderMichael Burleigh and Richard J. Evans

Klemperer was born in Landsberg an der Warthe (now Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland) to aJewish family. His father was a rabbi {Dr. Wilhelm Klemperer and wife Henriette born Frankel}, cousin to conductor Otto Klemperer and brother to the surgeon Georg Klemperer, a personal physician to Lenin. He was a second cousin of actor Werner Klemperer through Otto, Werner's father.

Victor Klemperer attended several Gymnasien. He was a student of philosophy, Romanceand German studies at universities in Munich, Geneva, Paris and Berlin from 1902 to 1905 and later worked as a journalist and writer in Berlin until he continued his studies in Munich from 1912. He completed his doctorate in 1913 and was habilitated under the supervision ofKarl Vossler in 1914. From 1914 to 1915, Klemperer lectured in Naples, after which he became a decorated military volunteer of World War I.

In Nazi Germany

Notwithstanding his conversion to Protestantism in 1912 and his strong identification with German culture, which he regarded as his own culture, Klemperer's life started to worsen considerably after the Nazi rise to power in 1933.

He kept a diary, which, from 1933 through the end of the war, provides an exceptional historical and humane document of the day-to-day account of life under the tyranny of the Third Reich. Two of the three published volumes of his diaries, "I shall bear witness" and "To the bitter end," concern this period. This diary also insightfully details the Nazis' perversion of the German language for propaganda purposes, which Klemperer would use as the basis for his later book LTI - Lingua Tertii Imperii.

Chiefly, Klemperer's diary chronicles the daily life of restricted Jews during the Nazi terror, including the onset of a succession of prohibitions concerning many aspects of everyday existence (e.g., finances, transportation, medical care, the maintenance and use of household help, food and diet, and the possession of appliances, newspapers, and other items). Particularly harrowing are accounts of 'suicides', household searches, and evacuations of friends, mostly to Theresienstadt. (In one May 1942 passage, the Klemperers are forced to put down their household cat, a tomcat named Maschel, because of a restriction on pets.) In addition, the diary hints at the profound paucity of information Klemperer and his fellow victims had available to them concerning the nature of atrocities being conducted in places such as Theresienstadt following transports and evacuations.

From 1935, under the Nuremberg Laws of Citizenship and Race, Klemperer was stripped of his academic title, job, citizenship and freedom and eventually forced to work in a factory and as a day laborer. (In some passages, Klemperer writes of being made to work shoveling snow with a bad heart.) Since his wife, Eva, was "Aryan," Klemperer dodged deportation for most of the war, but in 1940 he was rehoused under miserable conditions in a ghetto (Judenhaus), where he was routinely questioned, mistreated and humiliated by the Gestapo. In the diary, the much-feared Gestapo is seen carrying out daily, humiliating, and brutal house searches, delivering beatings, hurling insults, and robbing inhabitants of coveted foodstuffs and other household items.

Flight

On 13 February 1945, the day preceding the night bombing of Dresden, he assisted in delivering notices of deportation to some of the last remaining members of the Jewish community in Dresden. Fearful that he too would soon be sent to his death he used the confusion created by Allied bombings that night to remove his yellow star, join a refugee column, and escape into American-controlled territory. He and his wife survived and Klemperer's diary narrates their return (largely on foot through Bavaria and Eastern Germany) to their house in Dölzschen, on the outskirts of Dresden. They managed to reclaim the house, which had been "aryanised" under the Nazis.

Post-war

Klemperer went on to become a significant post-war cultural figure in East Germany, lecturing at the universities of GreifswaldBerlin andHalle. He became a delegate of the Cultural Union in the GDR Parliament (Volkskammer) in 1950.

Klemperer's diary was published in 1995 as Tagebücher (Berlin, Aufbau). It was an immediate literary sensation and rapidly became a bestseller in Germany. An English translation has appeared in three volumes: I Will Bear Witness (1933 to 1941), To The Bitter End (1942 to 1945) and The Lesser Evil (1945 to 1959).

In 1995, Victor Klemperer was posthumously awarded the Geschwister-Scholl-Preis for his work, Ich will Zeugnis ablegen bis zum letzten. Tagebücher 1933–1945.

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Jan Komski

Jan Komski 

(February 3, 1915 in Bircza - July 20, 2002 in Arlington County, Virginia) was a Polish painter. He studied painting, anatomy, and art history at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts.[2]

During World War II, he worked in the resistance movement. In 1940 he fled Poland and headed toward France to join Sikorski's Army that was being formed there. However, he was arrested at the border of Czechoslovakia and imprisoned in Nowy S?cz and Tarnów before being sent to Auschwitz I in the first prisoner transport to that concentration camp. He was given prisoner number 564 under the name Jon Bara?, due to the forged identification papers he was carrying when arrested.[3]

On December 29, 1942, he escaped Auschwitz I with three other prisoners: Mieczyslaw JanuszewskiBoleslaw Kuczbara, and Otto Küsel.[3]Sixteen days later he was recaptured on a train heading toward Warsaw. Fortunately, he used a false name in his first arrest, as the Germans would have executed him on the spot had they known he was an Auschwitz escapee. He was sent to Montelupich Prison and from there back to Auschwitz II where he was given the prisoner number 152,884. During the last few years of World War II he was moved toBuchenwald, then to Gross-RosenHersbruck and finally Dachau where he was liberated on April 29, 1945 by the United States Army.

After the war, he lived in Displaced Persons camps in Bavaria and Munich, where he married another Auschwitz survivor. They moved to theUnited States in 1949. In the U.S., he worked as a graphic artist with The Washington Post. Over the years, he created many drawings and paintings of life in a concentration camp.

 

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Jerzy Kosinski

Jerzy Kosi?ski (Polish pronunciation: [?j??? k???i?sk?i]; June 14, 1933 – May 3, 1991), bornJózef Lewinkopf, was an award-winning Polish-American novelist, and two-time President of the American Chapter of P.E.N.

He was known for various novels, among them The Painted Bird (1965) and Being There(1971). Being There was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film in 1979.

Kosi?ski, who was Jewish, was born Józef Lewinkopf in ?ód?, Poland. As a child during World War II, he lived in central Poland under a false identity, Jerzy Kosi?ski, which his father gave to him. A Roman Catholic priest issued him a forged baptismal certificate. The Kosi?ski family survived the Holocaust thanks to local villagers who offered assistance to Jewish Poles, often at great personal risk (the penalty for assisting Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland was death). Kosi?ski's father received help not only from Polish town leaders and churchmen, but also from individuals such as Marianna Pasiowa, a member of the Polish underground network helping Jews evade capture. The family lived openly inD?browa Rzeczycka near Stalowa Wola, and attended church in nearby Wola Rzeczycka, obtaining support from villagers in K?pa Rzeczycka. They were sheltered temporarily by a Catholic family in Rzeczyca Okr?g?a. The young Jerzy even served as an altar boy in a local church.

After World War II, Kosi?ski remained with his parents in Poland, moved to Jelenia Góra, and by the age of 22 earned two graduate degreesin history and sociology at the University of ?ód?. He worked as an associate professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Kosinski also studied in the Soviet Union, and served as a sharpshooter in the Polish Army.

To emigrate to the United States in 1957, he created a fake foundation which supposedly sponsored him. He later claimed that he forged the letters from eminent Polish communist authorities guaranteeing his loyal return, which were needed for anyone leaving the communist country at that time.

After taking odd jobs to get by, such as driving a truck, Kosi?ski graduated from Columbia University. In 1965, he became an American citizen. He received grants from Guggenheim Fellowship in 1967, Ford Foundation in 1968, and the American Academy in 1970. The grants allowed him to write a political non-fiction book that opened new doors of opportunity. In the United States he became a lecturer at Yale,PrincetonDavenport University, and Wesleyan.

In 1962, Kosi?ski married American steel heiress Mary Hayward Weir. They were divorced in 1966, and after Weir died in 1968 from brain cancer, Kosi?ski was left nothing in her will. He later fictionalized this marriage in his novel Blind Date, speaking of Weir under pseudonym Mary–Jane Kirkland. Kosi?ski went on to marry Katherina "Kiki" von Fraunhofer, a marketing consultant and descendant of Bavarianaristocracy.

Death

Kosi?ski suffered from multiple illnesses at the end of his life, and was under attack from journalists who accused him of plagiarism. By the time he reached his late 50s, he was suffering from an irregular heartbeat as well as severe physical and nervous exhaustion.

Kosi?ski committed suicide on May 3, 1991, by wrapping a plastic bag around his head and suffocating to death. His suicide note read: "I am going to put myself to sleep now for a bit longer than usual. Call it Eternity.

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Olga Lengyel

Olga Lengyel 

(October 19, 1908–April 15, 2001)

Was a Romanian woman who became a prisoner at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, and later wrote about her experiences in her book Five Chimneys.

Life and career

Olga Lengyel was a trained surgical assistant in ClujRomania, working in the hospital where her husband, Dr. Miklos Lengyel, was director. She was deported with her husband, parents and children to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, south-west Poland, in the spring of 1944. She was the only member of the family to survive. She wrote about her experiences in the Holocaust in her autobiography, Five Chimneys, first published in 1947. After the war, she emigrated to the United States. According to the website of the Memorial Library, Olga founded the Memorial Library, located at 58 East 79th Street, which was chartered by the University of the State of New York. Olga died in 2001 at the age of 93, having battled and survived three separate bouts of cancer.

In 2006, the Memorial Library began the Holocaust Educator Network, a national program for teachers interested in and committed to Holocaust education, especially in rural schools and small towns, in a partnership with the National Writing Project's Rural Sites Network. The program is directed by Dr. Sondra Perl, author of On Austrian Soil: Teaching Those I Was Taught to Hate.

 

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Robert Maxwell

Ian Robert Maxwell MC

 (10 June 1923 – 5 November 1991)

Was a Czechoslovakian-born British media proprietor and former Member of Parliament (MP), who rose from poverty to build an extensive publishing empire. His death revealed huge discrepancies in his companies' finances, including the Mirror Group pension fund, which Maxwell had fraudulently misappropriated.

Robert Maxwell was born Ján Ludvík Hoch into a poor Yiddish-speaking Jewish family in the small town of Slatinské Doly (now SolotvinoUkraine) in the easternmost province of pre-World War II Czechoslovakia. His parents were Mechel Hoch and Hannah Slomowitz. He had six siblings. In 1939, the area was reclaimed by Hungary. Most members of his family died in Auschwitz after Hungary was occupied in 1944 by its former ally, Nazi Germany, but he had already escaped, arriving in Britain in 1940 as a 17-year-old refugee.

Maxwell joined the British Army Pioneer Corps in 1941 and transferred to the North Staffordshire Regiment in 1943. He was involved in action across Europe from the Normandy beaches toBerlin, and achieved the rank of sergeant. He gained a commission in 1945 and was promoted to captain. In January 1945 he received the Military Cross from Field Marshal Montgomery. It was during this time that British Intelligence changed his name several times, finally settling on Ian Robert Maxwell.

In 1945 he married Elisabeth "Betty" Meynard, a French Protestant with whom he had nine children with the goal of "recreating the family he lost in the Holocaust". Five of his children were later employed within his companies. Two met with tragedy; his three-year-old daughter Karine died of leukemia; and his eldest son, Michael, was severely injured in 1961 at the age of 15 after being driven home from a post-Christmas party when his driver fell asleep at the wheel. Michael never regained consciousness and died seven years later.

After the war, Maxwell first worked as a newspaper censor for the British military command in Berlin in Allied-occupied Germany. Later, he used various contacts in the Allied occupation authorities to go into business, becoming the British and United States distributor for Springer Verlag, a publisher of scientific books. In 1951 he bought three quarters of Butterworth-Springer, a minor publisher; the remaining quarter was held by the experienced scientific editor Paul Rosbaud. They changed the name of the company to Pergamon Press and rapidly built it into a major publishing house.

Member of Parliament

In 1964, representing the Labour Party, he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Buckingham. He was re-elected in 1966, but lost in 1970 to the Conservative William Benyon.

Business activities

Maxwell established the Maxwell Foundation in Liechtenstein in 1970. In 1974 he reacquired PPL  Maxwell acquired the British Printing Corporation (BPC) in 1981, and changed its name to the British Printing and Communication Corporation (BPCC) and then to the Maxwell Communications Corporation. The company was later sold in a management buy-out, and is now known as Polestar. In July 1984 Maxwell acquired Mirror Group Newspapers from Reed International plc. MGN published the Daily Mirror, a pro-Labour Party tabloid newspaper. He also bought the American interests of the Macmillan publishing house.

By the 1980s Maxwell's various companies owned the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror, the Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail and several other newspapers, Pergamon Press, Nimbus Records, Collier books, Maxwell Directories, Prentice Hall Information Services, Macmillan (US) publishing, and the Berlitz language schools. He also owned a half-share of MTV in Europe and other European television interests, Maxwell Cable TV and Maxwell Entertainment. In 1987 Maxwell purchased part of IPC Media to create Fleetway Publications.

In June 1985, Maxwell announced a takeover of Sir Clive Sinclair's ailing home computer company, Sinclair Research, through Hollis Brothers, a Pergamon Press subsidiary. However the deal was aborted in August 1985.

Maxwell's links with Eastern European totalitarian regimes resulted in a number of biographies (generally considered to be hagiographies) of those countries' then leaders, with interviews conducted by Maxwell, for which he received much derision.

Maxwell was also well known as the chairman of Oxford United Football Club, saving them from bankruptcy and leading them into the top flight of English football, winning the League Cup in 1986. Maxwell bought into Derby County F.C. in 1987. He also attempted to buyManchester United in 1984, but refused owner Martin Edwards' asking price.

Controversy

In 1969 Saul Steinberg, head of "Leasco Data Processing Corporation", was interested in a strategic acquisition of Pergamon. Steinberg claimed that during negotiations Maxwell had falsely stated that a subsidiary responsible for publishing encyclopedias was extremely profitable. This led to an inquiry by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under the Takeover Code of the time; at the same time the U.S. Congress was investigating Leasco's takeover practices. The DTI inquiry reported: "We regret having to conclude that, notwithstanding Mr Maxwell's acknowledged abilities and energy, he is not in our opinion a person who can be relied on to exercise proper stewardship of a publicly quoted company." It was found that Maxwell had contrived to maximise Pergamon's share price through transactions between his private family companies. This caused Maxwell to lose control of Pergamon in the United Kingdom—but not in the United States, where Steinberg purchased Pergamon. Justice Forbes in September 1971 was critical of the inquiry, "They had moved from an inquisitorial role to accusatory one and virtually committed the business murder of Mr. Maxwell." He further continued that the trial judge would probably find that the "inspectors had acted contrary to the rules of national justice."  The company performed poorly under Steinberg; Maxwell resumed control of Pergamon, returned it to profitability, and eventually sold the company to Reed Elsevier in 1991.

Maxwell was known to be litigious against those who would speak or write against him. The satirical magazine Private Eye lampooned him as "Cap'n Bob" and the "bouncing Czech", the latter nickname having originally been devised by Prime Minister Harold Wilson (under whom Maxwell was an MP). Maxwell took out several libel actions against Private Eye, one resulting in the magazine losing an estimated £225,000 and Maxwell using his commercial power to hit back with a one-off spoof magazine Not Private Eye.

In 1988, Maxwell purchased Macmillan, Inc., the American publishing firm, for $2.6 billion, which by some estimates was over three times its value. In the same year he launched an ambitious new project, a transnational newspaper called The European. However, in the following year he was forced to sell his successful Pergamon Press and Maxwell Directories to Elsevier for £440 million to cover his massive debts, but he used some of this money to buy the ailing New York Daily News. At the time, he was hailed in New York City as the man who "saved the Daily News."

Headington Hill Hall

Robert Maxwell lived in Headington for the last 32 years of his life. He rented Headington Hill Hall from Oxford City Council, and while he described it as "the best council house" in the country, other people jocularly called it "Maxwell House". He also operated his publishing business, Pergamon Press, from buildings in the grounds of the Hall, and the Maxwell helicopter was a frequent sight over the Headington area. In March 1991 Maxwell sold the press to Elsevier, but it retained offices on the site.

Death

On 5 November 1991, at the age of 68, Maxwell was presumed to have fallen overboard from his luxury yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, which was cruising off the Canary Islands, and his body was subsequently found floating in the Atlantic Ocean. He was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The official ruling was death by accidental drowning. Some commentators have alleged suicide, others that he was murdered.

Then Prime Minister, John Major, said Maxwell had given him 'valuable insights' into the situation in the Soviet Union during the attempted coup. He was a 'great character', Major added. Neil Kinnock, then Labour Party leader, spoke of him as a man with "a zest for life" who "attracted controversy, envy and loyalty in great measure throughout his rumbustious life." It was later alleged[according to whom?] that Maxwell had been financing the Labour leader's private office and that Maxwell was an agent of MI6, the United Kingdom's Secret Intelligence Service.[citation needed]

Israeli connection

Shortly before Maxwell's death, a former Mossad officer named Ari Ben-Menashe had approached a number of news organisations in Britain and the United States with the allegation that Maxwell and the Daily Mirror's foreign editor, Nick Davies, were both long time agents for theIsrael intelligence service, Mossad. Ben-Menashe also claimed that in 1986 Maxwell had tipped off the Israeli Embassy in London thatMordechai Vanunu had given information about Israel's nuclear capability to the Sunday Times, then to the Daily Mirror. Vanunu was subsequently lured from London to Rome where he was kidnapped and returned to Israel, convicted of treason and imprisoned for 18 years.

