Spring has finally sprung, and with it come new challenges and new projects. I’ve just returned from two glorious experiences in Florida (exactly the right place to be while the Northeast was buried under snow, sleet and ice!). Here are a few highlights:
Royal Palm High School
For the first time ever, THE LAST ALBUM photo exhibit was exhibited in a public high school, Royal Palm, from January-April, 2014. through the efforts of Maureen Marullo Carter, Palm Beach School District Holocaust Curriculum Director, Principal Jesus Armas and teacher Darrell Schwartz, Royal Palm has been chosen as host for a pilot project that will provide an innovative teaching model for the rest of the United States. Although more than 2/3 of the school’s students live under the poverty line (Royal Palm is a Title I school, with 64% of its students getting free lunches), Royal Palm HS–with its incredibly committed staff, students, personnel and supporters–has distinguished itself as one of the most inspiring places I have ever visited, or been privileged to teach.
With great assistance from an unique funding source, inSIGHT through education (whose mandate is to support Holocaust and Genocide Education within this school district), we were able to sponsor The Last Album photo exhibition at the high school, provide individual and
group teaching at the school, and a wonderful public program for the whole community; more programs in the works.
Following are a few photos to illustrate the Royal Palm experience.
Ann teaching students in the media center at Royal Palm High School.
Keynote at Conference on Hungarian Jews 70 Years Later
In my March presentation at Florida Gulf Coast University, I contrasted photos (below) from The Auschwitz Album, which features photos of the Hungarian Jewish community’s destruction in 1944, with photos from my book, The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz-Birkenau, which features photos of vibrant Jewish life carried into Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943, when they believed they were going to be worked, not murdered. In some ways, the photos could not be more different–images of vibrant Jewish life, totally innocent of what lay ahead, contrasted with images of Hungarian Jews, pictured just moments before their deaths at Auschwitz-Birkenau’s gas chambers. Yet in other ways, both sets of photos are heartbreakingly similar: They are all faces of Jews
targeted for death for no crime or political action, simply for the ‘crime’ of being a Jew. As Elie Wiesel has often said, “Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims.” Here are some of the photos included in my presentation at the Hungarian conference.
You will not have difficulty in distinguishing which photos come from which collection.
From The Auschwitz Album:
One of the most heartbreaking of all, an old woman and children walking to the gas chamber…
From The last Album