Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

US National Archives Finds Historic Winton Letter to FDR

June 1, 2014

This piece first appeared in The Times of Israel.

A young Nicholas Winton with a rescued child. (photo credit: Courtesy of Menemsha Films)

A young Nicholas Winton with a rescued child. (photo credit: Courtesy of Menemsha Films)

A letter written by Sir Nicholas Winton in May 1939 asking President Franklin Roosevelt to allow Czech refugee children in to the United States has been found in the Department of State records at the National Archives.

In a “60 Minutes” broadcast on CBS in April, journalist Bob Simon interviewed Winton, who turned 105 years old on May 19, about his role in saving 669 children (most of them Jewish) from the Nazis. During the interview, Winton mentioned the letter and expressed his disappointment that his plea was ignored.

“But the Americans wouldn’t take any, which is a pity. We could’ve got a lot more out,” he told Simon.

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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Remains of Dachau Victims Come to Rest in North Carolina

May 24, 2014

This piece was originally published in The Times of Israel.

The cake of human ashes from Dachau that will be interred in Durham, NC this Memorial Day Weekend. (Courtesy of Sharon Halperin)

The cake of human ashes from Dachau that will be interred in Durham, NC this Memorial Day Weekend. (Courtesy of Sharon Halperin)

Human remains from Dachau will receive a Jewish burial in Durham, North Carolina this Memorial Day Weekend, sixty-nine years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp

Hundreds of people, including some from out of state, are expected to attend the ceremony Sunday morning at the historical Durham Hebrew Cemetery. Durham mayor Bill Bell will be among the dignitaries and members of the public on hand to witness the internment of a cake of ashes given to an American soldier by a Dachau survivor in 1945. The ceremony will include Memorial Day commemorations, as well as Jewish funeral rites.

The cremated remains were given by to David Walter Corsbie, Jr., then a US Army soldier, within weeks of the camp’s liberation.

When Corsbie was discharged, he returned home to his wife Martha and their children — and took the ashes with him. He kept them in a metal cigarette case and did not speak about or show them to anyone for decades.

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© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Ayelet Waldman Finds Fresh Jewish Identity in New Novel

May 4, 2014

This piece was first published in The Times of Israel.

Ayelet

‘Love and Treasure’ author Ayelet Waldman. (photo credit: Reenie Raschke)

Author Ayelet Waldman will be arriving in Jerusalem in mid-May for the International Writers’ Festival just as her new novel, “Love and Treasure,” comes out in Hebrew. She’s unreservedly positive about her Israeli publisher’s timing, but somewhat less so about her visit to Israel, the country of her birth. It will be her first time back in 22 years.

Her relationship with the Jewish State is complicated, as is her sense of Jewish identity.

“This two-week trip is going to be fraught as hell,” Waldman tells The Times of Israel during an interview in the book-filled Berkeley, California house she shares with her Pulitzer Prize-winning husband author Michael Chabon and their four children.

The purpose of the interview is to discuss “Love and Treasure,” which is about the Hungarian Gold Train, a Berlin-bound Nazi-operated train carrying stolen property (including fine art and expensive jewelry) of Hungarian Jews that was intercepted by American forces in Austria in 1945.

Click here to read more and watch the book trailer video.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.