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Holocaust Speaker Series

Abraham Ross, MD: August 25, 2021
Abraham (Abe) Ross was born in his grandparents’ house in the village of Lubishchitsky, Belarus (Poland). In 2008 and 2018, Abraham returned to Belarus; he visited towns where his family lived, partisan forests, and killing sites where his family was murdered. He decided to share his mother, Sara’s, experiences over 30 years ago because he feels it is important to continue his mother’s mission of bearing witness. 

Henry Fenichel: August 18, 2021
When Henry Fenichel was four years old, he and his mother’s hiding place was discovered and they were transported to the Westerbork transit camp. Shortly after arriving, they learned of a prisoner exchange that would allow a select number of Jews to escape to Palestine. Through a miraculous series of events, Henry's mother was able to get them on the list for “transport 222." In June 1944, Henry, his mother, and 220 other Dutch individuals left Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, eventually arriving to freedom in British Mandate Palestine. 

Sonia Milrod: August 11, 2021
Over 20,000 European Jews survived the Holocaust by escaping to Shanghai, China. Sonia Milrod’s parents were among them. Her father, Jerry Milrod, fled Lodz, Poland when the Germans invaded and made it to Vilno, Lithuania. From there, he, his brother, and several friends were among over a thousand who made to it Kobe, Japan based on a transit visa signed by Chiune Sugihara, and then to Shanghai. Her mother, Lydia Hernball, escaped with her family from Berlin right after Kristallnacht - first to Bangkok and then to Shanghai. Sonia tells the amazing story of their very different journeys and also how they met and married in Shanghai.

Helen Marks: August 4, 2021
Helen shares her story.

Erika Gold: July 28, 2021
Erika shares her story.

Halina Herman: July 21, 2021
Halina is a child survivor of the Holocaust, born in Warsaw, Poland, at the beginning of World War II. Most of her family, including her father, a physician from Warsaw, were killed during the Holocaust. Her mother was able to save herself and her child by obtaining false identity papers. While her mother worked in Cracow, Halina was put in a small village, Chernichow near Cracow. She grew up there believing she was Catholic, and not knowing her real identity or name.

Ray Warren: July 14, 2021
Ray tells the inspirational story of his mother and father, both Holocaust survivors, and how it has impacted his life. His search for his parents' history, repressed in part by his parents, takes him on journeys to Communist Poland and Israel, the internet, and ultimately swings back to his parents.

Rachael Cerrotti: July 7, 2021
Rachael Cerrotti is an award-winning photographer, writer, educator and audio producer as well as the inaugural Storyteller in Residence for USC Shoah Foundation. For over a decade, she has been retracing her grandmother’s Holocaust survival story and documenting the echoes of WWII. In the fall of 2019, she released a narrative podcast, titled We Share The Same Sky, about this story. Rachael’s memoir, also titled We Share The Same Sky, will be published in August 2021 and is now available for pre-order.

Conrad Weiner: June 30, 2021
Conrad was taken by cattle car from Romania, a journey of two days and one night, and forced to walk for two weeks in snow and mud to the forced labor camp, Budi. Conrad was 3 1/2 years old at the time. He even fell ill and despite guidance given to his mother by other prisoners, she nursed Conrad back to health.

Cheryl Hecht: June 23, 2021
Cheryl tells the story of her father, David Hochstein, a Holocaust survivor from Cologne, Germany. Rescued by a Kindertransport, he was taken to London when he was 15. The Kindertransport movement was unique in that people of many religions came together to rescue 10,000 mostly Jewish children, bringing them to Great Britain.

Barbara McCoucha: June 9, 2021
Barbara shares the story of her mother, Vera Gutin, After experiencing the violence of Kristallnacht, Vera’s family relocated to nearby Luxembourg and eventually France in an attempt to stay ahead of the Nazis. Vera would spend the duration of the war in Vichy, France passing as a French child with the help of OSE, the French Resistance, and the care of a small French village.

