The Port

Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies-Muskegon

A weekend retreat for students entering Grade 6

September 9, 10, 11 2016  aboard the LST in Muskegon                                                                   

thePort_2What is a port? Interesting question.

Today the term frequently means: (n.) (1) An interface on a computer to which you can connect a devicePersonal computers have various types of ports. Internally, there are several ports for connecting disk drivesdisplay screens, and keyboards. Externally, personal computers have ports for connecting modemsprintersmice, and other peripheral devices.

In the past it was frequently referred to as a town or city by the sea or by a river that has a harbor, or the harbor itself: a naval/fishing/container port. For example in the late 1800’s until the 1960’s Muskegon was known as the Port City because it was a regular stop for ships sailing to and from Chicago, Milwaukee, the Eastern Great Lakes and Lake Superior.

A port was where people embarked for a journey by water. All of our ancestors – save for those who are American Indians – traveled from ports in Europe, Asia, Africa to come through ports like New York, Boston, Toronto, Miami, Galveston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

The places through which immigrants entered into this country were known as a port of call; that is ports where ships made regular pick-ups and deliveries.

The Port is a new program sponsored by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies to introduce 6th graders to look at how we live in the human community and look at what prevents people from being with one another and working together and explore what they would do to build bridges.

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Muskegon Remembers

David Lux 3On May 1 residents of the Muskegon County area gathered at Samuel Lutheran Church in the center city to recall the event we call Holocaust, or Shoah. Shoah is a biblical term which means a destructive wind which sweeps across the land devouring and consuming everything in its path, as did the Nazis and their client states between 1939 and 1945.

The guest presenter was Dave Lux, a Kindertransport survivor; that is, a child who was rescued when their parents gave them into the arms of strangers and save them from the terror and violence afflicting the Jewish communities in Europe. However, Dave did not come from Germany or Austria. The first Kindertransports addressed children in Germany and Austria. Nicholas Winton, an English stockbroker on his way to ski in the Alps was called by a friend who said he could not meet him and that Nicholas should come to Prague Czechoslovakia. When he arrived Nicholas saw children, hungry, cold and barefooted in refugee camps, who were forced out by the Nazi German occupation of the Sudetenland – a region of the present Czech Republic where there was a strong German minority. But it was only that region. Jews in what is present day Slovakia were being terrorized by the fascists led by their leader, Tiso. Dave’s family were Slovak Jews living in the southern part of present day Slovakia which was claimed by the Hungarians until they were forced out and back into Slovakia and sent to a work camp. (It is important to remember that Czechoslovakia, Poland, the Baltic states, Hungary and Austria were created after the defeat of Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.)

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Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies-Muskegon Reaches out to Ludington Area

IMG_20160501_Luddington_5CHGS-Muskegon has been working with West Shore Community College to bring an awareness of the Shoah (Holocaust) to the Ludington community for the last two years. This year, the Commemoration did not fall within the WSCC academic year, but they reached out to the Ludington Public High School and its principal, Dale Horowski who was very enthusiastic about the venture.

His enthusiasm was shared by the Ludington students who attended one of the three sessions with Dave Lux. Rabbi Alan and Mrs. Anna Alpert attended the event with Dave and his wife Helene.

Rabbi Alpert writes, “On May 3 Anna and Alan Alpert accompanied David and Helene Lux to Ludington High School. The Principal Dale Horowski greeted us and brought us to the library. David Lux told his story as a Winton Kindertransport survivor to two sessions of approximately 100 students each. They listen intently and asked questions. In addition to speaking to two large sessions of students, David met with teachers and spoke to a Special Education Class. Mr. Horowski, the teachers, and students were grateful that Mr. Lux met with them.”

PDF: Ludington

CHGS Commemoration: Outreach Program

IMG_20160501_outreachProgram_2The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, as a partnership of the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, Muskegon Community College and Shoah Commemoration, provides the opportunity for Muskegon County High Schools to send a groups of students and a teacher to study the Shoah from a particular theme and to hear from a survivor in a more intimate and conversational setting. This was held on Monday, May 2 at MCC between (:00 am and 2:30 pm.

Dave Lux was the guest presenter, and David Klemm Social Studies Department-MAISD, and Sarah Wyocehoski, Fruitport teacher were the facilitators.

