Legacies of the Holocaust

Being the daughter of Holocaust survivors has had a profound influence on my life, even before I knew details of my family's stories. It has shaped my values, educational and career interests, and medical writing.

Legacies of the Holocaust is a wide-ranging blog that will include vignettes and photos of family members not in Resilience; resources for tracing your family's story; news and commentary about the Holocaust, antisemitism, and genocide around the world; reflections on social justice issues; research on recovery after trauma, and strategies to teach tolerance.

Holocaust Remembrance Day, Maus, and Growing Antisemitism

By Judy Stone | January 31, 2022 | Comments Off on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Maus, and Growing Antisemitism

I was outraged by the juxtaposition of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the book Maus being banned, and a special national security training for synagogues. I had, in fact, just submitted a post to Medscape, which will be published on 2/1. Friday’s Shabbat evening service carried this resonant, moving sermon by Rabbi Jack Paskoff. He kindly is allowing me to post it here. So yesterday was kind of a strange day for me. Not for me personally but for me in terms of looking at Jewish life, looking at history, contemplating current events. Earlier, I guess towards the end of last week, I received an email from Congressman Smucker’s office and he wanted to know if I wanted to be able to watch the ceremony from the United Nations yesterday, marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Truth be told, I’m a little resentful or more than a little resentful of the United Nations…

Read More

Thanksgiving 2019

By Judy Stone | November 26, 2019 | 1 Comment

With all the bad news in recent weeks—the impeachment hearings exposing such high-level graft throughout this administration, Hong Kong and Iran protests, and more—there have also been more glimmers of hope. Here are some of the people I am thankful for. Scott Warren, the humanitarian who faced 20 years in prison for offering food, water, and brief shelter to migrants crossing the arid desert, where thousands have died. Working with No More Deaths, Warren provided aid consistent with his firmly held religious beliefs,⁠1 to prevent needless suffering and death. The government has harassed eight other volunteers with misdemeanor charges, and has tracked, searched and detained lawyers and journalists covering the border crisis. Warren’s arrest appeared to be retaliation for the group having released damning video of the Customs and Border Patrol kicking over and emptying water bottles that the group had left for migrants crossing the desert. Remarkably, his first…

Read More


By Judy Stone | November 9, 2019 | Comments Off on Kristallnacht

November 9-10 is the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night in 1938 when violence broke out against Jews throughout Germany. While designed to appear spontaneous, the demonstrations had been carefully orchestrated by the Nazis. In response to an assassination, Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, orchestrated a “spontaneous” reaction, and sent a teletype with explicit instructions to police and secret service. In two days, over 250 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were trashed and looted. Almost 100 were murdered. The morning after the pogroms, 30,000 German Jewish men were arrested for the “crime” of being a Jew and sent to concentration camps, where many of them perished. I fear we are heading toward that tipping point again. There has been a continued barrage of anti-immigrant and antisemitic rhetoric. To no one’s surprise, hate attacks have been increasing.     History For those who don’t remember (like I didn’t) Kristallnacht…

Read More

Another Bad Week for People of Color

By Judy Stone | October 12, 2019 | Comments Off on Another Bad Week for People of Color

In Minneapolis on October 11, Trump again escalated his anti-immigrant rhetoric. He deliberately chose to go on an ugly offensive, holding his rally in Rep. Ilhan Omar’s backyard. In a city with a large Somali population, he chose to call Omar “a disgrace to our country.” At his rally just now, Trump called me an “America-hating socialist” and a “disgrace.” He shouted xenophobic conspiracy theories about me. He scolded my district for voting for me. His hate is no match for our movement. Stand with me by donating now: https://t.co/QdUrT9zJsr pic.twitter.com/Ik8I9zlRTf — Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 11, 2019 Can you imagine being Somali-American and watching this? This is the kind of hate rally seen in authoritarian and fascist countries. We Jews have seen this before, as have countless other minorities. This is the powerful hurting the vulnerable to empower themselves. https://t.co/o3Oy1S2KPj — Elad Nehorai (@PopChassid) October 11, 2019 Previously, he…

Read More

A Key to Remaining Compassionate

By Judy Stone | September 21, 2019 | Comments Off on A Key to Remaining Compassionate

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the people who need help? We’ve been deluged with one disaster after another—from hurricanes to mass shootings to the crisis of migrants seeking asylum. How can we remain compassionate and helpful? Researchers are discovering clues. Northwestern University’s David DeSteno, a psychology professor, uses the example of the Cajun Navy. These are a group of boaters who survived Hurricane Katrina, and then traveled from Louisiana to rescue others during Hurricane Harvey. They’ve also travelled to North Carolina and Florida to rescue people during floods. What motivated them to risk their lives, going back into a dangerous situation, rather than hiding in their current safe homes? Many people who have survived adversity come to believe they might be able to help others,  by similarly helping others. The Northwestern researchers call this having a “sense of efficacy.” Most of us might describe it as “paying it…