Renate Frydman: June 2, 2021
Renate Frydman, Ph.D, is the curator and docent for the Holocaust Exhibit: Prejudice & Memory on permanent display at the Museum of the U.S Air Force in Dayton. She also authored the book, Anschel’s Story: Determined to Survivewhich is a memoir of her late husband’s survival as a teenager during the Holocaust in Poland.

Joel Nahari: May 26, 2021
Joel's parents, who were from Germany and Czechoslovakia, immigrated to Israel (mother) and Palestine (father); thus, escaping the Holocaust. Both parents joined the Jewish underground army who were fighting the British and the Arab nations, and helped Israel gain independence in 1948. 

Dr. Edith Eva Eger: May 19, 2021
A native of Hungary, Edith Eva Eger was just 16 years old in 1944 when she experienced one of the worst evils the human race has ever known. As a Jew living in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, she and her family were sent to Auschwitz, the heinous death camp. Her parents lost their lives there. She and her sister survived even though they were subjected to horrible treatment by Dr. Josef Mengele and survived the Death March in Austria. In 1949, she and her young family moved to the United States. She has spent much of her professional time working with members of the military helping them to recover from, and cope with, the ongoing effects of PTSD. In the fall of 2017 at the age of 90, her memoir, THE CHOICE: EMBRACE THE POSSIBLE, was published.

Sandy Kaltman: May 12, 2021
Sandy tells the story of her mother and Holocaust survivor, Roma Kaltman. Roma, who was 13 years old, and her family were forced into the Lodz Ghetto in October, where she lived for five years. In August 1944, Lodz was liquidated and Roma was sent to Auschwitz. Here she spent about seven to eight weeks before being sent to Stutthof. Once the Allies advanced towards Stutthof, the Nazis forced all prisoners out of the camp onto a death march.

Al Miller and Steve Coppel: April 21, 2021
Dr. Al Miller and Steve's father, Werner Coppel, both came to Cincinnati after surviving the Holocaust. Al was the last Jewish student to remain in his class until it was made too uncomfortable for him to stay. In 1937, Al departed Nazi Germany for Switzerland and ultimately immigrated to America with his family in 1939. Steve's father, Werner, was a survivor of Auschwitz. He was the first Holocaust Survivor in Cincinnati to speak publicly about his experiences. Al and Werner's friendship lasted decades. 

Melissa Hunter: April 14, 2021
Melissa W. Hunter, author of What She Lost, is a writer and blogger from Cincinnati. Her novel, What She Lost, is inspired by her grandmother’s life as a Holocaust survivor.

Joan Kodish: March 31, 2021
Kodish, the only daughter of Holocaust survivor, Carla Maling Kodish OBM, is now an author, Jewish educator and B’nai Mitzvah tutor throughout the United States. It has become her mission to relay her mother’s story to student groups at the Maltz Museum of the Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, OH and to adults both in Ohio and in Israel. 

Sol Factor: March 24, 2021
Sol Factor was born in a DP Hospital in Munich, Germany in June 1946. For reasons unknown to him, he was separated from his natural mother two weeks after his birth. He was brought to the United States in 1947 to be adopted. Mr. Factor is a retired history teacher; the last 25 in the Cleveland Heights Schools. 

Helen Kaltman: March 17, 2021
Helen was two years old when World War II began. Her family fled to the Soviet Union, where her mother had family. They were sent to Siberia; after a year, they escaped and after being on a train for 3 months, arrived in Uzbekistan. Her father, Kissel, was separated from Helen when he was conscripted into the Soviet army, and she did not see him again until after the war. 

Eva Moreimi: March 3, 2021
Eva grew up in Czechoslovakia as an only child to two Holocaust survivor parents. Shortly after graduating from Economic School, she escaped from the communist regime and immigrated to the United States.

Andrea Herzig: February 17, 2021
Andrea Herzig is a retired educator and author of Courage in the Little Suitcase. The novel, written for middle grades, is historical fiction that centers on her distant relative, Mordechai Anielewicz, leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. At 20 years old, Anielewicz led 300 to 500 young men and women between the ages of 13 and 30 to fight back against the Nazis during the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto. 

