Wagner College Germany/Poland EYH 2015

By in Holocaust, Political Leaders

  Introduction: My class trip to Germany and Poland has resulted in lifelong memories and knowledge that I could have never received by reading a textbook.  Reading about something is completely different than experiencing it.  For example, reading about Auschwitz taught me a lot, but going to Auschwitz made everything I learned come to life.  Everything became real.  Going to the Topography of Terror in Berlin taught me so much about the perpetrators while I stood in a building that used to be the Gestapo headquarters, in the city that the perpetrators once controlled.  We had the opportunity to talk to people who currently live in Germany and Poland, and they shared with us how they feel about the each other now.  I also learned a great deal about the Jewish culture in Germany and Poland, and how it has changed over the years.  One of the most fascinating conversations we had was...

Gabi Held Quotes Vlada Braginsky and Alyssa Thompson

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When did things start to change? “I already felt anti-semitism in school and there was a new law that passed that if you were a Jew, you were ordered to wear a yellow Jewish star. We had curfews. We couldn’t go out or else they would lock us in jail.” How was the living quarters in the qhetto? “Hardly any space to move. We were in a very small room. It was inside a big factory room with elders, children and women. They were all laying down thinking how will we all survive here? We were hoping it was the end of the war.”       This is the only certificate but it’s left after the war which the American gave Gabi Held when he was liberated. April 13, 1945. “Old people that had beards when we arrived to the ghettos were getting their beards cut because they were religious Jews. They just wanted to show that they are in power and in control while...

Ruchama Rachel Rothstein (Rachel Roth)

By in Holocaust

“In despair, I try to suppress the tears welling up within me. Panic and fear possess me completely. The curfew hour is drawing near, in a few minutes I will be forbidden to be seen on the street. People are deeply troubled and scattered in all directions. The street is deserted. My spirit is completely broken.” – Ruchama Rachel Rothstein, author of Here There is No Why, Holocaust survivor        Rachel Roth experienced first-hand the persecution of the Jews of Poland. On October 16, 1940, one month after the Nazis invaded Poland, the city of Warsaw was divided into three zones. One of these zones was made into the ghetto and all Jewish citizens were forced to live in it, including Rachel and her family. Life in the ghetto for Rachel and others was harsh, there were diseases and starvation that caused many to die. While in the ghetto, Rachel lost many of her...

Helen Gens

By in Holocaust

An Introduction to the Lodz Ghetto             Lodz, Poland was the second largest city in Poland at the start of World War II. It was home to the second highest population of Jews in Poland prior to the start of the war. Despite these statistics, Lodz was a city that had a long history of anti-Semitism. Lodz was originally under Prussian control, and these occupants felt the need to limit the amount of Jews who could live there. It was not until the Russians occupation of the city in the mid-1800s that these restrictions would be lifted. World War I and the destruction of the city, anti-Semitism returned as the Polish government refused to compensate Jewish factory and storeowners so they could rebuild what they had lost. At this point in time, Jews had made up a large portion of the city’s population and the city had thrived on the economic success of the Jewish population who lived...

Benjamin Wayne: Facing Terror

By in Holocaust, Human Rights, Leadership, Staten Island History, Staten Island History