WEDNESDAY, MAY 5
Programs listed on Eastern Time
The Girl in the Diary:
Searching for Rywka from the Łódź Ghetto
Galicia Jewish Museum
In 1945 a Soviet doctor found a school notebook in the liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp. It was a diary written by the teenaged Rywka Lipszyc in the Łódź Ghetto between October 1943 and April 1944 — the testament of an orthodox Jewish girl who lost her siblings and parents, but never lost hope despite moments of doubt. More than 60 years after its discovery, the diary traveled to the United States, where it was translated from Polish, supplemented with commentaries and published in book form. Rywka Lipszyc’s diary, a moving memoir of life and adolescence in the Łódź Ghetto, has become a starting point for the Girl in the Diary. Searching for Rywka from the Łódź ghetto exhibition created by the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kraków, Poland. Since then the exhibition was presented across Poland and beyond, in the USA, South Africa and Ireland. Jakub Nowakowski, director of the Galicia Jewish Museum and co-curator of the exhibition; and Tomasz Strug, Deputy Director & Chief Curator will speak about Rywka Lipszyc, the story of her diary, and research that led to creation of this unique exhibition.
Virtual Tour of Auschwitz
Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
See the Arbeit Macht Frei gate, walk towards the main exhibition halls, listen to explanations on the extermination process, see belongings of murdered Jews, and walk through the building of the gas chamber and crematorium. Led by Tomasz Michaldo, Manager of Guided Tours for the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
Stolpersteine (Stumbling Stones):
Stories through Generations
Sponsored by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Toronto
Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) is a remembrance project by German artist Gunter Demnig that has gained continuous international attention ever since founded in 1996. The 10 x 10 cm concrete blocks with brass plating commemorate all victims of Nazi Germany and are today the largest decentralized monument in the world. Every Stolperstein focuses on individual tragedies, on names, families and their destiny; destinies and stories that will not be forgotten when we continue telling them. The virtual exhibition titled Stolpersteine. Stories through Generations is a project by the German Consulate General Toronto and the first of its kind as it aims to bring the stories of several Canadian families alive through the strong narrative of audio interviews and private family images. In partnership with Ryerson University in Toronto, this interactive exhibition aims to create an interactive website utilizing cutting-edge digital storytelling technology that will enable use across platforms including smartphones and iPads. The goal is to preserve the memory for future generations as well as to act as a starting and access point for further education and discussion through audios (interviews) and images. The oral histories provide glimpses that cannot be obtained from documents or written records. They enlarge and supplement the cultural and historical archive with intimate personal memories and documents. These testimonies reclaim a lost world with a critical distance.
Exploring Testimony through Art
David Jon Kassan
This exhibit will explore testimony through art with internationally acclaimed artist, David Kassan. Over the past six years, David has been painting life-size portraits of Holocaust survivors, preserving their stories through this unique and indelible format. During the program, David will sketch a Holocaust survivor in real-time and answer questions about his creative process, his experience with survivors, and the motivation behind his work. David Jon Kassan (born 1977 in Little Rock, Arkansas) is a contemporary American painter best known for his life-size representational figure paintings. Kassan currently lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and teaches painting classes and workshops at various institutions around the world.
The Future of Survivor Communities
Generations of the Shoah International (GSI)
Generations of The Shoah International is a worldwide network of children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, linked together with the common goals of preserving and honoring our legacy, sharing resources and programming ideas, providing emotional support to our members, and tackling issues of mutual interest. GSI invites all descendants to attend this unique gathering. Led by Esther Toporek Finder, Founder of GSI, and Ken Engel, Coordinating Council Member for GSI.
Preserving Holocaust History through Artifacts
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)
How does the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum preserve the memory of the Holocaust in the decades to come? To ensure the history is not forgotten, the USHMM actively acquires original artifacts, documents, correspondence, photographs and films. Once the eyewitness generation has passed, the carefully preserved and cataloged artifacts will remain as incontrovertible evidence of the Nazi atrocities committed against the victims of the Holocaust. The USHMM is committed to making this evidence available for generations to come.