Abraham Peck: February 10, 2021
Abraham J. Peck is Research Professor of History at the University of Southern Maine and a lecturer at Bates College. He is the author of “Queen City Refuge: An Oral History of Cincinnati’s Jewish Refugees from Nazi Germany.”

Rosette: February 3, 2021
Rosette, a Holocaust survivor, was born in France, and hidden by Catholic farmers while her mother was a part of the French Underground. Unaware of her Jewish heritage until she was older, she discusses her struggle with her identity, her mother’s resistance experience, and life during wartime.

Dr. Anna Ornstein: January 27, 2021
After Germany invaded Hungary, Anna and her parents were eventually sent to a large ghetto in Miskolc. From there, Anna, her parents and grandmother were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944. Her father and grandmother were killed immediately. Anna remained with her mother as they were transferred to Plaszow, returned to Auschwitz, then transferred again to the Parschnitz labor camp, where she remained until liberation.

Vivian & Monroe Price: January 13, 2021
Vivian and Monroe spent childhood years in Cincinnati, after their family escaped from Vienna, Austria as the Nazis came to power. Monroe was just a baby when his father was arrested on Kristallnacht. Although his father was released after 12 days, this arrest became an additional and desperate signal to escape. Vivian was born after the family had settled in America. Vivian and Monroe will discuss their family history and what it has meant to grow up in shadows of the Holocaust.

Ira Segalewitz: January 6, 2021
Ira was born in Poland. Shortly after World War II started, the area he lived in was occupied by Russia. When Nazis began their attack on Russia, he and his mother escaped deep into the Ural Mountains of the Bashkir USSR, where they survived the Holocaust in a work camp. After the war, they returned to a devastated Poland and learned that most of their family was murdered by the Nazis.

Ron and Steve Coppel: December 30, 2020
Ron and Steve's parents, Trudy and Werner Coppel, were both Holocaust survivors. They have an amazing story of survival, perseverance, rebuilding and love, which is featured throughout HHC. Their father, Werner, was a survivor of Auschwitz. He was the first Holocaust survivor in Cincinnati to speak publicly about his experiences, starting in the early 1970's.

Joyce Kamen: November 25, 2020
Joyce tells the remarkable story of the personal journey that she and her husband Fred have experienced since discovering in 2013 that Fred, who was adopted at birth, was the biological son of two Holocaust survivors. 

Ellen Bottner: November 18, 2020
Ellen Bottner, a Holocaust survivor, grew up in Germany under the Third Reich. She describes her experiences on the Kindertransport, life under refuge with a foster family in England, the fate of her extended family during the Holocaust, and reflections about intolerance in the world today.

Erwin Ganz: November 4, 2020
Erwin Ganz was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1929. After the Nuremberg Laws were passed, he took the train on his own from ages 5-8 to attend a Jewish school outside his community. 

Monique R.: October 21, 2020
Monique’s parents, Ernest and Hilda, fled antisemitism in Germany in 1933. At the time, Ernest had a thriving career in journalism and Hilda was in her first year at university. In 1939, Ernest was sent to a French work camp for enemy aliens. Monique was born in 1940 in Bellac.

Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff: October 14, 2020
Miriam Klein Kassenoff fled Nazi Europe, Kosice Slovakia, as a small child in 1941, along with her parent and infant brother, the late Honorable Judge Ted Klein. Dr. Klein Kassenoff has studied at Yad Vashem, the International Center for Holocaust Studies in Jerusalem, Israel.

Steve Coppel: September 2, 2020
Steve Coppel is the son of two Holocaust Survivors, Trudy and Werner Coppel. Both his parents have an amazing story of survival, perseverance, rebuilding and love which is featured throughout the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center. Steve's Dad (Werner) was a survivor of Auschwitz. 

Dr. Gary Brooks: August 26, 2020
Dr. Brooks tells the story of his grandfather Ivan, grandmother Marija, aunt Dela, and mother Hildegard who were devout Catholics living in Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia (now Serbia). In October 1941, the family was sent to the Lodz Ghetto in Poland. From there, they were removed to a succession of forced labor camps throughout Poland and Germany.

