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Survivors And Witnesses: Vermonters Commemorate The Jewish Holocaust

Patti Daniels
A panel from the exhibit 'From Generation to Generation...We Are Here!' at the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe, created by Debora Steinerman and Marcie Scudder.

Sunday began the annual observance of Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for victims and survivors of the Holocaust.  In communities around Vermont, people gathered to share their own families' history of escape and survival from the genocide of Jews during World War II.

We talk with Vermont descendants of Holocaust survivors about the effort to capture and record personal stories from the Holocaust, and why it's important to study this history now. Our guests are Rabbi David Fainsilber of the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe, and Jack Mayer, a Middlebury pediatrician and author of two books about the Holocaust.

We also hear the personal history of Erica Hecht of Stowe, whose Hungarian family tried to mask its Jewish identity in order to survive. And from Heidi Fishman of Norwich, whose novel for young readers tells her own mother's story of escape and survival.

Listen to an extended interview with Erica Hecht here.

Professor Ingrid Anderson was the featured speaker at the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe's Yom HaShoah commemoration. Anderson is a specialist in modern and contemporary Jewish philosophy, and teaches at Boston University. In her talk at JCOGS – which you can listen to below – Anderson described the life and work of Elie Weisel, who was her teacher at BU's Center for Jewish Studies.

Professor Ingrid Anderson speaks at the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe's Yom HaShoah commemoration.

Commemoration events around Vermont:

  • Jewish Community of Greater Stowe exhibit, 'From Generation to Generation... We Are Here!' is open to the public in the JCOGS social hall from April 24 to May 18 on Mondays and Thursdays from 2-4 p.m., Fridays 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. and after Sabbath services.
  • Book launch for Tutti's Promise is Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m. at Crossroads Academy in Lyme, NH.
  • Screening and discussion of the film Complicit about the U.S. refusal to accept Jewish refugees escaping from Nazi occupation. Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at Temple Sinai in South Burlington.

Broadcast live on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Patti is an integral part of VPR's news effort and part of the team that created Vermont Edition. As executive producer, Patti supervises the team that puts Vermont Edition on the air every day, working with producers to select and research show ideas, select guests and develop the sound and tone of the program.
Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.