Presented by Kassandra LaPrade Seuthe, an acquisitions curator within the National Institute for Holocaust Documentation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Working alongside a team of dedicated colleagues, Kassandra identifies, researches, and acquires the object and documentary record of the Holocaust for the Museum’s permanent collection. Bringing German language expertise and a background in Holocaust and 20th century European history, Kassandra has contributed to prior Museum exhibitions including "Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity and the Holocaust (2013–2017)." Kassandra is committed to collecting the irrefutable evidence of the Holocaust so that it may be preserved and made accessible for future generations.
THURSDAY, MAY 6
Programs listed on Eastern Time
Virtual Tour of Birkenau
Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
Start by the Death Gate, walk towards the platform where Hungarian Jews were brought and selected, and walk towards the ruins of gas chambers, noting the enormity of Birkenau as compared to Auschwitz I. Led by Tomasz Michaldo, Manager of Guided Tours for the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
USHMM Research Services:
Searching Individuals & Capturing the Oral History of Survivors and Witnesses
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Each year, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center receives thousands of requests from survivors and their family members hoping to find some information about loved ones who suffered or were murdered during the Holocaust. Through a meticulous research process, our highly trained staff review hundreds of collections and millions of pages of material to search for information relevant to the given family. Some searches return few results, but often we are able to provide families with new documents, photographs and other information on the lives and fates of their loved ones. Dr. Diane Afoumado, Acting Director of Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center (USHMM) & Ina Navazelskis, Oral Historian at the National Institute for Holocaust Documentation (USHMM) will present on the Museum’s oral history interviewing and production program during the pandemic. Interviews have been conducted remotely via both audio and video. The Oral History Program documents and preserves testimonies as primary sources that allow family members, students, researchers, teachers and filmmakers to hear firsthand from those who experienced, witnessed or even perpetrated the genocidal policies and crimes of Nazi Germany and its allies and collaborators during the Holocaust. The USHMM maintains one of the largest Holocaust-related oral history archives in the world, with over 23,000 interviews in its collection from over 25 countries.
Digital Hate: What If Hitler Had Social Media?
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center & Reena Foundation
Presented by Daniella Lurion (Educator & Tour Director for Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center) and Sharon Magor (Marketing & Communications Manager for Reena). An inclusive learning experience, the workshop is designed for all ages and led by renowned educators from Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center of Holocaust Studies, instructors from Reena, and individuals supported by Reena. Reena and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center of Holocaust Studies will facilitate an interactive and powerful virtual workshop on the power of propaganda used by the Nazis for their “first victims”- people with disabilities - in the Aktion T4 Euthanasia program, and subsequently throughout the Holocaust that targeted the Jewish people. This session will focus on its relevance to the modern day propaganda tool of social media, and wrap up with a video clip of the individuals supported by Reena who will share their thoughts on the Maxwell and Ruth Leroy Holocaust Remembrance Garden (located at the Reena Community Residence that commemorates the 200,000 people with physical, mental or developmental disabilities).
ASK MAX: Max Eisen’s Interactive Dimensions in Testimony Interview
USC Shoah Foundation
Join a Beta Test of Dimensions in Testimony with Holocaust Survivor, Dr. Max Eisen & Anne Kelly of the USC Shoah Foundation. Participate in the World Premiere of Toronto-based Holocaust survivor Max Eisen’s interactive Dimensions in Testimony interview from USC Shoah Foundation. During this session, you will be able to ask questions directly to Max’s testimony, and the questions you ask will improve the Artificial Intelligence) system behind it.