No news organisation would publish Ben-Menashe's story at first but eventually the New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh repeated some of the allegations during a press conference in London held to publicise The Samson Option, Hersh's book about Israel's nuclear weapons. On 21 October 1991, two Members of ParliamentLabour MP George Galloway and Conservative MP Rupert Allason (who writes books on the world of espionage under the pseudonym Nigel West) agreed to raise the issue in the House of Commons (under Parliamentary Privilegeprotection,) which in turn allowed British newspapers to report events without fear of libel suits. Maxwell called the claims "ludicrous, a total invention," and sacked Nick Davies.[

The close proximity of his death to these allegations heightened interest in Maxwell's relationship with Israel, and the Daily Mirror published claims that he was assassinated by Mossad after he attempted to blackmail them.

Maxwell was given a funeral in Israel better befitting a head of state than a publisher, as described by author Gordon Thomas:

On 10 November 1991, Maxwell’s funeral took place on the Mount of Olives Har Zeitim in Jerusalem, across from the Temple Mount. It had all the trappings of a state occasion, attended by the country’s government and opposition leaders. No fewer than six serving and former heads of the Israeli intelligence community listened as Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized: "He has done more for Israel than can today be said" (Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, St. Martin's Press, 1999).

A hint of Maxwell's service to the Israeli state was provided by Loftus and Aarons, who described Maxwell's contacts with Czech anti-Stalinist Communist leaders in 1948 as crucial to the Czech decision to arm Israel in their War of Independence that year. Czech military assistance was both unique and crucial for the fledgling state as it battled for its existence. It was Maxwell's covert help in smuggling aircraft parts into Israel that led to the Jewish state having air supremacy during their 1948 War of Independence. Jewish leaders were also grateful for Maxwell's intervention and material help in securing the freedom and immigration between 1988–1991 of over one million Russian Jews through his friendship with Mikhail Gorbachev. Over seven hundred thousand Russian Jews emigrated to Israel.

Others have linked Shamir's cryptic statement to Maxwell's having told the Israeli government that Mordechai Vanunu had leaked details of Israel's secret nuclear weapons programme to Maxwell's Sunday Mirror newspaper, prompting them to kidnap Vanunu.

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Arnulf Øverland

Ole Peter Arnulf Øverland 

(27 April 1889 - 25 March 1968)

was a Norwegian author born in Kristiansund and raised in Bergen. His works include Berget det blå (1927) and Hustavler (1929).

Øverland was a communist from the early 1920s, but changed his stand in 1937, partly as an expression of dissent against the ongoingMoscow Trials. He was an avid opponent of Nazism and in 1936 he wrote the poem "Du må ikke sove" ("Dare not to sleep!" printed in the journal Samtiden. It ends with "Jeg tenkte: Nu er det noget som hender. Vår tid er forbi - Europa brenner" ("I weighed: Something is imminent - and it’s dire Our era is over — Europe’s on fire!"). The probably most famous line of the poem is "Du må ikke tåle så inderlig vel den urett som ikke rammer deg selv!" ("You cannot permit it! You dare not, at all. Accepting that outrage on all else may fall!")

In 1933, Øverland was tried for blasphemy after giving a speech named Kristendommen - den tiende landeplage ("Christianity - the tenthplague"), but was acquitted.

During the German occupation of Norway from 1940 in World War II, he wrote a series of poems which were clandestinely distributed, leading to the arrest of him and his wife Margrete Aamot Øverland. Arnulf Øverland was held first in the prison camp of Grini before being transferred toSachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany.

The poems were later collected in Vi overlever alt ("We survive everything") (1945).

After the war, Øverland became a noted supporter for the conservative written form of Norwegian called Riksmål, he was president ofRiksmålsforbundet (an organization in support of Riksmål) from 1947 to 1956, playing an important role in the Norwegian language struggle in the post-war era.

In addition, Øverland adhered to the traditionalist style of writing, criticising modernist poetry on several occasions. His speech Tungetale fra parnasset, published in Arbeiderbladet in 1954, initiated the so-called Glossolalia debate.


“ What can you own, when life itself is a loan?

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Dan Pagis

Dan Pagis (born on October 16, 1930 – died on July 29, 1986) was an Israeli poet, lecturer andholocaust survivor.[1][2] He was born in R?d?u?iBukovina in Romania and imprisoned as a child in a concentration camp in Ukraine. He escaped in 1944 and in 1946 arrived safely in Israel where he became a schoolteacher in a kibbutz.

He earned his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he later taught Medieval Hebrew Literature.[3] His first published book of poetry was Sheon ha-Tsel ("The Shadow Clock") in 1959. In 1970 he published a major work entitled Gilgul – which may be translated as "Revolution, cycle, transformation, metamorphosis, metempsychosis," etc. Other poems include: "Written in Pencil in the Sealed Railway-Car," "Testimony, "Europe, Late," "Autobiography," and "Draft of a Reparations Agreement." Pagis knew many languages, and translated multiple works of literature.

He died in Israel on July 29, 1986, after a battle with cancer.

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Prežihov Voranc

Prežihov Voranc 

(10 August 1893 – 18 February 1950)

was the pen name of Lovro Kuhar, a Slovene writer and Communist political activist. Voranc's literary reputation was established during the 1930s with a series of Slovene novels and short stories in the social realist style, notable for their depictions of poverty in rural and industrial areas of Slovenia. His most important novels are Požganica (1939) and Doberdob (1940)

Prežihov Voranc was born as Lovro Kuhar in Podgora near Kotlje, a Slovene-speaking village inCarinthia, then part of Austria-Hungary. He was the son of tenant farmers who later acquired their own land. His younger brother, Alojzij Kuhar, became a renowned liberal conservativepolitician and historian. His pen name is a typical folk formulation derived from the oeconym of the farm the family lived on (the Prežih farm) plus the Carninthian dialect form of the nameLovrenc (or Lovro); thus, Prežihiov Voranc literally means 'Lovro from the Prežih farm'.

The steep mountain slopes of his homeland were hard to farm, and Voranc consistently returned to his childhood of drudgery and fortitude. He received little formal education beyond primary (elementary) school and later a course in co-operative management. He was, however, a man who wished to educate himself and for much of his life he self studied and read voraciously.

In 1909, Voranc's first published work appeared in the Slovene magazine Doma?i Prijatelj, edited by the writer Zofka Kveder. It was the first of many short stories for the magazine usually depicting the lives of farm labourers and rural characters from his Carinthian homeland. Between 1911 and 1912, Voranc spent time in Trieste where he became more political aware writing of the travails of social misfits and unemployed drifters for the Social-Democrat newspaper Zarja 

[edit]Service in World War One

At the outbreak of World War I, he was immediately drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army. He saw action and was captured in 1916 spending the remainder of the war in POW camps in Italy. As a soldier he continued writing often about the psychology of soldiers in warfare drawing on his surroundings and depicting the lives of the soldiers that he knew and with whom he had fought.

Political activism

Voranc was released in 1919 and returned to a Carinthia that was in political and cultural ferment. He took a job in the offices of a workers' co-operative at the steelworks in Guštajn. He became increasingly radicalized and a supporter of Carinthian political integration into the newly formed Yugoslav state. He continued to write, and in 1925 he published his first short story Povesti. It was not especially well received by the intelligentsia in Ljubljana; one review dismissed the work as by "talented proletarian, a self-taught writer." Nevertheless it contains "elements that were later to develop into his highly acclaimed style"

In 1930 his political activism and Communist sympathies resulted in a threat of arrest and Voranc absented himself from Carinthia and moved to Vienna and from there, Prague in 1931 and hence to Berlin in 1932. What appears to have been a period of instability in his life was also a period of active collaboration with other socialists in Europe and during the early thirties he also visited RomaniaBulgariaGreeceNorway, and France. He edited the magazine Delo in Vienna from 1932 to 1934 but fell foul of the Austrian authorities, who imprisoned him in 1937. In the years immediately before the Second World War Voranc was working in Paris as a librarian mixing with other political emigres.

Sodobnost

In 1933, a new left wing literary review was founded in Slovenia, called Sodobnost, propagating socialist views. Voranc' themes of social realism quickly found favor with the new review's editors, Josip VidmarFran Albreht and Ferdo Kozak. The changing socio-economic conditions of the 1930s necessitated writers who could convey social realism, who could argue and inform and represent the lives of working class people . Voranc' contributions to Sodobnost established his literary reputation when he was already in his forties. His first story Boj na požiralniku ,(in 1982 made into a film of the same title) exhibits Voranc’s unique style: realistic events of Slovenian life are described within the context of an impressionistic landscape. The characters are as large as the landscape in which they live and their language in vernacular and realistic. The story focuses on a downtrodden family who are in part despised by their better off neighbors , one of whom describes then as ‘polecats’. The family exists on the margins of Slovenian society , toiling the land in an endless fight for survival which some of them fail to achieve. Voranc depicts death and children fighting to survive into adulthood. Boj na požiralniku caused a literary sensation and five more stories followed in the years 1935 to 39 which were later collected together as Samorastniki. All deal with peasants lives in the Carinthian mountains, a region that had rarely featured in Slovene literature. The characters speak in the vernacular of the region, they are possessed of a resilient fortitude against the strife of their lives and whilst they are often overly superstitious, egotistical and obdurate Voranc also records them as: faithful, brave, honest and possessing of a religious faith that is true and sincere.

In 1939, Sodobnost published a collection of Prežihov Voranc's works under the title Samorastiki. It included Ljubenzen na odoru (Passion Above the Precipice) and Vodnjak (The Self-Sown), available in English translations. Voranc left Paris and returned swiftly to Slovenia upon the outbreak of war living in Ljubljana and then in Mokronog. Upon his return he worked on an unfinished novel Požganica that had been started whilst he was in prison in Vienna.The novel set against the background of the end of the Great War is one of his most politically dogmatic and according to one critic 'marred by some overly naturalistic scenes, by over simplification of some characters and by political preaching' .

Later Novels Austro-Hungarian military cemetery in Doberdò commemorating the fallen of World War One

His novel Doberdob which was published in 1941 had already had a checkered past with the first two manuscripts seized or stolen. The third version is mostly a string of anecdotes and meditations on the lives of the Slovenes. It is a fiercely nationalistic novel surrounding the Battle of Doberdò. Doberdò has became the central symbolic place of the Slovene victims of World War I in part to Voranc's novel. His third novel Jamnica is set in a rural Carinthian village between the two wars at a period when the values of rural society are being challenged by increasing industrialization. It remained unpublished until 1946.

German Occupation and the Cultural Silence

In April 1941, following the invasion of Yugoslavia, Nazi Germany occupied northern Slovenia, while Ljubljana and Mokronog were occupied by the Italian troops (and then in 1943 by the Germans). Voranc feared for his life and left Slovenia once again for the Croatian capital Zagreb and then into the Bosnian countryside. However he seems to have had a change of heart and decided to return to Ljubljana for the duration of the occupation. He did not join the resistance movement but on September 11 he met clandestinely with other writers to proclaim the 'Cultural Silence' which self prohibited publication, exhibitions and performances by Slovene artists for the duration of the occupation.

As a suspected communist sympathizer Voranc was arrested in January 1943 and transported to the Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camps. He returned to Ljubljana at the end of the war sick and depressed and unable to communicate with his family and comrades. He returned to his native village in Carinthia where he ceased political activity and removed himself from the political actualities of the newly formed communist Yugoslavia. He worked on 'Solzice', an historical novel but it remained unfinished at the time of his death in Maribor in 1950.

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Jorge Semprún

Jorge Semprún Maura (Spanish pronunciation: [?xorxe sem?p?un];

10 December 1923 – 7 June 2011)

was a Spanish writer and politician who lived in France most of his life and wrote primarily in French. From 1953 to 1962, during the era of Francisco Franco, Semprún lived clandestinely in Spain working as an organizer for the exiled Communist Party of Spain, but was expelled from the party in 1964. After the death of Franco and change to a democratic government, he served as Culture Minister of Spain from 1988 to 1991. He was a screenwriter for two successive films by the Greek director Costa-GavrasZ (1969) and The Confession (1970), which dealt with the theme of persecution by governments. For his work on Z, Semprun was nominated for an Oscar. In 1996, he became the first non-French author elected to the Académie Goncourt, which awards an annual literary prize.

Jorge Semprún Maura was born in 1923 in Madrid. His mother was Susana Maura Gamazo, a daughter of Antonio Maura, who served several times as prime minister of Spain. His father José María Semprún Gurrea (1893–1966) was a liberal politician and governor in the Republic of Spain during the Spanish Civil War.

Émigrés and World War II

In the wake of Republican defeat in the Civil War, the Semprun family moved to France, and then to The Hague. His father was a diplomat in the mission of the "Spanish Republic in the Netherlands" up to the beginning of 1939. After the Netherlands officially recognized the Franco government, the family returned to France as refugees. Jorge Semprún enrolled at the Lycée Henri IV and later the Sorbonne.

During the Nazi occupation of France, as a young man Semprún joined the Francs-Tireurs et Partisans – Main-d'Œuvre Immigrée (FTP-MOI), a Resistance organization made up mostly of immigrants. After joining the Spanish Communist Party in 1942 in France, Semprun was reassigned to the Francs-Tireurs et Partisans (FTP), the Communist armed Resistance.[2] In 1943 he was arrested by the Gestapo and deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp for his role in the Resistance.

In 1945 Semprun returned to France and became an active member of the exiled Communist Party of Spain (PCE). From 1953 to 1962, he was an important organizer of the PCE's clandestine activities in Spain, using the pseudonym of Federico Sánchez. He entered the party's executive committee in 1956. In 1964 he was expelled from the party because of "differences regarding the party line," and from then on he concentrated on his writing career.


Semprun has written many novelsplays, and screenplays, for which he received several awards, including an Oscar in 1970 and the 1997Jerusalem Prize. He was a screenwriter for two successive films by the Greek director Costa-Gavras, dealing with the theme of persecution by governments, Z (1969) and The Confession (1970). For his work on Z, he was nominated for the Oscar for the best screenplay adaptation but did not win.

He was a member of the jury at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. After the change of governments in Spain, Semprun served from 1988 to 1991 as the appointed Minister of Culture.

In 1996, Semprún became the first non-French author to be elected to the Académie Goncourt, which awards an annual prize for literature written in French. In 2002, he was awarded the inaugural Ovid Prize in recognition of his entire body of work, which focuses on "tolerance and freedom of expression."

Jorge Semprún served as the honorary chairman of the Spanish branch of Action Against Hunger. He lived in Paris.

Marriage and family

Semprun married Loleh Bellon in 1949. Their son, Jaime Semprun (1947–2010), was also a writer. Then, Semprun married Colette Leloup in 1958, their sons: Dominique, Ricardo, Lourdes, Juan and Pablo.

 

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Balys Sruoga

Balys Sruoga 

(February 2, 1896, near BiržaiLithuania - October 16, 1947, Vilnius)

was aLithuanian poetplaywrightcritic, and literary theorist.

He contributed to cultural journals from his early youth. His works were published by the liberal wing of the Lithuanian cultural movement, and also in various Lithuanian newspapers and other outlets (such as Aušrin?Rygos Naujienos etc.). In 1914 he began studying literature in St. Petersburg Russia, and later in Moscow, due to World War I and the Russian Revolution. In 1921 he enrolled in the University of Munich, where he received his Ph.D for a doctoral thesis onLithuanian folklore in 1924.

After returning to Lithuania, Sruoga taught at the University of Lithuania, and established a theater seminar that eventually became a course of study. He also wrote various articles on literature. From 1930 he beganwriting dramas, first Milžino paunksm?, later Radvila Perk?nas,Baisioji naktis and Aitvaras teis?jas. In 1939 he began teaching at Vilnius University.

He wrote many dramatic works poetry during his life, but his best known work is the novel "The Forest of Gods" (Diev? miškas), based on his own life experiences as a prisoner in Nazi Germanconcentration camps, where he was sent in March 1943 together with other forty-seven Lithuanian intellectuals. Sruoga and the others were sent there after the Nazis had started a campaign against possible anti-Nazi agitation in occupied Lithuania. In The Forest of GodsBalys Sruoga revealed life in a concentration camp through the eyes of a man, whose only way to save his life and maintain his dignity was to look at all of that through irony and humor, where torturers and their victims are exposed as non-perfect human beings, being far removed from the false ideals of their political leaders. For example, "Human - is not a machine. Gets tired." - in regards to the guards beating prisoners. Originally the novel was forbidden to be published by Soviet officials, and was ultimately published posthumously ten years after the author's death, in 1957. In 1945 he returned to Vilnius and continued teaching at Vilnius University, where he wrote the dramas Paj?rio kurortas and Barbora Radvilait?.

Refusal to publish The Forest of Gods, and weak health resulting from his time in concentration camps, led to his death October 16, 1947. In 2005 film Forest of the Gods was produced based on the book.

 

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Mike Staner

Mieczyslaw (Mike) Staner 

(1924 in Krakow)- August 29, 2003 in Kraków),

was a Holocaust survivor and an author.

