Share your thoughts

These are some of the wonderful comments I have received. Please add your thoughts!

From Mary Unruh, President and CEO
Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts/DIVA

Thank you so much for sharing the photos with us and the Eugene community. They touched us in an important way. It’s too easy to dismiss impersonal numbers, but photographs of real people who were caught up in such an immense tragedy reminds of in a real way of the best and worst of humanity.

Letter from Ronnen Harran

The following letter arrived from a son of a survivor whose photos are in The Last Album–and I was lucky enough to meet him when I was in Jerusalem recently, giving a presentation at Yad Vashem. In fact, I was so impressed with Ronnen Harran’s personal research and with Ronnen himself that I changed my presentation around in order to include Ada Neufeld’s story in my presentation about Women and Girls in the Holocaust, titled ‘Her Story’–and incorporated Ada’s story with her son, Ronen, telling his own mother’s story. It was a moving and worthwhile addition to a moving and worthwhile body of material.

Here is Ronen’s letter with a ‘new’ (additional) picture of his mother:

Dear Ann,
A few days ago I incidentally (?) stumbled across a reference to “The Last Album”, then visited your website, and finally obtained a copy from the local college library (of the 1st edition – one you have so nicely dedicated to Beit Berl).

You see, I have a personal interest in these photographs, since my mother was from Bedzin, and she appears in your book: she is Ada Neufeld (subsequently Halperin), the girl with glasses at the top photo on p. 62 [1921-2001].

I have just finished reading the book – and for the first time I feel that I was able to grasp the daily – and very lively atmosphere of the town and its Jewish population! for this I am very grateful – you have succeeded in bringing these photos (and the stories behind them) from the darkness of depth (also death) to the surface, where they become illuminated and shine and can be seen and felt. Thank you so much!

As a token of appreciation, I wish to point out :
1. p.58: multiple sources indicate that it was Joshua Rapaport (not Yossel) who founded and directed a primary school in Bedzin.
2. p.127: this Joshua Rapaport also founded a fine orchestra. I would conclude that the Rapaport in the photo is him (same eyebrows).
3. p. 60: Adam’s last name was Naparstek (not Naparstik). He later changed it to Naor.
4. p. 60: Adam was my mother’s cousin. He mentions her as Ada Neufeld (not Noichel).
5. p. 60: he also mentions Jadzia Liwer (not Jadya), who also appears at the top photo on p. 62 (she remained a close friend of Ada)
6. p. 62: the girl on the front row, 2nd to the right at the bottom photo was called Lea Pejsachson (not Lola). Same for p. 63. She was Ada’s closest friend during the war.
7. p. 63: while Ada Neufeld is (probably correctly) identified in the photo, she is a different person (yes, there were two of them in town, even at the same class!). ‘my’ Ada is absent from the photo on p. 63.
8. p. 66: the top-left photo is of the Principle of the Furstenberg gymnasium: Dawid Einhorn (not Josef Kleinfeld).

I am enclosing a photo found among the 2400 (though not in the book), of Ada and her boyfriend Joshua Kaminski (later Efron). It was taken on October 1st, 1937, shortly before he left for Palestine. A year ago, after he died I went to his Shiv’a and was shown an album which included additional photos of the two, taken on the same date (according to their clothes on the front and her writing – in Hebrew! on the back).

Thank you again for the opportunity to relive (however virtually and remotely) the pre-war Bedzin!

Ronnen Harran.

From Bobby Kurzweil comes news of the Rockower Award and this note

Andrea Jacobs certainly was moved by you and your work… it deservedly won first prize ! Kol HaKavod to both of you! Her experienced furthered her as well as her readership, as well it would !

From Alan Adelson, Executive Director, Jewish Heritage

Dear Ann,

I’ve been lost for a while in The Last Album. I thought I’d better pull myself away to write before I become lost again in the book for a long while, which is what I intend to do. As you know better than anyone else, these photographs prompt the sort of contemplation about ourselves and those we have so cruelly lost.

From Richelle Budd Caplan, Coordinator for Overseas Programming
International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel

M.G. brought me a copy of your book. That night I read every word and looked at every picture from cover to cover. I was fully immersed in the book. Thank you for bringing these pictures to so many people.

From Lori Orchow Haney

My family comes from the Ukraine. My grandfather was a shochet. Thank you for publishing your book. Somehow looking at people in the pictures makes the entire hell of the Holocaust even less believable, simply because it puts faces to names, and I cannot fathom how anyone could be so devoid of human feeling.

From Ronald Hallett

Hi Ann, If the world had a fraction of the passion you posses,their would be no evil.You did a wonderful presentation tonight.

Debbie Kopel Kintish

Hello Ann
I met you tonight at the Hillel evening event, I am still enjoying the inspiration you passed on.

You remind me of a pebble being dropped in a calm body of water…….your voice, your stories are the ripples that
reach to the ends of the earth. You have a calm but powerful affect of everyone’s life you touch.

Thank you for the sacrifices you have made in you life to make this happen

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