This program began with Ruth Weber, a child survivor from Hungary, and was with various school groups in 2009.

After evaluation the CHGS-Muskegon developed the present format and has welcomed several survivors:

Miriam Brysk from Lodz Ghetto and whose father was a doctor and escaped to the forests of Belarus where they became part of the resistance;

Miriam Winter, whose father gave her into the hands of a gentile and then she in fear gave Miriam into the hands of a total stranger on board a train;

Gerry Manko, who with his family, eventually escaped from Germany in 1939 and was one of the few thousand Jews to immigrate to the United States because of rabid antisemitism (Jew-hatred) in the U.S. State Department and a complacent Congress being lobbied by so called “patriotic” societies but were driven by the same antisemitism. (Gerry died two years ago);

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Shoah Commemoration May 1-2, 2016

Sunday May 1st 3:30 pm

Shoah Commemoration Service
Guest Speaker: Mr. Dave Lux

A Winton Child Survivor
Samuel Lutheran Church – Corner of 8th Street & Muskegon Avenue, Muskegon Michigan

Bulletin – Newsletter insert

Poster – service and dinner [673518]

Monday, May 2nd 7:00 pm

Reception for Dave Lux

Lite Hors d’oeuvres and Desserts with Coffee, Tea, Punch
First Evangelical Lutheran Church – 1206 Whitehall Road

Donation only for CHGS Programs
While there are no reservations required you may RSVP to: or call 231-722-2702 and leave name and number of persons

David Lux 3

DAVE LUX was born Isidore Pinkasovich on April 12, 1933 in the small village of Negrovic in Czecho-Slovakia. In 1939 fascist storm began to attack Jewish homes and businesses. Dave’s home was broken into and looted. David and his brother were taken to Prague and they entered England. The train, along with seven other trains, which took Dave and 669 children to safety in England was organized by a young Nicholas Winton who single-handedly established an organization to aid children from Jewish families at risk from the Nazis. He set up his office at a dining room table in his hotel in Wenceslas Square.


Event – Echoes and Reflections – January 27, 2016

Echoes and Reflections is a comprehensive Holocaust education program that delivers professional development and a rich array of resources for middle and high school teachers.  Echoes and Reflections prepares educators to teach about the Holocaust in a way that stimulates engagement and critical thinking while providing opportunities for students to see the relevance of this complex history to their own lives.

Location: Muskegon Area ISD

Date/Time: January 27th, 2016 at 8:15 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Cost: Free, but registration is required.

Questions: Contact David Klemm, MAISD Social Studies Consultant at 767-7255, or email here, or go to


Here is a PSD download link of the informational brochure.

News and Updates

The Center for Holocaust and genocide Studies-Muskegon marked the 77th Anniversary of Kristalnacht which occurred throughout Germany on November 9-10 1938.

It was a state sponsored pogrom against the Jews of Germany and woke the world to the brazen antisemitism which the Nazis now felt emboldened to demonstrate.

Edi Shafer’s family lived in Germany. Her father and grandfather were incarcerated in Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp outside of Berlin.

After their release her family made plans to leave and with forged papers they eventually arrived in Shanghai China where Jews could travel because you did not need a visa.

Despite the treaty with Germany the Japanese, who controlled Shanghai, did not have a history of antisemitism, and moved the 35,000 Jews into areas which had been occupied by the British and Americans. Life was hard and sometimes brutal. Edi was born the year after Max and Gerta arrived.

Mary Munson Murphy, who wrote the biography of Edi Shafer, shared the challenges of writing hard and difficult stories with integrity. Interviewed by Susan Harrison Wolffis, who has interviewed and written about survivors and liberators and rescuers, they talked about the ghetto in Shanghai and the challenges faced by those who fled Germany, Poland, Russia and elsewhere.

Also present and introduced by Mr. David Klemm, Social Studied department of the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, was Allison Chen who submitted a project on a Chinese diplomat who rescued hundreds of Jews for a Michigan history contest. She took top honor for her website. Asked how this had affected her life she said: “I will never see the world as I did before I started the project.” As Mr. Klemm commented, “That is a part of what public school education is about in children’s lives.”

Wolffis and Murphy traveled to several area schools who took up the invitation from the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies to bring Murphy to their campus. Thanks to Fruitport, North Muskegon and Orchard View for participating.

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