Mieczyslaw Staner was born in the Kraków suburb of Podgórze, and was educated first in a state Primary School and later in a Hebrew Gymnasium on Podbrzezie street in Kazimierz, the oldest Jewish Quarter in Kraków, which was founded by the late Dr. Hilfstein.

He survived the Second World War, after having lived in Kraków Ghetto and been deported to the Nazi concentration camps of Kraków-P?aszów and Mauthausen, near Linz.

After the war he completed his education and got a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He left Poland in 1954 and spent over 4 years in IsraelCanada and Australia, working as a professional Automotive Engineer with several technical engineering publications to his credit.

He retired to take care of his sickening wife and under her inspiration he became a professional writer and an international lecturer promoting his book "The Eyewitness", which was based on his own experiences of the Holocaust.

After his wife's death he returned to Poland where he devoted his energy and time to charity work.

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Igor Torkar

Igor Torkar was the pen name of Boris Fakin 

(13 October 1913 - 1 January 2004)

was a Slovenian writerplaywright and poet, most famous for his literary descriptions of Communist repression in Yugoslavia after World War II

He was born in a Slovene family in the village of Kostanjevica na Krasu, then part of the Austro-Hungarian County of Gorizia and Gradisca, now in Slovenia. He attended the prestigious Poljane Grammar School in Ljubljana. He was the classmate of Boris Kraigher, who later became an influential Communist politician, while his professors included the literary historian France Koblar, the writer Juš Kozak and the painter Božidar Jakac.

In 1932, he enrolled to the University of Ljubljana, where he studied law. He never completed his studies. He was member of several left wingstudent groups which advocated the autonomy of Slovenia within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and the democratization of the country. Among other, he led a student association that successfully fought for the construction of a new university library building in Ljubljana.

During this time, he published his first short stories and essays under the pseudonym Igor Torkar in the literary journal Sodobnost. He also wrote political satire in the satirical magazine Pavliha, some of which were censored by the authorities of the Drava Banovina.

After the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, he became an activist of the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People. He never joined thepartisan resistance, but organized the collection of supplies for the fighting units of the Slovene resistance. In 1942, he was arrested by the Italian occupation authorities, but was released after two months in prison. In 1943, he was arrested by the Nazi German occupation forces and sent to Dachau concentration camp, where he remained until the end of World War II.

After the war, he returned to Yugoslavia, where he worked as a technical manager in a chemical industry complex in Slovenia. In April 1948, he was arrested by the Yugoslav Communist authorities on false charges of pro-Nazi activity during World War II. He was put on trial at the so-called Dachau trials together with other 33 survivors from Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps who were accused of collaboration with the German Gestapo because according to the prosecution, only collaboration could explain their survival.[2] In 1949, he was sentenced to 6 years in prison, which was raised to 12 after the appeal. Torkar spent four years in prison, including two years in solitary confinement. He was released in 1952, and was prohibited to publish for two more years.

After two years of unemployment, Torkar became lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. In 1976, he rose to the position of professor of graphic technology.[3] In 1971, the High Court of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia nullified the sentence from 1949, and Torkar was acquitted of all charges.

From the 1990s onward, he became a critical commentator and observer of the democratization of Slovenia, with regular columns in the newspapers Delo and Dnevnik.

In October 2003, on the occasion of the author's 90th birthday, Slovenian National Television broadcast a documentary with the title 'Dying in Installments,' dedicated to Torkar's life story. He died on New Year's Day of 2004 in Ljubljana.

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Nelly Ben-Or

Nelly Nechama Ben-Or, also known as Nelly Ben-Or Clynes, was born in 1933 in Lwow inPoland. She is an international concert pianist and a Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she has taught the piano and the Alexander Technique since 1975. She is also a Holocaust survivor.

Ben-Or is a Polish Jew. Her father was a travelling salesman for a manufacturer of fountain pensand pencils. The family were not particularly religious, and Ben-Or studied the piano at a young age. After World War II broke out in 1939, the Ben-Ors were forced by the Gestapo to leave theirapartment and were moved to one room in an already crowded house occupied by other Jewish families. Ben-Or and her mother and sister were given false papers and taken out of the ghetto by a Jewish Czech doctor dressed as an SS officer. Before Ben-Or's father, too, could be rescued, he was taken to the notorious Janowski concentration camp, a former textiles factory in Janowska Street in Lvov and executed.

Separated from the sister, who went into hiding and who found employment as a domestic servant, Ben-Or and her mother pretended to beRoman Catholics and travelled to Warsaw where the mother worked for a Christian family for a year as a maid. Having missed the last passenger train to Warsaw, the German Station master put them on a train reserved for German Army officers. The family in Warsaw paid for Ben-Or to have piano lessons along with their own daughter. Occasionally, when people suspected they were Jews, they would be forced to move on. Following the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 Ben-Or and her mother were sent on a train to Auschwitz, but managed to escape. They were reunited with the sister after the War.

Ben-Or frequently gives talks about her experiences during the Holocaust.

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Anita Lasker-Wallfisch

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch (born 17 July 1925 in BreslauGermany (now Poland)) is a German-borncellist of world renown and is a surviving member of the Women's Orchestra in Auschwitz.

Lasker was born in Breslau (Wroc?aw)Lower Silesia, to a professional Jewish family, one of three sisters (Marianne and Renate). Her father was a lawyer; her mother a violinist. They suffereddiscrimination from 1933 but as their father had fought at the front in World War I, gaining an Iron Cross, the family felt some degree of immunity from Nazi persecution.

Marianne, the eldest sister, fled to England in 1941. In April 1942, Lasker's parents were taken away and are believed to have died near Lublin in Poland. Lasker and her sister Renate were notdeported because they were working in a paper factory. There, they met French prisoners of warand started forging papers to enable French forced labourers to cross back into France.

"I could never accept that I should be killed for what I happened to be born as, and decided to give the Germans a better reason for killing me."

In September 1942 they themselves tried to escape to France, but were arrested for forgery at Breslau station by the Gestapo. Only their suitcase, which they had already put on the train, escaped. The Gestapo were anxious about its loss, and carefully noted its size and colour.

"I had been in prison for about a year. Then one day I was called down. A suitcase has arrived: could I identify it? It was my suitcase. They stole everything, they killed everybody, but that suitcase really mattered to them. They had found the suitcase and everything was fine, though I never saw it again because it then went into the vaults of the prison and later I saw a guard wearing one of my dresses."

Anita and her sister were eventually sent to Auschwitz on separate prison trains, a far less squalid way to arrive than by cattle truck. Less dangerous, too, since there was no selection on arrival. Her membership in the 40-piece orchestra saved her as cello players were difficult to replace. The orchestra played marches as the slave labourers left the camp for each day's work and when they returned. They also gave concerts for the SS.

By October 1944, the Red Army were advancing and Auschwitz was evacuated. Anita was taken on a train with 3,000 others to Bergen-Belsen and survived six months with almost nothing to eat. After the liberation, Renate, who could speak English, became an interpreter with the British Army.

In 1946 Anita and Renata moved to Britain with the help of Marianne. Anita joined the English Chamber Orchestra, performing as both a member and as a solo artist. She toured internationally but only returned to Germany with the ECO in 1994. She is mother to Raphael Wallfisch, a cellist (born 1953). She now lives in London.

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Karel An?erl

Karel An?erl 

(11 April 1908 – 3 July 1973),

was a Czech conductor, known for his performances of contemporary music and for his interpretations of music by Czech composers. His recordings with Czech Philharmonic acquired many international awards (several times Golden Harmony Award, Grand Prix du disque, etc.) and digitalized titled, Karel An?erl Gold Edition was awarded by Grand Prix du Disque del'Académie Charles Cros.

He was born in Tu?apySouth Bohemian Region into a Jewish family. His father Leopold was a large-scale producer of liquors and spirits. After graduating from the gymnasium (primary and secondary school) in Prague (1918–24) he entered the Prague Conservatory in 1926. He studied composition, conducting, chamber music, violin and percussion. In 1931 he participated at the Munich premiere of Alois Hába's quarter-tone opera Mother. An?erl studied under Hermann Scherchen and later worked with Václav Talich, among others. In 1931 he started his conducting career with the Osvobozené divadlo theatre. During 1931-33, he markedly improved the theatre orchestra. From 1933 to 1939, he conducted for the Czechoslovak radio, but his career as a conductor was interrupted by World War II.

He was sent with his family to the Theresienstadt concentration camp (Terezín) on 12 November 1942. There, he became the leader of theTerezín String Orchestra and started to organize cultural and music life in the ghetto. His final performance was for the propaganda film Der Führer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt (The Führer Gives the Jews a City) directed, under coercion of the camp commandant Rahm, by Kurt Gerron to fool the Red Cross. The film showed An?erl conducting a work by Pavel Haas on a wooden pavilion, with flowerpots hiding the fact that many of the orchestra were barefoot. The film also featured Martin Roman's big band, the Ghetto Swingers. As soon as the film was over, Gerron, An?erl, Haas, Roman and all those who had participated in the film were herded into cattle trucks for the final transport to Auschwitzon 15 October 1944. An?erl managed to survive Auschwitz, but his wife Valy and son Jan (born in Terezín) perished in the gas chambers.

After the war, he conducted for the Prague Radio until 1950, and rose to fame when appointed (on 20 October 1950) artistic director of theCzech Philharmonic. His eighteen-year tenure with this orchestra is often regarded as its greatest period, which brought it much international recognition. In August 1968, after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, he decided to emigrate to TorontoCanada. He conducted his last two concerts with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at the Prague Spring Festival in 1969. He conducted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 1968 until his death in Toronto in 1973.

Some of his notable pupils include Brian JacksonŠt?pán Koní?ekLibor PešekJan Tausinger, and Martin Turnovský.

 

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Blaž Arni?

Blaž Arni? (31 January 1901 – 1 February 1970) was a Slovenian symphonic composer.

Born in Lu?eLower StyriaAustria-Hungary, Arni? grew up on an isolated farmstead near MountRaduha in the Kamnik Alps. He taught himself how to play the accordion, and at the age of nineteen moved to Ljubljana to study music.

Arni? studied composing at the Ljubljana Conservatory, and later (1930-1932) at the New Vienna Conservatory, under the tutelage of Professor Rudolf Nilius, with advanced composition in Warsaw,Kraków and Paris (1938-1939). He taught music at Bol on the island of Bra?Croatia (1934-1935) and in Ljubljana in Yugoslavia (1940-1943).

In 1943 Arni? was arrested for his political views, and in 1944 he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp. After World War II, he was appointed full professor of composing at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana where he taught until his death in a car crash.

Arni? wrote choral pieces, lieders, piano and chamber pieces and even film music, but he is particularly well known for his nine symphonies. The Society of Slovene Composers considers him one of the great Slovenian symphonic masters of the 20th century, "whose musical language is deeply connected to the spirit of the native soil." His music has been compared to that ofBruckner and classified as "neo-romantic realism". Arni? developed from a neo-romantic base, but avoided the dissonance of the Expressionists.

The first film that Arni? wrote music for was Partizanske bolnice v Sloveniji in 1948, a documentary about a partisan infirmary. In 1955,Milan Kumar of Triglav Film made a 452 minute film entitled Ples ?arovnic starring ballerina Stanislava Brezovar and featuring his symphonic poem by the same name.

In 2001, Slovenia issued a postage stamp in his honor.

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Thomas Buergenthal

Thomas Buergenthal (born 11 May 1934, in ?uboch?aCzechoslovakia, today Slovakia) is a former judge of the International Court of Justice. He resigned his post as of 6 September 2010. Buergenthal is returning to his position as Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at The George Washington University Law School.

Thomas Buergenthal, born to German-Jewish/Polish-Jewish parents who had moved from Germany to Czechoslovakia in 1933, grew up in the Jewish ghetto of Kielce (Poland) and later in the concentration camps at Auschwitz andSachsenhausen. After the War he lived with his mother in Göttingen. On 4 December 1951, he emigrated from Germany to the United States. He studied at Bethany College in West Virginia (graduated 1957), and received his J.D. at New York University Law School in 1960, and his LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees in international law from Harvard Law School.

Buergenthal is a specialist in international law and human rights law. Since 2000, he has served as a judge on the International Court of Justice at The Hague. During this stint amongst his judgments was regarding the legality of Israel's security wall in occupied West Bank territory. He was the only dissenting opinion on the ruling. Of the fifteen judges he was the only one who "felt the Court did not have enough factual evidence upon which to base its conclusion" Despite this he "agreed with the majority of the Court that: (i) Israel must comply with international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and (ii) Israeli colonies are illegal." Prior to his election to the International Court of Justice, he was the Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at The George Washington University Law School. He was Dean of Washington College of Law of American University from 1980 to 1985, and held endowed professorships at theUniversity of Texas and Emory University. Buergenthal served as a judge for many years, including lengthy periods on various specialized international bodies. Between 1979 and 1991, he served as a judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, including a stint as that court's president; from 1989 to 1994, he was a judge on the Inter-American Development Bank's Administrative Tribunal; in 1992 and 1993, he served on the United Nations Truth Commission for El Salvador; and from 1995 to 1999, he was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Buergenthal is the author of more than a dozen books and a large number of articles on international law, human rights and comparative law subjects. He is member of the advisory board of the Goettingen Journal of International Law.

Judge Buergenthal is a co-recipient of the 2008 Gruber Prize for Justice for his contributions to the promotion and protection of human rightsin different parts of the world, and particularly in Latin America.

His memoir, A Lucky Child, which describes his experience in various German concentration camps, has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

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Emil Fackenheim

Emil Ludwig FackenheimPh.D. (June 22, 1916 – September 18, 2003) was a noted Jewishphilosopher and Reform rabbi.

Born in HalleGermany, he was arrested by the Nazis on the night of November 9, 1938, known as Kristallnacht. Briefly interned at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp (1938–1939), he escaped with his younger brother Wolfgang to Great Britain, where his parents later joined him. Emil's older brother Ernst-Alexander, who refused to leave Germany, was killed in the Holocaust.

Held by the British as an enemy alien after the outbreak of World War II, Fackenheim was sent to Canada in 1940, where he was interned at a remote internment camp near Sherbrooke,Quebec. He was freed afterward and served as the Interim Rabbi at Temple Anshe Shalom inHamiltonOntario, from 1943 to 1948. After this he enrolled in the graduate Philosophy Department of the University of Toronto and received a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto with a dissertation on Medieval Arabic Philosophy (1945) and became Professor of Philosophy (1948–1984). He was among the original Editorial Advisors of the scholarly journal Dionysius.

Fackenheim researched the relationship of the Jews with God, believing that the Holocaust must be understood as an imperative requiring Jews to carry on Jewish existence and the survival of the State of Israel. He emigrated to Israel in 1984.

"He was always saying that continuing Jewish life and denying Hitler a posthumous victory was the 614th law," referring to the 613 mitzvotgiven to the Jews in the Torah.[5] See The 614th Commandment.

Holocaust survivor Emil Fackenheim created this concept and advocated it as what he believed to be the "614th commandment" or "614thmitzvah." The often paraphrased idea behind that name represents an imperative that people must not act in ways that validate Hitler or his beliefs. He asserted that this should be an addition to Jewish Talmudic Law, a claim that meets strong opposition in some quarters. Despite the controversy over this part of Fackenheim's claim, the content of his message is a subject of serious dialogue both within and beyond the Jewish community. Opposition to the goals of Hitler is a moral touchstone that has implications for several sensitive issues.

 

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Antoinette Feuerwerker

Antoinette Feuerwerker 

(1912–2003) was a French jurist and an active fighter in the French Resistance during the Second World War.

Antoinette (Antonia, Toni, Toibe Rochel) Gluck was born on November 24, 1912, in Antwerp(Borgherout), Belgium. She was the daughter of Paul (Pinchas) Gluck-Friedman and Henia Shipper. Her father was a direct descendant of Hasidic leaders going back to the Magid Dov Ber of Mezeritch. During World War I, the family moved from Poland to Belgium, and from there to Switzerland where her three siblings, Rose Warfman, Hedwig [Heidi], and Salomon Gluckwere born, then to Germany, and finally to France, where they became citizens. Feuerwerker studied at the Lycée des Pontonniers (now Lycée international des Pontonniers) in Strasbourg. After her Baccalauréat, she studied law, a rarity in those days for a woman. One of her professors, René Capitant, became Minister of Education (1944–1945) in the Provisional Government and Minister of Justice (Attorney General) (1968–1969) under Charles de Gaulle. She worked in René Capitant's law firm. She also graduated from business school (HEC).

With her family, she moved to Paris, where she met David Feuerwerker, a young rabbi. They married in November 1939, at the beginning ofWorld War II. David, deployed at the Maginot Line, had to obtain a special permit to attend the wedding. In June 1940, Feuerwerker moved toBrive-la-Gaillarde where her husband was the rabbi of three French Departments : CorrèzeCreuse, and Lot. They joined the Resistancemovement "Combat" (the main Movement of the Résistance) to fight the Nazis. After the war, they moved to Lyon, where David Feuerwerker served as chief rabbi (1944–1946). From 1946 to 1948, David Feuerwerker was the rabbi of Neuilly-sur-Seine, outside Paris. From 1948 to 1966, they lived in Paris, in the Marais district, where her husband became the rabbi of the Rue des Tournelles synagogue. Feuerwerker collaborated with her husband in his research on the emancipation of the Jews of France. In 1966, they settled in MontrealQuebec, where Feuerwerker taught law and economics at the Collège Français.

