Eva Bobrow Memorial Lecture Series

The Holocaust in Italy: Jewish and Non-Jewish Responses to the Persecution

Lecturer: Dr. Susan Zucotti

Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Much has been written about the silence of Pope Pius XII in relation to the Holocaust. While the actions of the Pope during World War II tend to take up much of the discourse on the Shoah in Italy, the plight of the Jews during World War II and actions taken against them and by them will be addressed by Susan Zucotti, an American historian, specializing in studies of the Holocaust. Dr. Zucotti will explore Jewish responses to this period in Italian history by Italian Jews and non-Italian Jews.

Dr. Zucotti holds a Ph.D. in Modern European History from Columbia University. She has received a National Jewish Book Award for Holocaust Studies and the Premio Acqui Stori – Primo Lavoro for Italians and the Holocaust. (1987). She also received a National Jewish Book Award for Jewish – Christian relations and the Sybil Halpern Milton Memorial Prize of the German Studies Association in 2002 for Under his Very Windows (2000). Her other works include Two Popes and the Holocaust: An Examination of the Controversy (2005) and Holocaust Odysseys: The Jews of Saint – Martin –Vesubie and Their Flight through France and Italy ( 2007).



Victoria Saker Woeste

Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Henry Ford is remembered in American lore as the ultimate entrepreneur - the man who invented assembly line manufacturing and made automobiles affordable. Largely forgotten is his side career as a publisher of anti-Semitic propaganda. This lecture is the story of Ford's ownership of the Dearborn Independent, his involvement of the defamatory articles it ran, and two Jewish lawyers, Aaron Sapiro and Louis Marshall, who each tried to stop Ford's war on Jews.

In 1927, the case of Sapiro v. Ford transfixed the nation. In order to end the embarrassing litigation, Ford apologized for the one thing he would have never lost on in court: the offense of hate speech. Using never before discovered evidence from archives and private family collections, Victoria Sacker Woeste, reveals the depth of Ford’s involvement in every aspect of the case and highlights the deep division within the Jewish community as regarding Henry Ford.

Victoria Saker Woeste is Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago and has and held teaching appointments at Indiana University-Indianapolis, Northwestern University, and Amherst College. Her first book, The Farmer's Benevolent Trust, was awarded the Law and Society Association’s J. Willard Hurst Prize.


The Liberators

Lecturer: Dr. David Machlis

Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Prof. David Machlis is Vice-Chairman of the International March of the Living, the organization that has brought close to 200,000 students from around the world to Poland and Israel. The visit of these students, who are accompanied by Holocaust survivors, is timed so that they are in Poland to commemorate Yom HaShoah and in Israel for Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day) and the celebration of Yom Ha’Atatzmaut (Israel Independence Day).

Dr. Machlis was also the Founding International Director of an affiliate group, called the March of Remembrance & Hope, which brought tens of thousands of students from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds to participate in the March of the Living.

Among the numerous special programs created by Dr. Machlis was the Liberators’ Project - the highlight of the 2012 March of the Living. Sixteen American World War II veterans, concentration camp liberators, traveled to Poland to join the students on the March and gave testimony to the horrors they encountered first-hand as they reached the camps in 1945.

Prof. David Machlis, a National Defense Education Act Fellow, earned his Ph.D. from Rutgers University, and has been a faculty member of Adelphi University since 1967. During his tenure at Adelphi, Dr. Machlis has been nominated on numerous occasions for teacher of the year and is currently associated with the Willumstad School of Business at Adelphi.



Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives, Room 202L

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 from 11:10am - 1:50pm

The movie is based on the eyewitness testimony of people who spent the end of World War II in the bunker with Adolf Hitler and his most faithful followers.  We especially follow Traudi Junge, Hitler's personal secretary.  The film gives insight into the chaotic final days of the war and Hitler's life, as well as a window into the motivations and beliefs of those still defending the Reich and Nazism at this late stage. When the movie was first released it was immediately controversial, as the careful casting and excellent performances seemed to "humanize" Hitler too much, according to some critics. Come prepared to discuss.


Stolen Art, The Nazi Looting of European Art Treasures

Lecturer: Charles A. Goldstein

Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Nazi Germany committed a crime against humanity in its perpetration of genocide against the Jews. The crime also includes the theft of a huge cultural heritage, including fine art owned by the Jewish community. This theft was a significant part of what turned out to be the greatest looting of cultural treasure in the history of mankind.

The Commission for Art Recovery, founded and chaired by Ronald S. Lauder, seeks to persuade governments and museums to return looted artworks now in their possession rightfully belonging to Holocaust victims and their heirs. Through moral suasion, the Commission attempts to bring a measure of justice into the lives and families whose art was stolen. For the benefit of the aging claimants, they encourage and help museums and other cultural institutions to research, identify and publicize works in their possession that may have been stolen by the Third Reich.

