»No Future Without Remembrance«
A new series of eyewitness talks at the Jewish Museum Berlin
Press Release, 17 October 2017
On Monday, 23 October, the Jewish Museum Berlin begins a new series of events entitled Eyewitnesses in Conversation: Experiences and Destinies of German Jews during the Nazi Era. In the talks, the museum takes a tried-and-tested form of collaboration with schools and donors and opens it up to a wider public.
“Without remembrance, there can be no future,” says Peter Schäfer, Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin. “We treasure the personal contact with our donors. Direct contact and vibrant dialogue with these Holocaust survivors is of the greatest significance, especially for the younger generation.”
The moderated talks are introduced by readings of autobiographical texts, excerpts from films, or the presentation of objects donated to the museum. The series will run until September 2018.
Opening event with Henry Wuga: From Nuremberg to Glasgow with the Kindertransport
For the opening event, Henry Wuga, 93, and his wife Ingrid Wolff will join us from Glasgow. Henry will talk about his family’s life in Nuremberg, his experiences in the Nazi period, and how he came to Scotland on one of the “Kindertransport” trains that rescued Jewish children from Germany. He met his later wife Ingrid Wolff at the Refugee Club in Glasgow. In 1947, Henry managed to bring his mother to join him in Scotland – she had survived in hiding. Henry Wuga stayed in Glasgow, working as head chef at the Grand Hotel before he and Ingrid started their own kosher catering business. The evening will be introduced by clips from the film Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, followed by the conversation.
Donors and bequests from all over the world
Many people have donated their family papers and objects to the Jewish Museum Berlin, and since the museum’s foundation it has always maintained close contact with those donors. In the monthly archival workshops alone, up to a hundred eyewitnesses of the Nazi era have passed on their experiences to over 8,000 schoolchildren, students, and educators since 2004. “Working with Holocaust survivors is an important element of the museum’s educational and archival efforts,” says Aubrey Pomerance, who directs the Archive of the Jewish Museum Berlin. The archive preserves many personal estates and family collections, richly documenting the destinies of German Jews and Jews in Germany. The holdings reach from the first half of the eighteenth century right up to the present day, with an emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Testimonies of life and persecution in the Nazi era are particularly well represented. They speak of discrimination and exclusion, of family life, everyday routines, and self-assertion under the swastika, of emigration and the need to build new lives in exile, but also of internment, deportation, and murder. The documents and objects are donated by families from all over the world.
Organized with the support of Berliner Sparkasse.
Venue: W. Michael Blumenthal Academy, Hall
Entry fee: Free of charge
Time: 7 pm
To register: Call +49 (0)30 259 93 488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Future events in the series
4 December 2017
Kurt Roberg, born in Celle in 1924, emigrated to the Netherlands in late 1938. His family followed him there, and his parents and brothers later reached the United States via Cuba. Kurt experienced the bombing of Rotterdam. In March 1941, he had to return to Berlin, but managed to emigrate to the United States via Lisbon in May the same year.
Introduction: Presentation of objects and documents donated by Kurt Roberg
Walter Frankenstein was born in Flatow in 1924. From 1936, he lived in the Auerbach Orphanage in Berlin and attended a Jewish school. In 1938, he studied masonry at the Jewish Community’s construction college. He married Leonie Rosner in 1942, and their two sons were born in 1943 and 1944; at the time, he was working as a forced laborer. Threatened with deportation, the family went underground, surviving in various hiding places until liberation in 1945. After the war, they emigrated to Palestine, then moved to Sweden in the 1950s.
Introduction: Presentation of the documents donated by Walter Frankenstein
Margot Friedlander, born in 1921, lived with her brother Ralph (four years her junior) and her mother Auguste Bendheim in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. A plan to emigrate to the United States fell through in 1938. On 20 January 1943, Ralph was arrested by the Gestapo. Together with Auguste, he was deported to Auschwitz and murdered there. From then on, Margot lived in hiding. In spring 1944, she was arrested and deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto. She survived, and emigrated to New York in 1946.
Introduction: Reading from the autobiography “Try to Make Your Life”: A Jewish Girl Hiding in Nazi Berlin
Anita Lasker Wallfisch was born in 1925 in Breslau (today’s Wrocław). Her parents were deported and killed. She was a cellist in the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated from Bergen-Belsen in April 1945, and emigrated to England in 1946.
Introduction: Reading from her memoirs, Inherit the Truth 1939–1945: The Documented Experiences of a Survivor of Auschwitz and Belsen
Hanni Levy, born in Berlin in 1924, worked as a forced laborer at a textile factory in Zehlendorf, southwest Berlin. She went into hiding just before the Jewish forced laborers were rounded up from the factories, and survived in Berlin. In late 1946, she emigrated to Paris to join her uncle.
Introduction: Excerpts from the feature film The Invisibles (2017)