Feuerwerker and her husband had six children: Atara, Natania, Elie, Hillel, Emmanuel, and Benjamine.

Her husband died on June 20, 1980. She moved to Israel, where she spent the last 3 years of her life. She died on February 10, 2003, and was buried in Sanhedria, Jerusalem, next to her husband.

Medals

As a Combattante Volontaire de la Résistance (Voluntary Combatant of the Resistance), she received the French Liberation Medal. Later the French government awarded her the Palmes Académiques and the Médaille de la Santé Publique, for her contributions to public education and public health.

Role in the Résistance

According to Combat, Feuerwerker actively participated in all the activities in the Résistance with her husband, Rabbi Feuerwerker, in particular recruiting liaison agents and distributing clandestine journals. Together with Germaine Ribière, who was later recognized as aRighteous Among the Nations, she organized the evacuation of young people hunted by the Nazis.

Escape from the Nazis

In the last months of World War II, she hid in a Catholic convent with her baby daughter, Atara, surviving on potatoes and water. She was later hidden by Germaine Goblot, the daughter of French philosopher Edmond Goblot. She saved the life of her sister, Rose Warfman, who was deported to Auschwitz. Her brother, a 29-year young physician, Dr. Salomon Gluck, was deported from France on the convoy 73, led toKaunas in Lithuania and Reval (Tallinn) in Estonia, never to return.

Role in the Exodus affair

In Neuilly, she was given a stash of gold coins for safekeeping which she hid under her husband's bed, without his knowledge. The money was used to finance the operation of the illegal immigration ship, "The Exodus".

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Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler (née Krzy?anowska, commonly referred to as Irena Sendlerowa in Poland; 15 February 1910 – 12 May 2008)[1] was a Polish Catholic social worker who served in the Polish Underground and the ?egota resistance organization in German-occupied Warsaw during World War II. Assisted by some two dozen other ?egota members, Sendler saved 2,500 Jewishchildren by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, providing them with false documents, and sheltering them in individual and group children's homes outside the Ghetto.

Sendler was born as Irena Krzyzanowska on 15 February 1910 in Warsaw. Her father, Stanislaw Krzyzanowski, was a physician. Sendler sympathised with Jews from childhood. Her father died in February 1917 of typhus contracted while treating patients his colleagues refused to treat. Many of those patients were Jews. After his death, Jewish community leaders offered to pay for Sendler's education. She opposed the ghetto-bench system that existed at some prewar Polish universities and as a result was suspended from Warsaw University for three years.[3]

[edit]World War II

During the German occupation of Poland, Sendler lived in Warsaw (prior to that, she had lived in Otwock and Tarczyn while working for urban Social Welfare departments). As early as 1939, when the Germans invaded Poland, she began aiding Jews. She and her helpers created over 3,000 false documents to help Jewish families, prior to joining the organized ?egota resistance and the children's division. Helping Jews was very risky—in German-occupied Poland, all household members risked death if they were found to be hiding Jews, a more severe punishment than in other occupied European countries.

Nazi German poster in German and Polish (Warsaw, 1942) threatening death to any Pole who aided Jews Jewish children in the Warsaw Ghetto

In August 1943, ?egota (the Council to Aid Jews) nominated her (by her cover name Jolanta[4]) to head its children's section. As an employee of the Social Welfare Department, she had a special permit to enter the Warsaw Ghetto to check for signs of typhus, something the Nazis feared would spread beyond the Ghetto.[5] During these visits, she wore a Star of Davidas a sign of solidarity with the Jewish people and so as not to call attention to herself.

She cooperated with others in Warsaw's Municipal Social Services department, and the RGO (Central Welfare Council), a Polish relief organization that was tolerated under German supervision. She and her co-workers organized the smuggling of Jewish children out of the Ghetto. Under the pretext of conducting inspections of sanitary conditions during a typhus outbreak, Sendler and her co-workers visited the Ghetto and smuggled out babies and small children in ambulances and trams, sometimes disguising them as packages.[6] She also used the old courthouse at the edge of the Warsaw Ghetto (still standing) as one of the main routes for smuggling out children.[citation needed]

The children were placed with Polish families, the Warsaw orphanage of the Sisters of the Family of Mary, or Roman Catholic convents such as the Little Sister Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary Conceived Immaculate[7] at Turkowice and Chotomów. Sendler cooperated very closely with social worker and catholic nun, mother provincial of Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary - Matylda Getter. She rescued between 250-550 Jewish children in different education and care facilities for children in AninBia?o??kaChotomówMi?dzylesieP?udySejnyVilnius and others.[8] Some children were smuggled to priests in parish rectories. She and her co-workers buried lists of the hidden children in jars in order to keep track of their original and new identities. ?egota assured the children that, when the war was over, they would be returned to Jewish relatives.[9]

In 1943, Sendler was arrested by the Gestapo, severely tortured, and sentenced to death. ?egota saved her by bribing German guards on the way to her execution. She was listed on public bulletin boards as among those executed. For the remainder of the war, she lived in hiding, but continued her work for the Jewish children. After the war, she and her co-workers gathered together all of their records with the names and locations of the hidden Jewish children and gave them to their Zegota colleague Adolf Berman and his employees at the Central Committee of Polish Jews. However, almost all of their parents had been killed at the Treblinka extermination camp or had otherwise gone missing.

 

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W?adys?aw Tatarkiewicz

W?adys?aw Tatarkiewicz (Polish pronunciation: [vwa?d?swaf tatar?k?evit?]Warsaw,

3 April 1886 – 4 April 1980,Warsaw)

was a Polish philosopher, historian of philosophy, historian of artesthetician, and ethicist.

As he describes in his 1979 Memoirs, it was a chance encounter with a male relative, whose height made him stand out above the crowd at aKraków railroad station, upon the outbreak of World War I that led Tatarkiewicz to spend the war years in Warsaw. There he began his career as a lecturer in philosophy, teaching at a girls' school on Mokotowska Street, across the street from where Józef Pi?sudski was to reside during his first days after World War I.

Tatarkiewicz began his higher education at Warsaw University. When it was closed by the Russian Imperial authorities in 1905, he was forced to continue his education abroad in Marburg, where he studied from 1907 to 1910.

During World War I, when the Polish University of Warsaw was opened under the sponsorship of the occupying Germans — who wanted to win Polish support for their war effort — Tatarkiewicz directed its philosophy department in 1915–19. In 1919–21 he was professor at Stefan Batory University in Wilno, in 1921–23 at the University of Pozna?, and in 1923–61 again at the University of Warsaw. In 1930 he became a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

During World War II, risking his life, he conducted underground lectures in German-occupied Warsaw (one of the auditors was Czes?aw Mi?osz). After the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising (August–October 1944) he again consciously risked his life when retrieving a manuscript from the gutter, where a German soldier had hurled it (this and other materials were later published as a book, in English translation titled Analysis of Happiness).

W?adys?aw Tatarkiewicz died the day after his 94th birthday. In his Memoirs, published shortly before, he recalled having been ousted from his University chair by a (politically-connected) former student. Characteristically, he saw even that indignity as a blessing in disguise, as it gave him freedom from academic duties and the leisure to pursue research and writing.

And in sum it is a good existence: that of a retired old professor. He still has something to do, but is under no compulsion. He only voluntarily imposes compulsions on himself. He has time: at any time of day, he can go for a walk in the park—as long as his legs will still carry him. Equally, or even more, important is this: he no longer has ambition, he has ceased to be a rival to others. He is no inconvenience to others, they have no need to fear him, they have no reason to envy him: in this situation—without opponents, rivals and enemies—life is considerably more tolerable.

Tatarkiewicz reflected philosophically that at all crucial junctures of his life he had failed to foresee events, many of them tragic, but that this had probably been for the better, since he could not have altered them anyway.

Work

Tatarkiewicz belonged to the interbellum Lwów-Warsaw School of Philosophy, created by Kazimierz Twardowski, which gave reborn Poland many outstanding scholars and scientists: philosophers, logicians, psychologistssociologists, and organizers of academia.

Tatarkiewicz educated generations of Polish philosophers, estheticians and art historians, as well as a multitude of interested laymen. He posthumously continues to do so through his famous History of Philosophy and numerous other works.

In his final years, Tatarkiewicz devoted considerable attention to securing translations of his major works. Of the works listed below, hisHistory of Philosophy and Memoirs remain to be translated into English.

  • History of Philosophy, three volumes (PolishHistoria filozofii, vols. 1-2, 8th ed. 1978; vol. 3, 5th ed. 1978).
  • History of Aesthetics, three volumes (vols. 1-2, 1970; vol. 3, 1974; PolishHistoria estetyki, vols. 1-2, 1962; vol. 3, 1967).
  • Analysis of Happiness (1976; PolishO Szcz??ciu [On Happiness], 1962).
  • A History of Six [aesthetic] Ideas (1980; PolishDzieje sze?ciu poj??, 2nd ed. 1976).
  • On Perfection (English translation by Christopher Kasparek serialized in Dialectics and Humanism: the Polish Philosophical Quarterly, vol. VI, no. 4 [autumn 1979] — vol. VIII, no. 2 [spring 1981]; PolishO doskona?o?ci, 1976; Kasparek's translation has subsequently also appeared in the book: W?adys?aw Tatarkiewicz, On perfection, Warsaw University Press, Center of Universalism, 1992, pp. 9–51; the book is a collection of papers by and about the late Professor Tatarkiewicz).
  • Memoirs (PolishWspomnienia, 1979).

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Jean Wahl

Jean André Wahl

 (May 22, 1888 - June 19, 1974)

was a French philosopher.

He was professor at the Sorbonne from 1936 to 1967, broken by World War II. He was in the U.S. from 1942 to 1945, having been interned as a Jew at the Drancy internment camp (north-east of Paris) and then escaped.

He began his career as a follower of Henri Bergson and the American pluralist philosophers William James and George Santayana. He is known as one of those introducing Hegelian thought in France in the 1930s, ahead of Alexandre Kojève's more celebrated lectures. He was also a champion in French thought of the Danish proto-existentialist Kierkegaard. These enthusiasms, which became the significant books Le malheur de la conscience dans la philosophie de Hegel (1929) and Études kierkegaardiennes (1938) were controversial, in the prevailing climate of thought. However, he influenced a number of key thinkers including Emmanuel Levinas and Jean-Paul Sartre. In the second issue of AcéphaleGeorges Bataille's review, Jean Wahl wrote an article titled Nietzsche and the Death of God, concerning Karl Jaspers' interpretation of this work. He became known as an anti-systematic philosopher, in favour of philosophical innovation and the concrete.

In exile

While in the USA, Wahl with Gustave Cohen and backed by the Rockefeller Foundation founded a 'university in exile', the École Libre des Hautes Études, in New York. Later, at Mount Holyoke where he had a position, he set up the Décades de Mount Holyoke, also known asPontigny-en-Amérique, modelled on meetings run from 1910 to 1939 by Paul Desjardins at the site of the Cistercian abbey of Pontigny inBurgundy. These successfully gathered together French intellectuals in wartime exile, ostensibly studying the English language, with Americans including Marianne MooreWallace Stevens and Roger Sessions. Wahl, already a published poet, made translations of poems of Stevens into French.

Post World War II

In post-war France Wahl was an important figure, as a teacher and editor of learned journals. In 1946 he founded the Collège philosophique, influential center for non-conformist intellectuals, alternative to the Sorbonne. Starting in 1950, he headed the Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale.

Wahl translated the second hypothesis of the Parmenides of Plato as "Il y a de l'Un", and Lacan adopted his translation as a central point in psychoanalysis, as a sort of antecedent in the Parmenides of the analytic discourse. This is the existential sentence of psychoanalytic discourse according to Lacan, and the negative one is "Il n'ya pas de rapport sexuel" — there is no such a thing as a sexual relationship.

 

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Georges Charpak

Georges Charpak 

(8 March 1924 – 29 September 2010)

was a French physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1992.

Georges Charpak was born to Jewish family in the village of D?browica in Poland (now DubrovytsiaUkraine). Charpak's family moved fromPoland to Paris when he was seven years old. During World War IICharpak served in the resistance and was imprisoned by Vichyauthorities in 1943. In 1944 he was deported to the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, where he remained until the camp was liberated in 1945. After classes préparatoires studies at Lycée Saint-Louis in Paris and later at Lycée Joffre in Montpellier,[3] he joined in 1945 the Paris-based École des Mines, one of the most prestigious engineering schools in France. The following year he became a naturalized French citizen. He graduated in 1948, earning the French degree of Civil Engineer of Mines (equivalent to a Master's degree) and started working for the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). He received his PhD in 1954 from Nuclear Physics at the Collège de France, Paris, where he worked in the laboratory of Frédéric Joliot-Curie.In 1959, he joined the staff of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva. This is where he invented the multiwire proportional chamber, which he patented and that quickly superseded the old bubble chambers, allowing for better data processing. He eventually retired from CERN in 1991.In 1980, Georges Charpak became professor-in-residence at École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles in Paris (ESPCI) and held the Joliot-Curie Chair there in 1984. This is where he developed and demonstrated the powerful applications of the particle detectors he invented, most notably for enabling better health diagnostics. He was the co-founder of a number of start-up in the biomedical arena, including Molecular Engines Laboratories, Biospace Instruments and SuperSonic Imagine – together with Mathias Fink.He was elected to theFrench Academy of Sciences on 20 May 1985. Georges Charpak was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1992 "for his invention and development of particle detectors, in particular the multiwire proportional chamber", with affiliations to both École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles (ESPCI) and CERN. This was the last time a single person was awarded the physics prize.[citation needed]


In March, 2001 Charpak received Honorary degree Ph.D from University of the Andes, Colombia in Bogotá.

In France, Charpak was a very strong advocate for nuclear power. Prof. Charpak was a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

 

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Alexander Grothendieck

Alexander Grothendieck (born 28 March 1928) is a mathematician and the central figure behind the creation of the modern theory of algebraic geometry. His research program vastly extended the scope of the field, incorporating major elements ofcommutative algebrahomological algebrasheaf theory, and category theory into its foundations. This new perspective led to revolutionary advances across many areas ofpure mathematics.

Within algebraic geometry itself, his theory of schemes has become the universally accepted language for all further technical work. His generalization of the classicalRiemann-Roch theorem launched the study of algebraic and topological K-theory. His construction of new cohomology theories has left deep consequences for algebraic number theoryalgebraic topology, and representation theory. His creation of topos theory has had an impact on set theory and logic.

One of his most celebrated achievements is the discovery of the first arithmetic Weil cohomology theory: the ?-adic étale cohomology. This key result opened the way for a proof of the Weil conjectures, ultimately completed by his student Pierre Deligne. To this day, ?-adic cohomology remains a fundamental tool for number theorists, with important applications to the Langlands program.

Grothendieck’s way of thinking has influenced generations of mathematicians long after his departure from mathematics. His emphasis on the role of universal properties broughtcategory theory into the mainstream as an important organizing principle. His notion ofabelian category is now the basic object of study in homological algebra. His conjectural theory of motives has been a driving force behind modern developments in algebraic K-theorymotivic homotopy theory, and motivic integration.

Driven by deep personal and political convictions, Grothendieck left the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, where he had been appointed professor and accomplished his greatest work, after a dispute over military funding in 1970. His mathematical activity essentially ceased after this, and he devoted his energies to political causes. He formally retired in 1988 and within a few years moved to the Pyrenees, where he currently lives in isolation from human society.

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Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman (Hebrew: ????? ?????‎) (born March 5, 1934) is an Israeli-Americanpsychologist and Nobel laureate. He is notable for his work on the psychology ofjudgment and decision-makingbehavioral economics and hedonic psychology.

With Amos Tversky and others, Kahneman established a cognitive basis for common human errors using heuristics and biases (Kahneman & Tversky, 1973; Kahneman, Slovic & Tversky, 1982; Tversky & Kahneman, 1974), and developed prospect theory(Kahneman & Tversky, 1979). He was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his work in prospect theory.

Currently, he is professor emeritus of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School. Kahneman is a founding partner of The Greatest Good, a business and philanthropy consulting company. Kahneman is married to Royal Society Fellow Anne Treisman

Daniel Kahneman was born in Tel Aviv in 1934, while his mother was visiting relatives. He spent his childhood years in Paris, France, where his parents had emigrated from Lithuania in the early 1920s.

Kahneman and his family were in Paris when it was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1940. His father was picked up in the first major round-up of French Jews, but was released after six weeks due to the intervention of his employer. The family was on the run for the remainder of the war, and survived intact except for the death of Kahneman's father of diabetes in 1944. Daniel Kahnemann and his family then moved to the British Mandate for Palestine (which was soon to become Israel) in 1948 (Kahneman, 2003).

Kahneman has written of his experience in Nazi-occupied France, explaining in part why he entered the field of psychology:

It must have been late 1941 or early 1942. Jews were required to wear the Star of David and to obey a 6 p.m. curfew. I had gone to play with a Christian friend and had stayed too late. I turned my brown sweater inside out to walk the few blocks home. As I was walking down an empty street, I saw a German soldier approaching. He was wearing the black uniform that I had been told to fear more than others – the one worn by specially recruited SS soldiers. As I came closer to him, trying to walk fast, I noticed that he was looking at me intently. Then he beckoned me over, picked me up, and hugged me. I was terrified that he would notice the star inside my sweater. He was speaking to me with great emotion, in German. When he put me down, he opened his wallet, showed me a picture of a boy, and gave me some money. I went home more certain than ever that my mother was right: people were endlessly complicated and interesting (Kahneman, 2003, p. 417).