Matt Yosafat: August 19, 2020
In 1942, Matt went into hiding with the Nazi occupation of Greece. The Yosafats hid in places including a cave and tobacco shelter, rarely safe and often separated. Ultimately, the Yosafat family reunited in Katerini and were liberated, during the outbreak of a civil war.

Al Miller: July 15, 2020
After immigrating to the USA in 1939, Al served in the US Army from 1943-1946. Because of his ability to speak German, he was trained in intelligence at Fort Ritchie in Maryland and then sent back to Germany to interrogate suspected war criminals after the war’s end in 1945.

Ruth Barnett: May 27, 2020
Ruth shares the story of her mother, Irene Levin, who was deported from her home in the Sudetenland when she was a teenager. Irene would become a prisoner in Terezin and at a sub-camp of Auschwitz called Christianstadt. Alongside her mother, Irene would be forced on a 200 mile death march through ice and snow, until their arrival to Bergen-Belsen.

Sandy Kaltman: May 13, 2020
Sandy shares her mother Roma Kaltman's story of survival. Roma and her family were forced into the Lodz ghetto in October, where she lived for five years. In August 1944, Lodz was liquidated and Roma was sent to Auschwitz. Here she spent about seven to eight weeks before being sent to Stutthof. 

Zahava Rendler: April 22, 2020
Zahava was born just before the Nazi invasion. A Polish neighbor named Stachek hid her, her parents, and about 30 other people in an underground bunker, and brought food about once a week. Zahava was only a baby, and the bunker had to remain quiet, so the adults would give Zahava sleeping pills to muffle her cries. 

 

Conversations, Film Screenings, and More

Cincy Upstander Project: What We Can Do to Address Housing Insecurity During COVID-19: December 15
As temperatures drop during the winter months and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate Ohio communities, the issues of housing insecurity and homelessness only become more complex. 

Carrying the Stories Forward: A Chanukah Gathering of the Descendants of Holocaust Survivors: December 14
The descendants of local Holocaust survivors and their families gather together as a community to light Chanukah candles and reflect on the traditions and stories that their families retell each year. 

Perseverance & Justice: Raphael Lemkin, Genocide, and Human Rights Gallery Talk: December 10
The word genocide was coined by Raphael Lemkin, who fought tirelessly to come up with a word to describe the mass atrocities that occurred to the Armenians during WWI and to Jews during the Holocaust. HHC staff discuss Lemkin’s impact and the importance of naming these atrocities.

Hornstein Lecture: Shoah Through Muslim Eyes featuring Dr. Mehnaz Afridi: November 22
Dr. Mehnaz Afridi discusses her journey as a Muslim studying the Holocaust, her experiences interviewing survivors and how this work is important in bridging Jewish-Muslim relations.

Cincy Upstander Project: What It Means to Be an Upstander Today: November 17
What does it mean to be an upstander? How can we all be upstanders in this moment? HHC CEO Sarah Weiss and Director of Education Jodi Elowitz will answer your questions and announce exciting ways you can get involved with the #CincyUpstander Project. 

Serving our Community: A Conversation with Local Veterans: November 9
Local veterans including Maria Hale, Joel Nahari, and historian Dan Hurley (sharing his father’s military story) will reflect on lessons learned from military service and how they continue to serve the Greater Cincinnati community today.

In the Moment: A Discussion About the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: November 5
As Armenia and Azerbaijan clash over the embattled region of Nagorno-Karabakh, hundreds have died in the most serious escalation of fighting in years. 

Nuremberg Laws: How the Nazis Were Influenced by U.S. Jim Crow Laws: October 22
Learn about the intersections between the Nuremberg Laws in Nazi Germany and eugenics laws and Jim Crow practices in the United States with Tom White, Coordinator of Educational Outreach for the Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies at Keene State College.

How was it Possible?: Introduction to the Holocaust: October 15
How was the Holocaust possible? This program will provide an introduction to the Holocaust through an exploration of the factors leading to the rise of Nazism. 