Read More

Round-up of Customs and Border Patrol Abuses and Protests

By Judy Stone | July 27, 2019 | 3 Comments

Human rights abuses continue on our Southern border, but there has been some good pushback. First, the bad news. The worst parts have been the abuses reported from CBP “detention” camps, what most people would call concentration camps, as I noted here. Members of Congress visited the camps earlier this month, but little has changed. There are inmates with no running water, inadequate food, and cramped together. For example, DHS inspectors visited Paso del Norte, a facility near El Paso. They found it was holding 900 in a facility designed for 125. Under this administration, at least 24 adults have died while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. At least 7 children have also died, the latest being a teen who committed suicide after being separated from her father and another Guatemalan boy who died of influenza. This article is one of the most chilling and on-target posts…

Read More

A Tale of Two Principals

By Judy Stone | July 13, 2019 | Comments Off on A Tale of Two Principals

This week, two principals made the front page of the news for widely different reasons. Their stories raise thought-provoking questions about how the Holocaust should be taught. The first, shocking story was that of Principal William Latson, head of Spanish River High School in Palm Beach, Florida. In 2018, a mother (who preferred to remain unnamed) wrote asking how the Holocaust was being taught. His response? Lessons were “not forced upon individuals as we all have the same rights but not all the same beliefs.” Compounding her shock, Latson continued in an email, “Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened…” “I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a school district employee.” He added that he personally believes in history. After the subsequent outrage, Latson spent several days at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), but he…

Read More

Refugee Detention or Concentration Camps? Protests Begin

By Judy Stone | July 6, 2019 | Comments Off on Refugee Detention or Concentration Camps? Protests Begin

Last week, more news came out about abuses of refugees at detention camps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came under fire for appropriately calling the “detention centers” concentration camps. She is historically correct. This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying. This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis ⬇️https://t.co/2dWHxb7UuL — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 18, 2019 Also, here is  testimony supporting a temporary restraining order from the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law. I couldn’t agree more with AOC. Refugees are being abused physically and mentally. The numbers of deaths are slowly but steadily increasing and conditions seem to be rapidly deteriorating. Then these images emerged: One of these pictures is a concentration camp, and so is the other. I have made them both black and white in case you…

Read More

“Our Stories Must Be Told” – Now More Than Ever

By Judy Stone | June 30, 2019 | Comments Off on “Our Stories Must Be Told” – Now More Than Ever

I visited this #Holocaust exhibit in August #Maine recently, at the Holocaust & Human Rights Center of Maine (HHRC). In Augusta, Maine (@HHRCMe). “Our Stories Must Be Told” is a very moving exhibit, which I highly recommend. If you haven’t yet, come check out our latest exhibit, Our Stories Must Be Told, at the Michael Klahr Center on the UMaine–Augusta campus. The exhibit features artifacts from the Holocaust. pic.twitter.com/lxmsH6JiI8 — Holocaust & Human Rights Center of Maine (HHRC) (@HHRCMe) June 12, 2019 Their staff couldn’t have been more welcoming despite my having given them such short notice of my visit, and I was able to meet with Phil Fishman, Office Manager, and Shenna Bellows, Executive Director. The center was founded in 1985, with Gerda Haas, Holocaust survivor and author of Tracking the Holocaust and These I Do Remember: Fragments from the Holocaust, as its founding director. The permanent home is the…

Read More

Faith and Friendship

By Judy Stone | June 23, 2019 | Comments Off on Faith and Friendship

There are so many lessons packed into “Faith, Friendship, and Tragedy at Santa Fe High.” Skip Hollandsworth gifts us with this beautiful, thoughtful written eulogy. Friendships like Sabika and Jaelyn’s don’t come along every day. The Muslim teenager from Pakistan and evangelical Christian girl from small town Texas were inseparable. Until a student opened fire at Santa Fe High School a year ago today. By @skiphol: https://t.co/Owq9BHQpBg — Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) May 18, 2019 Faith and Friendship is a heartbreaking read about overcoming religious and ethnic hatreds and the unlikely friendship between two young women. Jaelyn Cogburn is an Evangelical Christian home-schooled in Santa Fe. Her best friend was Sabika Sheikh, a devout Muslim exchange student. There is no small irony that Sabika, wanting to learn about the US in a cross-cultural exchange, left Karachi only to be killed because our country’s love of guns enables murders so readily. What…

Read More