Education and military service

Kahneman received his B. Sc. with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1954. After earning his undergraduate degree, he served in the psychology department of the Israeli Defense Forces. One of his responsibilities was to evaluate candidates for officer's training school, and to develop tests and measures for this purpose. In 1958, he went to the United States to study for his Ph.D. degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Eric Kandel

Eric Richard Kandel (born November 7, 1929) is an American neuropsychiatrist who was a recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on thephysiological basis of memory storage in neurons. He shared the prize with Arvid Carlsson and Paul Greengard.

Kandel is professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a Senior Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was also the founding director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, which is now the Department of Neuroscience at Columbia. Kandel authored In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind (WW Norton), which chronicles his life and research. The book was awarded the 2006 Los Angeles Times Book Award for Science and Technology.

Kandel was born in 1929 in ViennaAustria, in a middle-class Jewish family. His mother, Charlotte Zimels, was born in 1897 in Kolomyya,Pokuttya (modern Ukraine), and came from a well-educated middle-class family. At that time Kolomyya was in Eastern Poland. His father was born in 1898 into a poor family in OleskoGalicia (then part of Austria-Hungary). At the beginning of World War I his parents moved toVienna where they met and married in 1923, shortly after Hermann Kandel, Eric's father, had established a toy store. They were a thoroughly assimilated and acculturated family, who had to leave Austria after the country had been annexed by Germany in March 1938. Aryanization(Arisierung) started; attacks on Jews escalated; Jewish property was confiscated. Eventually, when Eric was 9, he and his brother Ludwig, 14, boarded the "Gerolstein" at Antwerp in Belgium and joined their uncle in Brooklyn on May 11, 1939. Later his parents succeeded in moving to the US.

(When Kandel won the Nobel Prize in 2000, he said it was "...certainly not an Austrian Nobel, it was a Jewish-American Nobel." After that, he got a call from then Austrian president Thomas Klestil asking him, "How can we make things right?" Kandel said that first, Doktor-Karl-Lueger-Ring should be renamed. Karl Lueger was an anti-Semitic mayor of Vienna, cited by Hitler in Mein Kampf. Second, he wanted the Jewish intellectual community to be brought back to Vienna, with scholarships for Jewish students and researchers Kandel has since accepted an honorary citizenship of Vienna and participates in the academic and cultural life of his native city.)

(When Kandel won the Nobel Prize in 2000, it was claimed in Vienna that he was an "Austrian" Nobel, something he found "typically Viennese: very opportunistic, very disingenuous, somewhat hypocritical." Afterwards, he received a letter from Austria's President Klestil asking, `"How can we recognize you?" Kandel then proposed to have a symposium on the response of Austria to National Socialism.)

After arriving in the United States, and settling in Brooklyn, Kandel was tutored by his grandfather in Judaic studies, and was accepted at theYeshiva of Flatbush, graduating in 1944. He attended Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School, a Public high school.

Kandel's initial intellectual interests lay in the area of history. (History and Literature was his undergraduate major at Harvard University.) He wrote an honors dissertation on "The Attitude Toward National Socialism of Three German Writers: Carl ZuckmayerHans Carossa, and Ernst Jünger." While at Harvard, a place dominated by the work of B. F. Skinner, Kandel became interested in learning and memory. It should be noted, however, that while Skinner championed a strict separation of psychology, as its own level of discourse, from biological considerations such as neurology, Kandel's work is essentially centered on an explication of the relationships between psychology and neurology.

The world of neuroscience was first opened up to Kandel through his interactions with a college girlfriend, Anna Kris, whose parents were Freudian psychoanalysts. Freud, a pioneer in revealing the importance of unconscious neural processes, was at the root of Kandel's interest in the biology of motivation and unconscious and conscious memory.

 

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Henry Morgentaler

Henry MorgentalerCM (born March 19, 1923, in ?ód?Poland) is a Canadian physician and prominent pro-choice advocate who has fought numerous legal battles for that cause.

Henry's future wife, Chava Rosenfarb, recalls that Henry was afraid to go to school:

“Polish kids ran after him and threw stones at him. It was a normal thing. It was a general attitude, a looking-down attitude. It was a very common thing to hate Jews.”

By 1941, the ghetto had been sealed and Jews were not allowed to leave it. After the German capture of Poland, Josef Morgentaler was arrested and killed by the Gestapo. During theHolocaust, Morgentaler lived with his mother, Golda, and brother, Abraham, in the ?ód? ghettountil August, 1944.

When the authorities moved in on the ghetto, the Rosenfarbs, the Morgentalers (Golda and her sons Henry and Abraham), and two other families hid in a room with the door concealed by a wardrobe. After two days in hiding, on August 23 they were found and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. The boys never saw their mother again: Golda Nitka-Morgentaler died at Auschwitz. On August 27, Henry and Abraham were shipped to KL Landsberg, Dachau concentration camp), where Abraham remained until the end of the war. Upon arrival Henry was tattooed with prisoner number 95077 and his younger brother Abraham with number 95095. In February, 1943, Henry was sent to KL Kaufering (a satellite camp of Dachau concentration camp). By the end of the war he was in sick bay (krankenrevier), whence he was finally liberated by U.S. Army on April 29, 1945.

After his release at age 22 Henry weighed just 70 pounds. He entered Displaced Persons Hospital in Lansberg/Lech. After few months there he was moved to a DP Hospital in St. Ottilien, and thence with Abraham to Feldafing, a Displaced Persons Camp, in Bavaria.

Abraham Morgentaler left Feldafing Camp on June 18, 1946 for Marburg/Lahn. Thence he applied to immigrate to the U.S. He gave his birth year as 1929 (actually 1927) and applied as a juvenile (17 years old). On July 23, 1946, Abraham went to Frankfurt/Main-Sachsenhausen and entered a Camp for Immigrants to US (Auswanderungelager). On August 24, 1946, he boarded Marine Perch in Bremen and sailed to the U.S.

Henry Morgentaler stayed at Feldafing Displaced Persons Camp until November 28, 1946, and then moved to Marburg/Lahn., where he stayed at dormitory run by UNRA (Studentenhaus (UNRA)). On August 4, 1947, he left Marburg/Lahn.

Apparently, Henry made his way to Belgium as he was in Brussels with the Rosenfarbs. Because he was not in Belgium legally, he was required to emigrate, and his fianc?e, Chava Rosenfarb, was in the same situation. Chava's sister, Henia Reinhartz, in her Memoir, "Bits and Pieces," described the harsh economic conditions while the family, and Henry, lived in Brussels. One picture shows Henia, Chava, and their mother wearing coats made from blankets donated by UNRA. Henry and Chava married in 1949. They left Europe in February, 1950, on S.S. Samaria, sailing to Canada.

The couple settled in Montréal, where Chava resumed her vocation as a poet. Several months later their first child, Goldie, was born. Their second child was a son, Abraham. Their marriage ended in divorce in the mid-1970s. Chava Rosenfarb died January 30, 2011.

 

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Emanuel Tanay

Emanuel Tanay (b. 1928) is an American physician, a forensic psychiatrist, and a Jewish Holocaust survivor.

Tanay was born in Vilna but the family soon moved to Miechow, a small community just south of Kraków. His mother, Betty Tenenwurzel, was both a physician and dentist and his father, Bunim Tenenwurzel, was a dentist. He survived by being hidden in the Catholic monastery of Mogila in Krakow, Poland.

In 1943 Tanay escaped from occupied Poland with his mother and sister to Slovakia and from there to Hungary. They were liberated in January 1945 in Budapest. He immigrated to the United States after World War II. He did his psychiatric residency at Elgin State Hospitalin Elgin, Illinois.

Career

Tanay is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Wayne State University Medical School in DetroitMichigan.

A Holocaust Survivor's View on Islam

Tanay received and widely forwarded a viral email entitled A Holocaust Survivor's View on Islam, an essay originally written under the titleWhy the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant by a Canadian named Paul E. Marek who fled Czechoslovakia as a child to escape the Nazis. Tanay is often thought to have been the author of the essay. Marek's essay argues that although the assertions that "Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace," may well be accurate, they are 'entirely irrelevant" since small numbers of "fanatics" have taken over governments and committed mass murder in many places. Marek concludes that "Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence..... like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

 

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Rose Warfman

Rose Warfman (née Gluck)

(born October 4, 1916) is a French survivor of Auschwitz and heroine of the French Resistance.

Born in Zürich

Rose Gluck was born on October 4, 1916, in ZürichSwitzerland, the daughter of Paul (Pinhas) Gluck-Friedman (1886–1964) and Henia Shipper (1887–1968).

Her father was a direct descendant of Hasidic Masters, going back to the Magid Dov Ber of Mezeritch (1704–1772), the disciple and successor of the Baal Shem Tov (1698–1760).

She had two sisters, Antoinette Feuerwerker born in 1912 in AntwerpenBelgium and Hendel (Hedwig) Naftalis, born in 1913 in Zürich, as was also her brother Salomon Gluck in 1914.

Strasbourg

Her parents had moved from Tarnów in GaliciaPoland, to Belgium, then to Switzerland, during World War I. The family moved further to Germany, and finally to France in 1921, settling in Strasbourg. There she went to the famous Lycée des Pontonniers, now called Lycée International des Pontonniers.

Paris

After moving to Paris, with her family, she studied in 1941 and 1942 to become a nurse, in the modern Ecole de puériculture, 26, boulevard Brune, in Paris 14. She worked before World War II at the COJASOR, a Jewish social service organization, together with Lucie Dreyfus (née Hadamard) (1869–1945), the widow of the famed Captain Alfred Dreyfus.

The Résistance

During World War II, she joined her sister, Antoinette Feuerwerker, and her husband, Rabbi David Feuerwerker, in Brive-la-Gaillarde. They worked together with Edmond Michelet, the future Senior Minister of Charles de Gaulle, in the major Movement of the French Resistance,Combat. In Michelet's Memoirs, she is mentioned as one of the active agents for Combat. Her name in the Résistance was Marie Rose Girardin.

Arrested in Brive

She was arrested in the Synagogue of Brive in March 1944, taken to Drancy internment camp, and from there, on convoy 72, on April 29, 1944, to Auschwitz concentration camp.

Taken to Drancy

Her sister Antoinette Feuerwerker succeeded to forward to her a nurse uniform in Drancy internment camp. She wore that uniform, arriving in Auschwitz.

Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor singled her for survival. Later, he operated on her, without anesthesia. She survived three selections in Auschwitz concentration camp (Auschwitz-Birkenau), and later was transferred to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, before being liberated by the Russian Army in June 1945.

The number tattooed on her arm at Auschwitz is: 80598. Underneath there is a triangle, meaning she is a Jew.

Taken to Auschwitz

Convoy 72 took her to Auschwitz on April 29, 1944. Serge Klarsfeld described the convoy:

This convoy takes 1004 Jews, and includes 398 men and 606 women. Among them were 174 children below 18. The poet Itzak Katznelson (Itzhak Katzenelson) is among the deportees of this convoy, as well as many Poles, arrested as he was in Vittel, after having been transferred from Poland. There are families: the children Dodelzak, Ita 12, Georges 3 and Arkadius 3 months; the Rottenberg, Naphtalie 7, Nathan 5, Esther 4, Frantz 2,... On arrival at Auschwitz, 48 men were selectioned with the numbers 186596 to 186643 and 52 women, whose numbers are around 80600. In 1945, there were 37 survivors, including 25 women.

Her brother, Dr. Salomon Gluck was deported on the next convoy, convoy 73, leaving Drancy internment camp on May 15, 1944.

Gross-Rosen

The Gross-Rosen concentration camp was situated near Breslau (called today Wroc?aw in Poland) railway station. She found that concentration camp worse than Auschwitz, even though there was no crematorium. There she had to work in a factory for ammunitions, from six in the evening to six in the morning. There was only one break: half an hour between midnight and twelve thirty. It was an assembly-line work. You couldn't stop or slow down, because the all assembly-line would stop or slow down. The blows rained down.

Passive Resistance

Even in concentration camp, she did passive resistance. In Birkenau, she was assigned to a group of 50 women who were knitting. A kapomade them knit undershirts for German newborns. She worked hard, and was given as a role model. Then winter came, they were asked to knit socks for men (Germans). Her vengeance was to make big knots inside to render them unusable.

Simone Veil

In her block in Auschwitz was another detainee that she saw daily, and who would later become a celebrated politician in France and Europe, her name: Simone Veil.

Return to Paris: Exodus (ship), El Al

After the War, she returned to Paris. She became the one and sole employee of the new Israeli Airlines, El Al, when it opened in Paris, with a director, Mr. Massis. She welcomed and guided many Israeli leaders during their stays in Paris, including Golda Meir, and David Ben-Gurion. She was involved in the adventure of the Exodus (ship) (Exodus1947). Together with Abbé Alexandre Glasberg, recognized posthumously as a Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad VashemJerusalemIsrael, for saving Jews during the war, she made the false identity cards for the passengers of the Exodus.

Honors

She was awarded the title of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French Government for her work in the Résistance, on February 10, 1959. She also was awarded la Médaille Militaire 1939–1945, la Croix de guerre 1939–1945, and la Croix du Combattant Volontaire de la Résistance. On April 10, 2009, the French Government made her an Officer of the Legion of Honor.

Personal life

She was married to Nachman Warfman a Doctor in Law (University of Grenoble) and a certified public accountant (CPA). She had three children: Bernard, Salomon David, and Anne. She moved to ManchesterEngland, to be close to her children, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren.

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Meir Wilchek

Meir Wilchek (Hebrew: ???? ??? ????'?, born in 1935) is an Israeli biochemist. He is a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Meir Wilchek was born in WarsawPoland, scion of a rabbinical family. During theHolocaust, he escaped from the German occupied territories to the territories occupied by Russia, and was transferred to Siberia, while his father, who served as a community rabbi in Warsaw was killed in Flossenbürg concentration camp. He survived, and immigrated to Israel in 1949 with his mother and sister. He graduated with B.Sc. in chemistry from Bar Ilan university and Ph. D. in biochemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science. Wilchek has published over 400 scientific papers, and consulted various biotech companies. He was also in the party list of Mafdal and Meimad for theKnesset.

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Victor Goldschmidt

Victor Moritz Goldschmidt 

(Zürich, January 27, 1888 – March 20, 1947 in Oslo)

was a mineralogist considered (together withVladimir Vernadsky) to be the founder of modern geochemistry and crystal chemistry, developer of the Goldschmidt Classification of elements.

Early life & career Heinrich, Victor's Father, with squirrel

Goldschmidt was born in Zürich. His parents, Heinrich Jacob Goldschmidt and Amelie Koehne named their son after a colleague of Heinrich, Victor Meyer. There was a history of great scientists and philosophers in both families. The Goldschmidt family came to Norway 1901 when Heinrich Goldschmidt took over a chair as Professor of Chemistry in Kristiania (Oslo).

Goldschmidt’s first important contribution was within the field of geology and mineralogy. His two first larger works were his doctor thesis Die Kontaktmetamorphose im Kristianiagebiet andGeologisch-petrographische Studien im Hochgebirge des südlichen Norwegens.

New Theories Young Victor Goldschmidt

A series of publications under the titleGeochemische Verteilungsgesetze der Elemente(geochemical laws of distribution of the elements) is usually referred to as the start of geochemistry, the science that describes the distribution of the chemical elements in nature. The geochemistry has not only greatly inspired the field of mineralogy and geology but also theoretical chemistry and crystallography. Goldschmidt’s work on atom and ion radii has been of enormous importance for crystallography. His work in this area has no doubt inspired the introduction of the Pauling covalent, ionic, and the Van der Waals radius.

Goldschmidt took great interest in the technical application of his science; the utilization of olivinefor industrial refractory goes back to him. He was for many years the head of the Norwegian Committee for Raw Material (Statens Råstoffkomité).

Achievements

Victor Goldschmidt was awarded the Elliott Cresson Medal of The Franklin Institute in 1903.

There has hardly ever been a person in the Norwegian university world that made such an early and rapid career as Goldschmidt. Without even taking the usual exams or degrees he got a post-doctoral fellowship from the university already at the age of 21 (1909). He obtained his Norwegian doctor’s degree when he was 23 years old (1911). This kind of degree is usually obtained at an age of 30 to 40 years, and even 50 years and more is not unusual.

In 1912 Goldschmidt got the most distinguished Norwegian scientific award (the Fridtjof Nansen belonning) for his work Die Kontaktmetamorphose im Kristianiagebiet. The same year he was made Docent (Associate Professor) of Mineralogy and Petrography at theUniversity of Oslo (known at that time as "Det Kongelige Frederiks Universitet").

Later life

In 1914 he applied for a professorship in Stockholm. The selecting committee unanimously chose Goldschmidt for the chair. But before the Swedish king had made the final official approbation, the University of Kristiania was able to secure him a similar chair. This was quite an unusual procedure and speed for appointing a professor. Usually it would take at least two years to obtain a new chair at a Norwegian university and one or two years to have the professor appointed. In Goldschmidt’s case it seems that all tradition of slowness was abolished, a fact that the University of Oslo shall always be grateful for. In 1929 Goldschmidt was called to the chair of mineralogy in Göttingen, but he had to leave this position after the Nazis came to power, and he returned to Oslo in 1935. From 1930 to 1933, Reinhold Mannkopff was an assistant to Goldschmidt at Göttingen.