HHC Annual Meeting 2020: September 22
This meeting is a meaningful program with featured guest speaker, Dr. Stephen Smith, Executive Director of the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation. We also honor the leadership of our outgoing Chair, Dr. John Cohen, and welcome our incoming Chair, David Wise.

In the Moment: Conversations Worth Having Launch: September 15
From an uptick in Holocaust denial posts on Facebook to harmful trends depicting survivors on Tik Tok, HHC staff will lead a discussion about social media trends and the Holocaust this month.

Fighting Injustice: A Conversation with Freedom Rider Betty Daniels Rosemond: September 10
Rosemond grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and decided to fight the injustices that African Americans faced in the South by joining the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), protesting, and taking part in the Freedom Rides. 

Voices from the Museum: Upstander Stories: August 18
Louise Lawarre, GAPP; Alandes Powell, Cincinnati’s Black Lives Matter mural; and Kurt Reiber, CEO, Freestore Foodbank, will share their stories of taking action to address needs in our community.

Now Streaming: A Discussion About "13th" by Ava Duvernay with Special Guest Tyra Patterson: July 28
The film examines the criminalization of African Americans throughout U.S. history, including through modern mass incarceration. Special guest facilitator is Tyra Patterson, Community Outreach Director for the Ohio Justice & Policy Center. 

“The Unwanted”: A Conversation with Michael Dobbs: July 22
In "The Unwanted," Dobbs weaves together the experiences of residents of Kippenheim, Germany and their desperate attempts to escape Nazi persecution, illuminating the barriers faced by Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism and the American response to the refugee crisis.

Mirsada Kadiric’s Story: What Does it Mean to be an American?: July 16
Bosnian genocide survivor Mirsada Kadiric shares her life experiences and reflects on what it means to be an American from the perspective of a refugee resettling in the United States.

Museum Mornings: Stories of Rebuilding Gallery Talk: July 9
HHC staff will share how they designed the museum to tell the stories of local survivors and describe the obstacles and opportunities that Jewish refugees faced as they rebuilt their lives after the Holocaust.

Youth Upstanders in Cincinnati: Creating Change for the Future: July 2
Youth upstanders taking action on a range of issues in Cincinnati will share their stories and perspectives in this thought-provoking conversation.

LGBTQ Changemaker: Scott Knox: June 25
Hear attorney Scott Knox discuss his advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ rights in Cincinnati, including his work to repeal Article XII. The Article, passed in 1993, removed discrimination protections based on sexual orientation in Cincinnati.

Museum Mornings: Interpretation of Hate and “Difficult History”: June 18
HHC’s Tour Coordinator, Morgan Woodring, and Director of Education, Jodi Elowitz, will be in conversation about how to interpret difficult history and hate-related content in a museum setting.

Hate and Antisemitism in Ohio: The Universal Message: What Can We Do?: May 28*
*Part II
Have you noticed an increase in antisemitic incidents and extremist rhetoric? The ADL shared in a report released on May 12 that antisemitic incidents in 2019 were at the highest level since they started tracking in 1979. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic – and the fear associated with uncertainty – has potentially only amplified this trend as people search for scapegoats.

Dan Hurley Shares his Father’s World War II Military Experience: May 26
Hurley shares stories about his father, a white officer with an all African American company that was led by a Jewish Captain in the heart of the home of the Nazi movement.

Antisemitism and Hate in the Era of COVID-19: May 21*
*Part I
Have you noticed an increase in antisemitic incidents and extremist rhetoric? The ADL shared in a report released on May 12 that antisemitic incidents in 2019 were at the highest level since they started tracking in 1979. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic – and the fear associated with uncertainty – has potentially only amplified this trend as people search for scapegoats.

Museum Mornings: Preserving Artifacts with HHC Curator Cori Silbernagel: May 14
HHC’s Curator, Cori Silbernagel, speak about her role at HHC, our collections, and how you can care for artifacts at home in order to preserve memories for the future.

Digital Yom HaShoah Commemoration: April 21
This virtual commemoration with a communal moment of silence is part of a week of moving Holocaust remembrance programs to remember the six million victims of the Holocaust and honor the survivors.