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.
This year, Days of Remembrance week was observed April 28 – May 5. The latest synagogue shooting, a hate-filled attack on the last day of Passover, and on the anniversary of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooting, is a stark reminder of why educating about the Holocaust is more important than ever. In this part of the Legacies of the Holocaust, I’ll share brief vignettes about my family. Some survived the Holocaust in Hungary, others did not. Dismayed by the growing antisemitism and racism in the past two years, I immersed myself in Holocaust studies. I promised myself to work on educating about the Holocaust and genocides. During this period, I wrote about my family and the lessons they shared. Their memories and stories are gathered in Resilience: One Family’s Story of Hope and Triumph over Evil. Come meet my family. Mór, the grandfather I never knew This is Mór,…Read More
Since Holocaust Remembrance Week, there has been a variety of news, some good, more not. My aunt Kati (now Kitty Williams) is an Auschwitz survivor. Each year, she has spoken throughout the Omaha region and reached thousands of students with her messages of tolerance and hope. KETV interviewed her and shared this article and clip: KETV didn’t get the title of their article quite right. Kati wasn’t just warning about the rise in antisemitism, but also of the increase in othering and hate crimes in the current political climate. She spoke of the rising tide of hate crimes, and then of her hope that the students will learn from her past and the Holocaust. Her message of the need to come together didn’t reach Arkansas, where a group of white supremacists disrupted a remembrance event in Russell, Arkansas. Sir Beryl Wolfson, a 96-year-old World War II veteran who witnessed…Read More
Although thalidomide, a drug first sold for morning sickness, was released in 1957, the heartbreak from its damage continues and lessons have not yet been learned—including the need for better research and corporate ethics, the need to care for those hurt by an “advance,” and the importance of strong and ethical oversight from government regulators like Frances Kelsey, the FDA reviewer who prevented the birth defects caused by thalidomide from occurring in the United States by blocking its approval. The following article first appeared on the Scientific American website on November 8, 2012. I was attending World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Descendants 24th Annual International Conference in Cleveland last week, when my aunt, herself a survivor, handed me a copy of Newsweek with a cover article, “The Nazis and Thalidomide: The Worst Drug Scandal of All Time.” The story was prompted by the…Read More