On October 26, 1942, Goldschmidt was arrested at the orders of the German occuping powers as part of the persecution of Jews in Norwayduring World War II. Initially held in Bredtveit concentration camp for two days and then in Berg concentration camp, he was released on 5 November, only to be rearrested on 25 November. However, as he was on the pier and about to be deported to Auschwitz, when he was held back in Norway on the condition that he lend his scientific expertise to help German authorities. Goldschmidt later fled to Sweden and went on to England (where some of the Koehne family lived, and still reside today).

His activities in England were described on the 60th anniversary of his death, by the Geological Society in "Goldschmidt in England".

The account states that he was flown to England on March 3 1943 by a British intelligence unit, and provided information about technical developments in Norway. After a short period of uncertainty about his future status, he was assigned to the Macaulay Institute for Soil Research (in Aberdeen) of the Agricultural Research Council. He was participated in discussions about the German use of raw materials and production of heavy water. He attended open meetings in Cambridge, Manchester, Sheffield, Edinburgh and Aberdeen and lectured at theBritish Coal Utilisation Research Association on the presence of rare elements in coal ash.

His British professional associates and contacts included Leonard Hawkes, C E Tilley and W H Bragg, J D Bernal, Dr W G (later Sir William) Ogg While at the Macaulay Institute, Goldschmidt was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, awarded the Wollaston Medal, and an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) by the University of Aberdeen.

He moved from Aberdeen to Rothamsted, where he was popular and nicknamed ‘Goldie’. However, he wanted to go back to Oslo - not welcomed by all Norwegians, and returned there on 26 June 1946, but died soon after, at age 59.

A larger work, Geochemistry, was edited and published posthumously in England in 1954.

He was created a Knight of the Order of St. Olav in 1929.

 

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Liviu Librescu

Liviu Librescu 

(August 18, 1930 – April 16, 2007; Hebrew: ????? ???????‎)

was aRomanian-Israeli-American scientist and academic professor whose major research fields were aeroelasticity and aerodynamics. A prominent academic in addition to being a Holocaust survivor, he is most widely known for his actions during the Virginia Tech massacre, in which he held off the gunman, giving all but one of his students enough time to escape through the windows. Librescu was shot and killed during the attack. Librescu was posthumously awarded the Order of the Star of Romania, Romania's highest civilian honor. At the time of his death, he was Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech

Liviu Librescu was born in 1930 to a Jewish family in the city of Ploie?tiRomania. AfterRomania allied with Nazi Germany in World War II, his family was deported to a labor camp in Transnistria, and later, along with thousands of other Jews, was deported to aghetto in the Romanian city of Foc?ani. His wife, Marlena, who is also a Holocaustsurvivor, told Israeli Channel 10 TV the day after his death, "We were in Romania during the Second World War, and we were Jews there among the Germans, and among the antiSemitic Romanians." Dorothea Weisbuch, a cousin of Librescu living in Romania, said in an interview to Romanian newspaperCotidianul: "He was an extraordinarily gifted person and very altruistic. When he was little, he was very curious and knew everything, so that I thought he would become very conceited, but it did not happen so; he was of a rare modesty.'

After surviving the Holocaust, Librescu was repatriated to Communist Romania. He studied aerospace engineering at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, graduating in 1952 and continuing with a Master's degree at the same university. He was awarded a Ph.D. in fluid mechanics in 1969 at the Academia de ?tiin?e din România. From 1953 to 1975, he worked as a researcher at the Bucharest Institute of Applied Mechanics, and later at the Institute of Fluid Mechanics and the Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Aerospace Constructions of the Academy of Science of Romania.

His career stalled in the 1970s because he refused to swear allegiance to the Romanian Communist Party and was forced out of academia for his sympathies towards Israel. When Librescu requested permission to immigrate to Israel, the Academy of Science of Romania fired him. In 1976, a smuggled research manuscript that he had published in the Netherlands drew him international attention in the growing field of material dynamics.

After years of government refusalIsraeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin personally intervened to get the Librescu family an emigration permit by directly asking Romanian President Nicolae Ceau?escu to let them go. They moved to Israel in 1978.

From 1979 to 1986, Librescu was Professor of Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering at Tel Aviv University and taught at the Technion inHaifa. In 1985, he left on sabbatical for the United States, where he served as Professor at Virginia Tech in its Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, where he remained until his death. He served as a member on the editorial board of seven scientific journals and was invited as a guest editor of special issues of five other journals. Most recently, he was co-chair of the International Organizing Committee of the 7th International Congress on Thermal Stress, TaipeiTaiwan, June 4–7, 2007, for which he had been scheduled to give the keynote lecture. According to his wife, no Virginia Tech professor has ever published more articles than Librescu.

At age 76, Librescu was among the 32 people who were murdered in the Virginia Tech massacre. On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho entered Norris Hall Engineering Building and opened fire on classrooms. Librescu, who taught a solid mechanics class in Room 204 in the Norris Hall during April 2007, held the door of his classroom shut while Cho attempted to enter it. Although he was shot through the door, Librescu managed to prevent the gunman from entering the classroom until most of his students had escaped through the windows. He was struck by five bullets, with a shot to the head proving to be fatal. Of the 23 registered students in his class, only one, Minal Panchal, died.

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Ernest Mandel

Ernest Ezra Mandel, also known by various pseudonyms such as Ernest GermainPierre Gousset,Henri VallinWalter (5 April 1923 - 20 July 1995), was a revolutionary Marxist theorist.

Born in Frankfurt, Mandel was recruited to the Belgian section of the international Trotskyist movement, the Fourth International, in his youth in Antwerp. His parents, Henri and Rosa Mandel, were Jewishemigres from Poland, the former a member of Rosa Luxemburg's and Karl Liebknecht's Spartacist League. Ernest's entrance to university studies was cut short when the German occupying forces closed the university down.

During World War II, he escaped twice after being arrested in the course of resistance activities, and survived imprisonment in the German concentration camp at Dora. After the war, he became a leader of both the Belgian Trotskyists and the youngest member of the Fourth International secretariat, alongside Michel Pablo and others. He gained respect as a prolific journalist with a clear and lively style, as an orthodox Marxist theoretician, and as a talented debater. He wrote for numerous media outlets in the 1940s and 1950s including Het Parool,Le Peuplel'Observateur and Agence France-Presse. At the height of the Cold War he publicly defended the merits of Marxism in debate with the social democrat and future Dutch premier Joop den Uyl.

 

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Israel Shahak

Israel Shahak (Hebrew: ????? ???‎;

Born Himmelstaub, April 28, 1933 – July 2, 2001)

was a Polish-born Israeli professor of chemistry at theHebrew University of Jerusalem, known especially as a radical political thinker, author, and civil rights activist. Between 1970-1990, he was president of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights and was an outspoken critic of the Israeli government. Shahak's writings onJudaism have been a source of widespread controversy.

Born in WarsawPoland, Shahak was the youngest child of a cultured, religious, pro-Zionist, Ashkenazi Jewish family. During German occupation of Poland, his family was forced into the Warsaw Ghetto. His brother escaped and joined the Royal Air Force. His mother paid a poor Catholic family to hide him, but when her money ran out he was returned. In 1943 he and his family were sent to the Poniatowaconcentration camp, near Lublin, where his father died. Israel and his mother managed to escape and returned to Warsaw, but within the year, they were both sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Shahak was liberated from the camp in 1945, and shortly thereafter emigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine, where he wanted to join a kibbutz, but was turned down as "too weedy".

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W?adys?aw ?lebodzi?ski

W?adys?aw ?lebodzi?ski (Polish pronunciation: [vwa?d?swaf ?l?b??d?i?sk?i])

(b. February 6, 1884 in Pysznica – January 3, 1972 in Wroc?aw,Poland) was a Polish mathematician.

W?adys?aw was educated at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and then lectured at the Pozna? University. During the Second World Warhe lectured at the underground universities for which he was imprisoned, surviving the AuschwitzGross-Rosen and Nordhausen concentration camps.

?lebodzi?ski's grave, Wroc?aw

In 1945 he became professor at the Wroc?aw University, and from 1951 he was professor at thePozna? University of Technology. With Bronis?aw KnasterEdward Marczewski and Hugo Steinhaushe was a co-founder of the mathematical journal Colloquium Mathematicum.

From 1949 until 1960 he was a member of the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Interest: Differential geometry. In 1931 

, he introduced a definition of the Lie derivative although the name Lie derivative occurred first in a (two parts) paper by van Dantzig , as asserted by J.A. Schouten in his introduction to tensor analysis and its geometrical applications.

Doctor honoris causa of the Pozna? University of Technology, Wroc?aw University of Technology and of the Wroc?aw University. An honorary member of the Polish Mathematical Society.

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Bruno Touschek

Bruno Touschek 

(3 February 1921–25 May 1978)

was an Austrian physicist, a survivor of the Holocaust, and initiator of research on electron-positron colliders.

Touschek was born and attended school in Vienna. In 1937, he was not allowed to finish high school since his mother was Jewish. He passed the final year exam in a different school as an external pupil. Shortly after he started studying physics and mathematics at the University in Vienna, he again had to quit for racial reasons. Thanks to a couple of friends, he could keep on studying in Hamburg, where nobody knew of his origins. In order to make a living, he took up several jobs at the same time.

During this period, he worked at the Studiengesellschaft für Elektronengeräte, a company affiliated to Philips, where "drift tubes" - the forerunners of the klystron - were being developed at that time. In 1943, he asked Rolf Wideröe to cooperate with him in building a betatron. When Touschek was arrested by the Gestapo in 1945, Wideroë visited him in prison, and during these meetings they continued to talk about the betatron. In particular, they conceived the idea of radiation damping for electrons circulating in a betatron.

Touschek escaped the concentration camp he was held in largely by chance. After the war, he graduated from the University of Göttingen in 1946 and began to work at the Max Planck Institute. In 1947, he left for Glasgow on a fellowship. He was subsequently appointed an Official lecturer in Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, a position he kept until he left for Rome in 1952. He decided to stay in Rome permanently, receiving the position of researcher at the National laboratories of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Frascati, near Rome. He was also appointed as a part-time lecturer at the University of Rome-La Sapienza, where he eventually became a full professor in 1978. He did, however, return to Glasgow briefly in 1955 where he married artist Elspeth Yonge, the daughter of an eminent Scottish zoologist. A son, Francis, was born in 1958 and brother Steven followed in 1961.

On 7 March 1960, Touschek gave a talk in Frascati where he proposed the idea of a collider: a particle accelerator where a particle and its antiparticle circulate the same orbit in opposite direction. When bunches of opposite-moving particles and antiparticles collide, they annihilate and produce new particles depending on the collision energy. This concept is at the base of all present-day very high energy particle accelerators, such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The first electron-positron storage ring, called ADA (Anello di Accumulazione), was constructed in Frascati under Touschek's supervision in the early sixties.

Touscheck died in Innsbruck in 1978.

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Leopold Engleitner

Leopold Engleitner (born July 23, 1905) is a Holocaust survivor and conscientious objector who speaks publicly on his experiences with students. He is the subject of the documentaryUnbroken Will.[1] Engleitner is now the oldest survivor of the concentration camps Buchenwald,Niederhagen and Ravensbrück.

Born in Aigen-VoglhubAustria, Engleiter grew up in the Austrian imperial city of Bad Ischl. He studied the Bible intensively in the 1930s and became baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnessesin 1932. During the period prior to World War II he faced religious intolerance, even persecutionfrom his immediate surrounding and the Austrian authorities, first by the fascist regime ofDollfuss and then under Nazi Germany.

Time Spent in Prison From 1934 to 1938
  • Spring 1934 48 hours in Bad Ischl prison
  • Winter 1934/35 48 hours in Bad Ischl prison
  • 05/01/1936 to 30/03/1936 imprisonment in St. Gilgen and Salzburg
  • 19/09/1937 to 14/10/1937 detained in Bad Aussee prison

When Adolf Hitler occupied Austria in 1938, Leopold Engleitner's religion, ideologies, and his conscientious objection to serving in the Army came into conflict with those of the Nazis.

Concentration Camps

On the 4 April 1939 he was arrested in Bad Ischl by the Gestapo and taken to Linz and Wels for remand. From the 9 October 1939 till 15 July 1943 he was imprisoned in the concentration camps Buchenwald, Niederhagen and Ravensbrueck. In Niederhagen he rejected a proposal to renounce his beliefs, even though that would have led to his release. Despite brutal and inhumane treatment his will – to stand for fair principles and to refuse the military service – was unbroken.

In July 1943 - weighing only 62 pounds - he was released from the concentration camp under the condition that he would agree to be a lifelongslave laborer on a farm.

Escape

After his return home, he worked on a farm in St. Wolfgang. Three weeks before the war was over, on the 17 April 1945, he received his enlistment to the German army, whereupon he fled to the mountains of Salzkammergut. He hid there in an alpine cabin and in a cave and was hunted by the Nazis, but was never found.

On the 5 May 1945, Engleitner was finally able to return home, and he continued working on the farm in St. Wolfgang as a slave laborer. When in 1946 he tried to leave the farm, his request was rejected by the labor bureau of Bad Ischl with the argument his slave labor duty from the Nazi occupation was still valid. Only after an intervention of the US occupying power was he released from that duty in April 1946.

Time Served in Prisons, Concentration Camps and Doing Forced Labor During Nazi Persecution
  • 04/04/1939 to 05/10/1939 prisons in Bad Ischl, Linz and Wels
  • 05/10/1939 to 09/10/1939 deportation to concentration camp (prisons in Salzburg and Munich)
  • 09/10/1939 to 07/03/1941 Buchenwald concentration camp
  • 07/03/1941 to April 1943 Niederhagen concentration camp in Wewelsburg
  • April 1943 to 15/07/1943 Ravensbrück concentration camp
  • 22/07/1943 to 10/04/1946 forced labor on a farm
  • 17/04/1945 to 05/05/1945 flight to the mountains after being called up

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Ben-Zion Gold

Ben-Zion Gold is an American rabbi who was the Rabbi of the Hillel at Harvard University from 1958 until he became Rabbi Emeritus in 1990. Gold was born in 1923 in Radom, Poland, and is the only member of his family to have survived The Holocaust. Immigrated to United States, 1947. He is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Rabbi Gold’s memoir of his childhood in pre-war Poland was widely admired

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David Weiss Halivni

David Weiss Halivni (Hebrew ??? ?????) (born 1927) is an American-Israeli rabbi, scholar in the domain of Jewish Sciences and professor of Talmud.

David Weiss was born in the small town Kobyletzka Poliana (?????????? ??????, Poiana Cobilei, Gergyanliget) in Carpathian Ruthenia, then in Czechoslovakia (now in Rakhivski district, in Ukraine). His parents separated when he was 4 years old, and he grew up in the home of his grandfather, a Talmud scholar in SzigetRomania.[1] During the Holocaust, at the age of 16 he was deported to Auschwitz. After a week he was transferred to a forced labor camp, Gross-Rosen, then to Wolfsburg, and later to Mauthausen camp and was the only member of his family to survive.

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Yisrael Meir Lau

Yisrael (Israel) Meir Lau (Hebrew: ????? ???? ???‎; born 1 June 1937 Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland) is the Chief Rabbi of Tel AvivIsrael, and Chairman of Yad Vashem. He previously served as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1993 to 2003.

Lau was born on 1 June 1937, in the Polish town of Piotrków Trybunalski. His father, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau, was the last Chief Rabbi of the town; he died in the Treblinka death camp. Yisrael Meir is the 37th generation in an unbroken family chain of rabbis.

Lau was freed from the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945. Lau has credited a teen prisoner with protecting him in the camp (later determined by historian Kenneth Waltzer to be Fyodor Michajlitschenko). His entire family was murdered, with the exception of his older brother, Naphtali Lau-Lavie, his half brother, Yehoshua Lau-Hager, and his uncle already living inMandate Palestine.

Lau immigrated to Mandate Palestine with his brother Naphtali in July 1945, where he learned in the famous yeshiva Kol Torah under Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach as well as in Ponevezhand Knesses Chizkiyahu. He was ordained as a rabbi in 1961. He married the daughter of RabbiYitzchok Yedidya Frankel, the Rabbi of South Tel Aviv. He served as Chief Rabbi in Netanya(1978–1988), and at that time developed his reputation as a popular orator.

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Sigmund Sobolewski

Sigmund Sobolewski (Polish pronunciation: [??i?munt s?b??l?vit??]) (

born 1923) is a Polish Catholic who was the 88th prisoner to enterAuschwitz on the very first transport to the concentration camp on June 14, 1940, and remained a prisoner for four and a half years duringWorld War II. Now residing in Canada, he is an opponent of Holocaust denial and is notable for having confronted modern neo-Nazisanti-Semites and Holocaust deniers.

Sobolewski, the son of the mayor of a small Polish town who was also an officer in the Polish army, was detained at Auschwitz at the age of 17 as a result of the anti-Nazi activities of his father. Fluent in German, Sobolewski was pressed into service as a translator.

