Yom Ha'Shoah, Commemoration Ceremony & Exhibition Launch "Auschwitz to Aotearoa"
Sunday, 27th April 7.00pm - 9.00pm, Myers Hall. Doors open at 6.30pm
Admittance by RSVP only to email@example.com or 04 801 9480
by 20 April.
Call for Applicants
Seminar for New Zealand Educators
International School for Holocaust Studies
Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel
12 – 26 January, 2015
Between Liquidation and Liberation – The Last Jews of Europe in 1944
Dr. David Silberklang, Yad Vashem, Israel
On 1 May 2014 the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand will host David Silberklang for his talk "Between Liquidation and Liberation – The Last Jews of Europe in 1944".
This talk will examine the fine line between life and death, between liquidation and liberation, in a moment in time during the Holocaust – spring to fall 1944.
1944 was in many ways the beginning of the end for the remaining Jews of Europe, both as roundups for murder for many, and as liberation for some. As Jews were loaded onto trains to be killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau or taken to pits to be shot in 1944, some could hear Allied artillery thundering in the distance.
In 1944, the Germans searched for every remaining Jew in their grasp in order to complete the job of the “Final Solution” before the war ended, while Allied troops from east and west systematically pushed back the Germans and began liberating place after place. 1944 was also the time when the Allies first learned details of the extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. For many Jews, frantic rescue efforts ensued in the hope of buying time until the expected Allied victory. For the last Jews of Europe, this was a moment of looming doom and glimmering hope.
For thousands of Jews still alive in Western Belarus, parts of the Baltic States, Western Ukraine, Eastern Poland, and parts of Western Europe, the summer and fall of this year (in the northern hemisphere) marked the beginning of liberation.
Yet, this year also marked the beginning of the end for the Jews of Hungary, many Jews in Italy, the last Jews of the Lodz ghetto in Poland, the Jews of the Kovno and Shavli ghettos in Lithuania, many of the Jews who fought in the Polish and Slovak uprisings in August-September, the last Jews of Rhodes, Cos, and other Greek islands, and many more.
One Jewish person’s last moment was another’s moment of rescue. The talk will discuss that tension for Jews in 1944.
David Silberklang is Senior Historian at the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, and Editor of the scholarly journal Yad Vashem Studies, as well as Series Editor of The Holocaust Survivors’ Memoirs Project.
He teaches Jewish History at the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at the University of Haifa graduate school, and has taught at Case Western Reserve University, the IDF College, and Tel Aviv University.
Dr. Silberklang also serves as Israel’s representative on the Academic Working Group of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (formerly known as the International Task Force).
Among his past functions at Yad Vashem, he served as Editor-in-Chief of Publications and as Chief Historian of Yad Vashem’shas Museum Development Project. In the latter capacity he wrote the extensive conceptual historical outline that served as the basis for the content of the new Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem.
Dr. Silberklang has published widely on the Holocaust and his book, Gates of Tears: The Holocaust in the Lublin District of Poland will be published by Yad Vashem in March 2014.
David received his BA from Columbia University and his MA and PhD from the Hebrew University.