FRIDAY, MAY 7
Programs listed on Eastern Time
Liberated by the Red Army
The Consulate General of Russia in Toronto
Presented by Dr. Sergei Plekhanov (Russian and post-Soviet studies professor for York University) & Edward Staroselsky (director and producer for Bravo Films). The Holocaust was an integral part of Nazi Germany’s Drang nach Osten ("March to the East"), aimed at conquering and colonizing vast territories in the eastern part of Europe. The Holocaust began on June 22, 1941, when Germany and its allies invaded the Soviet Union. Russia was to be wiped off the map as a state, its population to be killed, starved to death, or enslaved. Hitler’s monstrous plan envisioned the total extermination of the Jewish population of the Soviet Union, Poland and other European countries. Death camps were built for that specific purpose. Millions of people fell victim to Nazi genocide in the territories occupied by Germany in 1939-1942 before the tide of the war turned. In April 1944, advancing Red Army troops liberated the first death camps in Poland, and the world was stunned to discover the horrendous evidence of the Holocaust. This exhibition contains a selection of historical materials about the Holocaust, the incredible courage of those who fought against it, and the role of the Red Army in the liberation of Europe from the scourge of Nazism.
The Holocaust Museum in Guatemala
Yahad-In Unum & Museo del Holocausto Guatemala
Presented by Marco Gonzalez (Director of Yahad-In Unum), Katya Duzenko (Project Manager for Yahad In-Unum's Interactive Map), Jose Angel del Valle (Executive Director of the Holocaust Museum in Guiatemala) & Edward Hillel (Artistic Director of the Holocaust Museum in Guatemala). Founded by Father Patrick Desbois and Yahad In-Unum, the new Holocaust Museum in Guatemala aims to engage the Spanish-speaking Americas in holocaust education, understanding antisemitism and connecting it to larger human rights concerns. It is unique in two ways: it was created by a non-Jewish organization to engage primarily a non-Jewish audience; and its focus is the Holocaust By Bullets, the genocide that took place throughout Central and Eastern Europe beyond the concentration camps. This session will introduce the artistic concept of the exhibition grounded in Yahad’s 20-year investigation of places and witnesses of the Holocaust by Bullets, and share the museum’s plans for the future.
Witnesses to History, Keepers of Memory:
Portraits of Montreal's Holocaust Survivors
Montreal Holocaust Museum
Presented by Marie-Blanche Fourcade (Head of Collections and Exhibitions) & Eszter Andor (Commemoration and Oral History Coordinator). For almost 40 years, Holocaust survivors have shared their life stories with visitors at the Montreal Holocaust Museum. In 2019, a photography project was launched to celebrate the exceptional contributions of these witnesses to history and keepers of memory. The Museum’s Commemoration and Oral History Coordinator, Eszter Andor, and Photographer Stéphanie Cousineau were given the mission to meet with thirty survivors in the privacy of their homes. Each visit offered a special opportunity to share memories and discover precious personal possessions. Through images and testimonies, the exhibition offers a sensitive and multi-faceted look at extraordinary life trajectories.
SUNDAY, MAY 9
Programs listed on Eastern Time
Generously sponsored by the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Visite Guidée de la Maison Anne Frank (Anne Frank House Guided Tour en français)
Anne Frank House
Presentation par Julie Couture, Coordinatrice des projets canadiens a la Département des Projets Éducatifs. La Maison Anne Frank est une organisation et un musée dans la maison où Anne Frank s'est cachée pendant l'Holocauste. La Maison Anne Frank enseigne l'histoire de la vie d'Anne dans plusieurs pays, la Maison Anne Frank, située à Amsterdam, a ouvert ses portes le 3 mai 1957 avec Otto Frank, le père d’Anne Frank (The Anne Frank House is an independent non-profit organization and museum in the house where Anne Frank went into hiding. The Anne Frank House, located in Amsterdam, was established on 3 May 1957 in cooperation with Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father. The Anne Frank House raises awareness about Anne’s life story all over the world).
Anne Frank House Guided Tour (English)
Anne Frank House
Presented by Julie Couture, Canadian projects Coordinator for the Department of Educational Projects. The Anne Frank House is an independent non-profit organization and museum in the house where Anne Frank went into hiding. The Anne Frank House, located in Amsterdam, was established on 3 May 1957 in cooperation with Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father. The Anne Frank House raises awareness about Anne’s life story all over the world.