"I survived also because I was young," said Sobolewski. "I didn't realize the seriousness of what was going on. Most of the people who survived were simple people; workers, peasants from Polish villages who couldn't read and write, but who were used to the hard work. Lawyers, doctors, technicians, university graduates: many of them after three or four weeks in Auschwitz had committed suicide because they realized their chances of surviving were very, very slim."

He is the sole surviving witness of the October 7, 1944 revolt at Auschwitz-Birkenau when a group of Jewish prisoners blew up Crematorium Number 4 and attempted to escape. Sobolewski was on the fire brigade and was ordered to put out the fire. He witnessed the execution of 450 Jewish Sonderkommandos in retaliation.

"I survived only to live with the nagging question, 'What distinguished me from them (the Jews)?'", he said in an interview.

He traveled the world following the war and settled in Alberta, Canada. In 1967, he initiated his activity protesting against neo-Nazism by donning a facsimile of his Auschwitz prison uniform and picketing the appearance of a German neo-Nazi leader on Canadian television. In subsequent decades he would do the same to protest Holocaust denier Jim Keegstra and, in 1990 to picket Aryan Fest, a neo-Nazi festival organized by Terry Long in Alberta.

Sobolewski works as a realtor in Alberta but also travels the world lecturing audiences on his experiences in Auschwitz and warning against Holocaust denial.

 

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Menachem Mendel Taub

Menachem Mendel Taub, known as The Kaliver Rebbe, is a prominent Hasidic rabbi who is the Rebbe (spiritual leader) of the Kaliver Chassidic movement. He was Seventh in a direct paternal line to the Founder of the Dynasty, Rabbi Yitzchak Izak of Kaliv, a Disciple of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizensk.

The Rebbe, a survivor of Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto, has made it his life's mission to have Jews remember those who perished in the Holocaust through the saying of the Shema Prayer at the end of every synagogue Service.[citation needed]

The Kaliv Institutions include Centers in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Tiberias, Rishon Letzion, and other locations throughout Israel. The Rebbe is in the process of building the Ani Ma'amin Holocaust museum to showcase the faith of Orthodox Jews during the Holocaust.

 

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Jacob Avigdor

Yaakov Avigdor (also Jacob)

(1896–1967)

was a Polish rabbi, author and Holocaust survivor, who served asChief Rabbi of the Ashkenazi Jewish community in Mexico.

He was born into a rabbinic family in Tyrawa Wo?oska, a shtetl in the Austrian province of Galicia between the cities of Sanok and Przemy?l (now southeast Poland) in 1896. He excelled in religious studies and was ordained at the young age of 16 years. Later he attended the universities of Kraków and Lviv, obtaining a PhDin Philosophy. Acquiring a high reputation as an orator and Talmudist, he was named Chief Rabbi ofDrohobych and Boryslav, then in southeast Poland (now western Ukraine), in 1920, where he officiated until the Nazi occupation.

During the Holocaust, he lost his wife, his two daughters and his brother David the Rabbi of Andrychów, among many family members. After his liberation from the Buchenwald concentration camp, Avigdor became extremely active in the efforts of rescue and rehabilitation of Jewish refugees in postwar Europe. Upon immigrating to the U.S. in 1946, he accepted a pulpit in BrooklynNew York, and six years later he was offered the rabbinate of Mexico, holding that position until his death in Mexico City in 1967.

Avigdor was much consulted on religious and ethical questions by worldwide peers. A prolific writer, his topics included religious philosophy, Jewish history and traditions, and commentary on biblical text. Most of his prewar works were lost. In Mexico, he became a regular contributor to Yiddish periodicals, and published books in that language, Hebrew and Spanish.

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David Feuerwerker

David Feuerwerker (1912–1980) was a French rabbi and professor of Jewish history.

From October 15, 1937, until September 1, 1939, he served in the French Army, in Alsace. After World War II broke out, he remained in the Army until July 25, 1940.

He was in charge of communications for a group of artillery of the 12th R.A.D. (Régiment d'Artillerie Divisionnaire) and chaplain of the 87th D.I.A.

He received the Croix de guerre 1939-1945 (France) with a bronze star.

The citation to the Order of the Brigade reads as follows:

"As chief of artillery communications has participated from September 1939 to February 1940 in the engagements in Alsace in the region of Bitche. Has shown drive, courage, and competence in assuring under fire the phone and radio contacts.""Distinguished himself again during the combats of June 1940 on the Ailette, the Aisne, and the Seine, as Jewish Chaplain of his Division. Has contributed to maintain the fighting spirit around him and to uphold the morale of the engaged units."

He was demobilized at Châteauroux on July 25, 1940.

In the Résistance

In Brive with Edmond Michelet, later to be a senior Minister under Charles de Gaulle, he participated actively in the French RésistanceMovement "Combat" against the Nazi occupation. His name in the French Résistance was "Jacques Portal".

He received the Croix du combattant volontaire 1939-1945, the Medaille Commémorative de la Guerre 1939-1945 with the bar "France".

He was to be made Knight (Chevalier) of the Legion of Honor (Légion d'honneur) for his military activities. The Citation says:

"Despite the exceptional risks which were attached to his ministry, has participated in an active, permanent and unselfish way to the organisation of the resistance in all the region."Has not hesitated to risk his freedom, and without any doubt his life, to be for the Movement "Combat" an auxiliary particularly serious."It's to him that many hundreds of resistants owed their false identification papers which allowed them to escape the searches by theGestapo."

His wife, Antoinette Feuerwerker (née Gluck), who had finished Law School in Strasbourg before the war, and whom he married at the beginning of the war, participated with him in the underground. Combattant Volontaire de la Résistance, she was awarded the French Liberation Medal [Médaille de la France Libérée (1944)], for her participation in the liberation of France.

Jacques Soustelle and the passage to Switzerland

Six months before the end of World War II, the Germans finally understood that the Rabbi of Brive was an active member of the Résistance.

But the Rabbi got ahead of the occupier. After receiving reliable information that he was on the list of people to be arrested by the Gestapo, he decided to act. His arrest and his probable disappearance would not advance the cause he defended, day after day. He took the difficult decision, in agreement with his spouse, Antoinette Feuerwerker, to leave Brive. Only one destination was possible, Switzerland.

Antoinette Feuerwerker obtained from Jacques Soustelle, a future minister of Charles de Gaulle and later his opponent, but then a leader of the Résistance, information how to reach clandestinely neutral territory, in Divonne-les-Bains. Once in his native city of Geneva, he was imprisoned by the Swiss authorities. But his life was not in immediate danger.

Once Lyon had been liberated, in which he participated, he resumed the task of rebuilding the Jewish community of Lyon and of France, then in disarray.

Antoinette Feuerwerker had remained in France for the last six months of the war. In order to evade the Germans and deportation, she went underground with her baby daughter, Atara. Once the war ended, the couple reunited in Lyon, for the adventure of reconstruction of the post-war French Judaism.

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Franciszek Gajowniczek

Franciszek Gajowniczek 

(November 15, 1901 – March 13, 1995)

was a Polish army sergeant whose life was spared by the Nazis whenSaint Maximilian Kolbe sacrificed his life for Gajowniczek's. Gajowniczek had been sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp for aiding theJewish resistance in Poland.

Gajowniczek and Kolbe were both prisoners in 1941 at Auschwitz when a prisoner appeared to have escaped. Sub-Commandant Karl Fritzsch ordered that ten other prisoners must die by starvation in reprisal. Franciszek Gajowniczek was one of those selected to die. When the Franciscan priest Kolbe heard Gajowniczek cry, "My poor wife! My poor children! What will they do?" Kolbe offered himself instead. What exactly Kolbe said has been forgotten, but one version records his words as, "I am a Catholic priest from Poland; I would like to take his place, because he has a wife and children." The switch was permitted; Kolbe died in the punitive cell.

Gajowniczek was released from Auschwitz after spending five years, five months and nine days in the camp. Though his wife, Helena, survived the war, his sons were killed in a Soviet bombardment in 1945, before his release.

Pope Paul VI beatified Maximilian Kolbe in 1971; for the occasion, Gajowniczek was a guest of the Pope. In 1972, Time magazine reported that over 150,000 made a pilgrimage to Auschwitz to honor the anniversary of Maximilian's beatification. One of the first to speak was Gajowniczek, who declared "I want to express my thanks, for the gift of life." His wife, Helena, died in 1977. Gajowniczek was again a guest of the Pope when Maximilian Kolbe was canonized by John Paul II on October 10, 1982.

In 1994, Gajowniczek visited the St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church of Houston, where he told his translator Chaplain Thaddeus Horbowy that "so long as he ... has breath in his lungs, he would consider it his duty to tell people about the heroic act of love by Maximilian Kolbe." Gajowniczek died in the Polish city of Brzeg on March 13, 1995, slightly more than fifty-three years after having his life spared by Kolbe. He was survived by his second wife Janina.

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Lipa Goldman

Rabbi Chananya Yom Tov Lipa Goldman (1907 – 1980) was a renowned Orthodox rabbidayan, and publisher in Hungary and the United States.

Goldman was born in Neupest, a suburb of BudapestHungary. His father, Rabbi Yosef Goldman, was the chief rabbi and Av Beit Din of the Orthodox Jewish community. In 1926, at the age of 21, Goldman became a rabbi in Romania, and in 1934 in Bessarabia (then part of Romania). In 1938, after his father died, he was given his father's position as Chief Rabbi and Av Beit Din of the Orthodox Jewish community in Neupest.

To save his family from the 1944 Nazi invasion of Hungary — which he anticipated just in time — Goldman obtained false papers that certified them as Aryans. After the war, Goldman's family lived in HamburgGermany. During his time in Germany, Goldman involved himself in Vaad Hatzalah activities. The Joint Distribution Committee arranged for their emigration to the United States, and in April 1949, Goldman was able to reach America's shore aboard the Marine Shark.

In the United States, Goldman was a dayan and publisher of seforim. He published a Shas and various other seforim. His Shas was one of the most popular editions available at the time. Initially, Goldman lived on the Lower East Side, Manhattan, then in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and finally in Boro Park, Brooklyn. In Boro Park, he served as rabbi of a synagogue known as "Naipest" (namesake of his previous rabbinate, in Hungary). He died in Boro Park in 1980.

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Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam

Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam 

(January 10, 1905 - June 18, 1994)

was an Orthodox rabbi and the founding rebbe of the Sanz-Klausenburg Hasidic dynasty.

Halberstam became one of the youngest rebbes in Europe, leading thousands of followers in the town of KlausenburgRomania, before World War II. His wife, eleven children and most of his followers were murdered by the Nazis while he was incarcerated in several concentration camps. After the war, he rebuilt Jewish communal life in the displaced persons camps of Western Europe, re-established his dynasty in the United States and Israel, and rebuilt his own family with a second marriage and the birth of seven more children.

 

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Adam Koz?owiecki

Cardinal Adam Koz?owieckiS.J., (Polish pronunciation: [?adam k?zw??vj?t?sk?i];

1 April 1911 – 28 September 2007) was Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lusaka in Zambia.

Born in Huta KomorowskaAustria-Hungary (now part of Poland) in noble family of Ostoja coat of arms, Koz?owiecki was ordained a Jesuit priest on 24 June 1937 after studying at the Zak?ad Naukowo-Wychowawczy Ojców Jezuitów w Chyrowie. In 1939 he and 24 confrères were arrested by the Gestapo in Kraków and then sent to Auschwitz. Six months later he was transferred to the Dachau concentration camp, where he remained until the end of the war.

After his release the Vicar General proposed that he go to then-Northern Rhodesia, where the Polish Jesuits had a mission. He taught there for several years until being appointed Apostolic Administrator of the new Prefecture of Lusaka in 1950. As the mission grew he was named Bishop and Vicar Apostolic on 11 September 1955. In 1959 he was appointed the first Metropolitan Archbishop of Lusaka. He resigned from the see in 1969 so that an African could be appointed Archbishop.

He participated in all the sessions of the Second Vatican Council and in the first Synod of Bishops in 1967, and in the 1994 Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops dedicated to Africa.

After his resignation he continued to serve as a missionary in Zambia and was a member of theCongregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 1970 to 1991.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 1998. He wasCardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Andreae in Quirinali. He died on 28 September 2007.

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Jean-Marie Lustiger

Aaron Jean-Marie Lustiger (French pronunciation: [??? ma?i lysti?e] ;

17 September 1926 – 5 August 2007)

was a French cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Archbishop of Paris from 1981 until his resignation in 2005. He was made a cardinal in 1983. A French website is entirely dedicated to his life and work.

Lustiger was born Aaron Lustiger in Paris, to nonobservant Ashkenazi Jews from B?dzin, Charles and Gisèle Lustiger, who left Poland around World War I. Lustiger's father ran a hosiery shop. Aaron Lustiger studied at the Lycée Montaigne in Paris, where he first encountered anti-Semitism. Visiting Germany in 1937, he was hosted by an anti-Nazi Protestant family whose children had been required to join the Hitler Youth.[2][6]

Sometime between the ages of ten and twelve, Lustiger came across a Protestant Bible and felt inexplicably attracted to it. On the outbreak of war in September 1939 the family located to Orléans.[2][6]

In March 1940, during Holy Week, the 13-year old Lustiger decided to convert to Roman Catholicism. On 21 August he was baptized as Aaron Jean-Marie by the Bishop of OrléansJules Marie Courcoux. His sister converted later. In October 1940, the Vichy regime passed the first Statute on Jews, which forced Jews to wear a yellow badge. Although Jean-Marie Lustiger lived hidden in Orléans, his parents had to wear the badge 

Lustiger, his father and sister sought refuge in unoccupied southern France, while his mother returned to Paris to run the family business. In September 1942, his mother was deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp where she died the following year. The surviving family returned to Paris after the war. Lustiger's father tried unsuccessfully to have his son's baptism annulled, and even sought the help of the chief rabbi of Paris.

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Joel Teitelbaum

Joel (Yoel) Teitelbaum, (Hebrew???? ?????????‎)

(born 1887  - died August 19, 1979)

known as Reb Yoelish or the Satmar Rav (or Rebbe), was a prominent  Hungarian Hasidicrebbe and Talmudic scholar.  He was probably the best known Haredi opponent of all forms of modern political Zionism. But his opposition to Zionism was only part of a much wider approach to Judaism that revitalized many Hungarian and Transylvanian Jewish survivors of the Holocaustand led to a renaissance of the 'Ungarish' (Hungary-originated) Hasidic community.

Teitelbaum was rescued from death in the Holocaust during 1944 in Nazi-controlled Transylvania as a result of a deal between a Hungarian Zionist official, Rudolph Kastner, and a deputy of Adolf EichmannEn route, the train was re-routed by the Germans to Bergen-Belsen, where the 1600 passengers languished for four months while awaiting further negotiations between rescue activists and the Nazi leadership. In the end, the train was released and continued on to Switzerland.

 

 

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Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl

Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl (Hebrew: ???? ????? ?? ????????‎)

(25 October 1903, Debrecen,Hungary – 29 November 1957, Mount Kisco, New YorkMount Kisco, New York)

(known as Michael Ber Weissmandl) was a rabbi and shtadlan who became known for his efforts to save the Jews of Slovakia from extermination at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Thanks to the efforts of his "Working Group", which bribed German and Slovakian officials, the mass deportation of Slovakian Jews was delayed for two years, from 1942 to 1944.

(25 October 1903, Debrecen,Hungary – 29 November 1957,

Largely by bribing diplomats, Weissmandl was able to smuggle letters or telegrams to people he hoped would help save the Jews of Europe, alerting them to the progressive Nazi destruction of European Jewry. It is known that he managed to send letters to Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and he entrusted a diplomat to deliver a letter to the Vatican for Pope Pius XII.

He also begged the Allies to bomb the rails leading to Auschwitz, but to no avail. He believed that if the Hungarian Jews would resist, then only a small number of them would be deported, as the Germans in 1944 couldn't garner enough soldiers to leave the front and deal with the Jews simultaneously. Of around 900,000 Hungarian-speaking Jews, close to 600,000 were murdered.

 

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Ernst Wiechert

Ernst Wiechert

 (18 May 1887 – 24 August 1950)

was a German teacher, poet and writer.

Wiechert was born in Kleinort near Sensburg (Mr?gowo)East Prussia.

He was one of the most widely read novelists in Germany during the 1930s. He incorporated hishumanist ideals in his novels among which Das einfache Leben (The simple Life, 1939) and Die Jeromin-Kinder (The Jeromin children, 1945/47) are the best known today.

Wiechert was strongly opposed to Nazism from the start. He appealed in 1933 and 1935 to the undergraduates in Munich to retain their critical thinking in relation to the national socialist ideology. This was rated as call to internal resistance. The minutes of the speech circulated illegally in Germany and reached Moscow in 1937 baked in bread. Here it was published in the influential exile magazine Das Wort (The Word). But Wiechert went even further and dared to openly criticize the imprisonment of Martin Niemöller by the Nazis in 1938. He was arrested shortly after the rigged plebiscite by which Germany absorbed Austria in April 1938.

In consequence of his criticism, he was interned himself in the Buchenwald concentration camp for four months which became the most horrible time of his life. After that, he wrote down his memories about the time of his imprisonment and buried the manuscript. It was published after the war in 1945, entitled Der Totenwald (Forest of the dead), a shocking account of the conditions in Buchenwald. Joseph Goebbels had threatened after Wiechert's release from concentration camp that Wiechert would be killed if he publicly voiced protest once more.

