In Memoriam: Elie Wiesel 1928-2016

Wiesel“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe.”

Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech on Dec. 10, 1986

The 11th Commandment – “Thou shalt not stand idylly by.”

POLAND May 16-26 2017

The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies-Muskegon is sponsoring a trip to Poland. While Poland was the center for the “death factories”, it was also one of the great centers for Jewish life and culture and religion. We will explore Warsaw and visit the great POLIN Museum, talk with residents about past-present-future; we will move on the Krakow a great center of Jewish life and take a side trip to visit a site of restoration; and we will continue on to Auschwitz.

There will be a series of classes arranged with Muskegon Community College to explore life in Poland before Hitler and gain a perspective on Hews and Poles and the political situation between the Wars.

Please read through the materials on PDF and fill out an application.

The sessions are open to the community whether you are going on the trip or not.

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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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