After the war, Wiechert was a critic of restorative tendencies in post-war Germany. He died at StäfaSwitzerland.

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W?adys?aw Bartoszewski

W?adys?aw Bartoszewski [vwa?d?swaf bart????fsk?i] 

 (born February 19, 1922 inWarsaw) is a Polish politician, social activistjournalistwriterhistorian, former Auschwitz concentration camp prisoner, World War II Resistance fighter, Polish underground activist, participant of the Warsaw Uprising, twice the Minister of Foreign Affairschevalier of the Order of the White Eagle, and an honorary citizen of Israel.

World War II

In September 1939, Bartoszewski took part in the civil defense of Warsaw as a stretcher-bearer. From May 1940, he worked in the first social clinic of the Polish Red Cross in Warsaw. On September 19, 1940, Bartoszewski was detained in the Warsaw district of ?oliborz during a surprise round-up of members of the public (?apanka). From September 22, 1940, he was anAuschwitz concentration camp prisoner (his inmate number was 4427). Due to actions undertaken by the Polish Red Cross, he was released from Auschwitz on April 8, 1941.

Polish Underground Wladyslaw Bartoszewski on May 21, 2005 at the International Book Fair in WarsawPoland, promoting his Polish language book Moja Jerozolima, mój Izrael (My Jerusalem, my Israel)

After his release from Auschwitz, Bartoszewski contacted the Association of Armed Struggle(Zwi?zek Walki Zbrojnej). In the summer of 1941, he reported on his concentration camp imprisonment to the Information Department of the Information and Propaganda Bureau of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa, or AK, a reformed version of the Association of Armed Struggle and the largest resistance movement in Poland). In summer 1942, he joined the Front for the Rebirth of Poland (Front Odrodzenia Polski) which was a secret, Catholic, social-educational and charity organization founded by Zofia Kossak-Szczucka. From October 1941 until 1944 Bartoszewski studied Polish Studies in the secret Humanist Department of Warsaw University at the time when higher education of Poles was outlawed by the German occupational authorities.

In August 1942, Bartoszewski became a soldier of the Home Army, working as a reporter in the "P" Subdivision of the Information Department of its Information and Propaganda Bureau. His pseudonym “Teofil” was inspired by Teofil Grodzicki, a fictional character from Jan Parandowski’s novel entitled The Sky in Flames. He cooperated with Kazimierz Moczarski in the two-man P-1 report of the "P" subdivision.

From September 1942, Bartoszewski was active on behalf of the Front for the Rebirth of Poland in the Provisional Committee for Aid to Jews and its successor organization, the Council for Aid to Jews (codenamed ?egota). ?egota, a Polish World War II resistance organization whose objective was to help Jews during the Holocaust, operated under the auspices of the Polish Government in Exile through the Delegatura, its presence in Warsaw. Bartoszewski remained a member of ?egota until the Warsaw Uprising. In 1943, he replacedWitold Bie?kowski in the Jewish Department of the Delegatura.

From November 1942 to September 1943, Bartoszewski was an editorial team secretary of the Catholic magazine Prawda (The Truth), the press organ of the Front for the Rebirth of Poland. From fall of 1942 until spring of 1944, Bartoszewski was the editor-in-chief of the Catholic magazine Prawda M?odych (The Youth's Truth), which was also connected with the Front for the Rebirth of Poland and aimed at university and high-school students. In November 1942, Bartoszewski became a vice-manager of a division created in the Department of Internal Affairs of the Delegatura whose remit was to help prisoners of Pawiak prison. In February 1943, Bartoszewski became a reporter and vice-manager of the Department's Jewish Report. As a part of his activities for ?egota and the Jewish Report, Bartoszewski organized assistance for the participants of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in April 1943.

Wladyslaw Bartoszewski at the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising in 2004 Stalinist period

On August 1, 1944, Bartoszewski began his participation in the Warsaw Uprising. He was an aide to the commander of radio post “Asma” and editor-in-chief of the magazine The News form the City and The Radio News. On the September 20, by the order of the commandant of the Warsaw District of the AK, General Antoni “Monter” Chru?ciel, Bartoszewski was decorated with the Silver Cross of Merit. This was the result of a proposal put forward by the chief of the Information and Propaganda Bureau in General Headquarters of the Home Army,Colonel Jan Rzepecki). On October 1, Bartoszewski was appointed Second Lieutenant by the AK commander general Tadeusz “Bór” Komorowski (also due to a proposal by Rzepecki). He received the Cross of Valor order on October 4.

Bartoszewski left Warsaw on October 7, 1944. He continued his underground activity in the Information and Propaganda Bureau of the Home Army at its General Headquarters in Kraków. From November 1944 to January 1945, he held a position as editorial team secretary forInformation Bulletin. At the end of February 1945 he returned to Warsaw, where he began his service in the information and propaganda section of NIE resistance movement. From May to August 1945, Bartoszewski was serving in the sixth unit of the Delegatura (he was responsible for information and propaganda) under the supervision of Kazimierz Moczarski). On October 10, 1945, he revealed that he had served in the AK.

In autumn 1945 he started his cooperation with the Institute of National Remembrance at the presidium of the government and the Head Commission of Examination of German Crimes in Poland. His information gathered during the occupation period about the Nazi crimes, the situation in concentration camps and prisons as well as his knowledge concerning the Jewish genocide appeared to be very helpful.

In February 1946 he began his work in the editorial section of Gazeta Ludowa (People’s Gazette), the main press organ of the Polish People's Party (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe, PSL). Soon, he joined the PSL, at that time the only influential party in opposition to the communist government. In the articles published in Gazeta Ludowa, he mentioned the outstanding figures of the Polish Underground State (the interview with Stefan Korbo?ski, the report from the funeral of Jan Pieka?kiewicz), and the events connected with the fight for liberation of the country (a series of sketches presenting the Warsaw Uprising entitled Dzie? Walcz?cej Stolicy).

Due to the collaboration with the oppositional PSL, he soon became subject to repressions by the security services. On November 15, 1946, he was falsely accused of being a spy, resulting in him being arrested and held by the Ministry of Public Security of Poland. In December he was transferred to the Mokotów Prison and released on the April 10, 1948, due to the help of Zofia Rudnicka (a former chief of ?egota, then working in the Ministry of Justice). Although he was accepted into the third year of Polish Studies in December 1948, Bartoszewski's arrest in 1949 and the resulting five years' imprisonment rendered him unable to finish his studies.

Bartoszewski was again arrested on December 14, 1949. On May 29, 1952, he was sentenced by the Military District Court for eight years under the accusation of being a spy. In April 1954, he was moved to the prison in Rawicz and in June to the prison in Racibórz. He was released in August 1954 on a year parole due to his bad health condition. On March 2, 1955, during the wave of de-stalinization, Bartoszewski was informed he was wrongly sentenced.

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Anna Heilman

Anna Heilman, born Hana Wajcblum 

(1 December 1928 - 1 May 2011),

referred to in other sources as Hanka or Chana Weissman, was one of the surviving Auschwitz ex-prisoners who were in on the plot to blow up the crematoria. She, her sister Estusia, and other women smuggled gunpowder out of the Union munitions factory and passed it from insider to insider until it reached the Sonderkommando. The women involved in the gunpowder smuggling chain include Roza Robota (who had direct contact with the men of the Sonderkommando), Ala GertnerRegina SzafirztajnRose Grunapfel MethHadassa ZlotnickaMarta BindigerGenia FischerInge Frank, Ilse, and Antichka.

Anna was born on December 1, 1928 into a middle class assimilated Jewish family in Warsaw, Poland, to Jakub and Rebeka Wajcblum, who were both deaf. They had 2 children before Anna: first Sabina, then Estusia (all 3 of their children had normal hearing). Jakub was born in Warsaw in 1887. He owned a factory (Snycerpol) in Warsaw that employed deaf workers to make wooden handicrafts. He went to the Paris World Exposition to exhibit the factory's products in 1936. His products were also shown at the New York World's Fair in 1939. Rebeka was born in 1898 in Pruzany, Poland. She was from a wealthy family. When the children were younger, they had a nanny who was also deaf.

Sabina escaped the Holocaust with her former tutor and future husband, Mietek. They survived by fleeing to the Soviet Union and subsequently settled in Sweden.

Anna, Estusia and their parents lived in an area that became part of the Warsaw Ghetto, in an apartment building on 38 Mila Street, just down the street from 18 Mila Street, headquarters of the ?OB (?ydowska Organizacja Bojowa - Jewish Fighting Organization), led by Mordecai Anielewicz.

Anna was part of Hashomer Hatzair, a youth movement. She had a dilemma. She wanted to stay with them and fight in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, but she also wanted to stay with her parents. She finally chose to stay with her parents.

Anna, Estusia and their parents were among the last deportees from the Warsaw Ghetto when they were taken to Maidanek in May 1943. Anna's parents were murdered upon arrival at Maidanek. Estusia and Anna were sent to Auschwitz in September 1943.

In her online memoir, Heilman claims it was her own idea to smuggle the powder to the Sonderkommando. A quote from her online memoir:Out of this friendship evolved the ideas of resistance. I can't tell you who initiated it ... The idea was what could we do, each one of us, to resist? I thought, "You are working in the Pulverraum. How about taking gunpowder?" We started to talk about the idea. The gunpowder was within our reach. We thought, "We can use it!" Somebody in the group knew that the Sondrkommando was preparing resistance. We said, "Let us give the gunpowder to them!"

They found many ways to smuggle powder out. Some ways that Anna and others used was pouches on the inside of their dresses, knots of their headscarves, and under their fingernails. They were regularly searched. When they saw from a distance that they would be searched, they would let the powder out onto the ground, and mingled it into the soil so that it could not be seen.

Estusia was betrayed when Ala Gertner told an SS officer she had befriended and trusted about the plot. She, Roza Robota, Regina Stafirstajn, and Ala Gertner were taken to the "Bunker" inside the main camp and tortured for months. They never gave up Anna's name. They only gave names of Sonderkommando members who were already dead.

Estusia, Regina, Ala and Roza were hanged on January 5, 1945, just under two weeks before the advancing Soviet Red Army reached Auschwitz. The entire women's camp was forced to watch the executions. The women were executed as Jewish resistance fighters, under direct orders from Berlin. The four were murdered as were millions of others, but their act of defiance and courage forced the Nazis to recognize them as individuals, as they wanted to make an example out of these four to make sure no one else would do what they did.

Auschwitz was brutally evacuated on January 18, 1945 as the Soviet Army continued its advance towards Germany.

Hana and Estusia had a special friendship with Marta Bindiger, a Slovakian Jew who worked in "Kanada" an area in Auschwitz where the possessions stolen from the prisoners were stored in vast warehouses. While Estusia, Regina, Ala and Roza were awaiting execution, Estusia sneaked a note to Marta asking her to look after her sister Hana so that she could die easier. Marta wrote back promising never to abandon Hana, and kept her promise. They stayed together, even on the death march to Ravensbrück where they stayed until February, 1945, and then at Neustadt-Glewe until the Soviets liberated them on May 2, 1945.. They became lifelong friends.

After a brief stay in Belgium, Anna emigrated in May 1946 to Palestine under the British Mandate. Anna was reunited with Sabina, met her extended family, and finished high school. On March 7, 1947, Anna married Joshua Heilman. Joshua had left Poland for British Mandate Palestine to pursue his university studies one week before the outbreak of World War II. His younger sister Rose was also interned at Auschwitz and survived the war. The rest of his family was murdered

Anna obtained a degree in social work in Israel. Anna and Joshua had two daughters. Joshua went to the United States as a Hebrew teacher and brought the rest of the family to Boston in 1958. The family emigrated to Ottawa, Canada in 1960 where Joshua found work as a Hebrew school principal. Anna worked with The Children's Aid Society in Ottawa as a bilingual (English-French) social worker until she retired as supervisor of the English-French unit in 1990. Joshua Heilman died in October 2005.

In 1991,after a ceremony at Yad Vashem to dedicate a memorial to Estusia, Regina, Ala and Roza, she mentioned to her son-in-law Sheldon Schwartz that she had kept a Polish diary in Auschwitz that had been confiscated and destroyed during a search, and which she had recreated from memory in a displaced persons camp in 1945.  Because none of her children or grandchildren spoke Polish, he persuaded her to translate it into English. They then worked together for 10 years, she as writer, he as editor. Her memoir, Never Far Away: The Auschwitz Chronicles of Anna Heilman, was published in 2001. The book won the 2002 City of Ottawa Book Award. 

Anna Heilman is one of those featured in Unlikely Heroes, a 2003 film about Jewish resistance during World War II

 

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Jack Tramiel

Jack Tramiel (PolishJacek Trzmiel)

(born 13 December 1928) is a businessman, best known for founding Commodore International - manufacturer of the Commodore PETCommodore 64,Commodore 128Commodore Amiga, and other Commodore models of home computers.

Tramiel was born as Jacek Trzmiel in ?ód?Poland  into a Jewish family.

After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 his family was transported by German occupiers tothe Jewish ghetto in ?ód?, where he worked in a garment factory. When the ghettos were liquidated his family was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was examined by Dr. Mengele and selected for a work party, after which he and his father were sent to the labor camp Ahlem near Hanover, while his mother remained at Auschwitz. Like many other inmates, his father was reported to have died of Typhus in the work camp; however, Tramiel believes he was killed by an injection of gasoline. Tramiel was rescued from the labor camp in April 1945 by the84th Infantry Division.

In November 1947, Tramiel emigrated to the United States. He soon joined the army, where he learned how to repair office equipment, including typewriters.

 

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Simone Veil

Simone VeilDBE 

(born 13 July 1927) is a French lawyer and politician who served as Minister of Health under Valéry Giscard d'EstaingPresident of the European Parliament and member of the Constitutional Council of France.

A survivor from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp where she lost part of her family, she is the Honorary President of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah.

She was elected to the Académie française in November 2008.

Veil was born Simone Annie Liline Jacob, the daughter of a Jewish architect in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France. In March 1944, Veil's family was deported, Simone, her mother and one sister to Auschwitz-Birkenau then Bergen-Belsen where her mother died shortly before the camp's 15 April 1945 liberation. Veil's father and brother also died; they are last known to have been sent on a transport to Lithuania. Veil's other sister who had been arrested as a member of the Resistance survived her imprisonment in Ravensbrück. Veil returned to speak at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2005 for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the camps.

Having obtained her baccalauréat in 1943 before being deported, she began the study of law and political science at Sciences Po, where she met her future husband Antoine Veil.

The couple married on 26 October 1946, and have three sons.

Veil became an attorney and worked for several years as a civil servant in the Ministry of Justice.

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Léon Blum

André Léon Blum (French pronunciation: [le?? blym];

9 April 1872 – 30 March 1950

was a French politician, usually identified with the moderate left, and three times the Prime Minister of France.

Second World War Leon Blum memorial in kibbutz Kfar Blum, Israel

When the Germans occupied France in June 1940, Blum made no effort to leave the country, despite the extreme danger he was in as a Jew and a socialist leader; instead of fleeing the country, he escaped to southern France, but the French ordered his arrest. With two others he was tried for betraying his country, and imprisoned in Nazi Germany until 1945. He was among the "The Vichy 80", a minority of parliamentarians that refused to grant full powers to Marshal Philippe Pétain. He was arrested by the authorities in September and held until 1942, when he was put on trial in the Riom Trial on charges of treason, for having "weakened France's defenses" by ordering her arsenal shipped to Spain, leaving France's infantry unsupported by heavy artillery on the eastern front against Nazi Germany. He used the courtroom to make a brilliant indictment of the French military and pro-German politicians like Pierre Laval. The trial was such an embarrassment to the Vichy regime that the Germans ordered it called off.

In April 1943, the occupying Government had Blum imprisoned in Buchenwald until April 1945. He was imprisoned in the section reserved for high-ranking prisoners. His future wife, Janot Blum, chose to come to the camp voluntarily to live with him inside the camp.

As the Allied armies approached Buchenwald, he was transferred to Dachau, near Munich, and in late April 1945, together with other notable inmates, to Tyrol. In the last weeks of the war the Nazi regime gave orders that he was to be executed[citation needed], but the local authorities decided not to obey them. Blum was rescued by Allied troops in May 1945. While in prison he wrote his best known work, the essay À l'échelle Humaine ("For all mankind").

His brother René, the founder of the Ballet de l'Opéra à Monte Carlo, was arrested in Paris in 1942. He was deported to Auschwitz where, according to the Vrba-Wetzler report, he was tortured and killed in April 1943.

 

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Trygve Bratteli

Trygve Martin Bratteli  

(11 January 1910 – 20 November 1984)

was a Norwegianpolitician from the Labour Party and Prime Minister of Norway in 1971–1972 and 1973–1976.

Bratteli was born in Nøtterøy, where he attended primary school. He was unemployed for some time, worked as a messenger, a whaler, and construction worker. Named as secretary of the Labour Party's crisis committee during the Nazi invasion of Norway, he was arrested by theGermans in 1942, was a Nacht und Nebel prisoner of various German concentration camps from 1943 to 1945 but survived. He was liberated from Vaihingen an der Enz concentration camp on 5 April 1945 by the White Buses along with 15 other Norwegians who had survived.

 

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