Charles A. Goldstein Esq., Counsel to the Commission for Art Recovery, will speak on this compelling topic and discuss the Commission’s attempt to recover paintings looted from two of the most significant pre-World War II art collections of Europe, the Herzog and Hatvany collections in Hungary. Within these collections were to be found hundreds of works of many of Europe’s master painters and sculptors.

Mr. Goldstein, Counsel to Herrick Feinstein (NY) and a member of the firm’s Art Law Group, is engaged in international practice. Since 2001, Mr. Goldstein also has been Counsel to the Commission for Art Recovery (“CAR”), Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, Chairman. Mr. Goldstein is responsible for all governmental affairs and litigation arising out of CAR’s activities in Europe and the United States. This includes claims and restitution efforts in Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Czech Republic, Russia , Slovakia and the United States.

Mr. Goldstein received an B.A. degree in 1958 from Columbia College and J.D., cum laude, in 1961 from Harvard Law School.


An Eastern European World the Holocaust Could Not Destroy

Robert Spiotto’s Shalom/Sholom:

Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 1:00 PM

When we study the Holocaust, we remember…loss, tragedy, relationships. We see a world taken from us that was warm and comforting. We think of "der alte heim." the old home and all the sweet memories that were part of it.

This semester, we are most fortunate to once again have Bob Spiotto, play writer and actor, who was introduced to the members of the Kupferberg Center’s 2011 program as Primo Levi in And When We Started Singing. This time Bob Spiotto takes us back to early 20th century Eastern Europe in his work Shalom/Sholom, Celebrating Sholom Aleichem.

Come enter a world we know, but no longer exist. Join us as Bob Spiotto offers a nostalgic collection of stories we have heard, but love to hear again as they create the same precarious balance of humor, tragedy, pathos and philosophical insights that have become part of who we are.

Bob Spiotto's gift for narrative and voices takes us on this journey to the past. Reservations: Call 718-281-5770.

No one will be seated without a reservation.


The Paradox of Holocaust Journalism: Stories Published But Not Noticed

Lecturer: Dr. Robert Moses Shapiro

Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Research has revealed that thousands of articles appeared between 1933 and 1945 in American and foreign newspapers detailing shocking reports of the abuse, exploitation and mass murder of Europe’s Jews under Nazi German rule. The apparent effective failure of the press to bring the Jewish catastrophe to public awareness contributed to the failure of governments, organizations, churches and individuals to take action on behalf of the endangered Jews.

What went wrong? How could it not have been noticed? Who was responsible?

Robert Moses Shapiro is Professor of East European Jewish Studies, Holocaust Studies and Yiddish Language and Literature in the Judaic Studies Department at Brooklyn College. Educated at Johns Hopkins and Columbia University, he has also held fellowships at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Oxford University Yiddish Program in England.

He has published several books and numerous articles, including Holocaust Chronicles (Yeshiva University Press in association with KTAV Publishing, 1999), Why Didn’t the Press Shout: American : American and International Journalism During the Holocaust (Yeshiva University in association with KTAV Publishing, 2003), and translations from Yiddish and Polish of Isaiah Trunk’s classic Yiddish Lodz Ghetto: A History (Indiana University Press in Association with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2006 and The Warsaw Ghetto Oyneg Shabes – Ringelblum Archive: Catalog and Guide (Indiana University Press in association with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, Poland, 2009).


“Idiots, Imbeciles and the Loathsome Diseased” The Hidden History of Post-Holocaust Displaced Persons

Lecturer: Beth Lilach

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 1:00 PM

While Holocaust scholarship has espoused the resiliency of Jewish survivors, this triumphalist ideology has unintentionally eclipsed the history of survivors who could not transcend their physical or psychological trauma. These survivors, stateless refugees who resided in displaced person (DP) camps, were officially stigmatized with the label “hard core.”

The term “hard core” cancelled all opportunities for emigration out of Europe - the primary goal of Jewish refugees. It was applied fecklessly to any survivor who was defined as belonging to one of the prohibitive categories outlined in the United States Displaced Persons Act of 1948. This list included the designations of “idiots,” “imbeciles,” and “persons afflicted with a loathsome disease.” Those classified as “undesirables” became pariahs and found themselves trapped in Fohrenwald Displaced Persons Camp in southern Germany, suspended in geographic and political limbo. For these people, liberation did not arrive in 1945, but was delayed until 1957, when the camp was finally closed.

Few today know of their unyielding strength and determination as they fought for years for the right to emigrate. The history of these unwanted, defamed survivors has been overlooked long enough.

Beth Lilach is the Senior Director of Education and Community Affairs at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center located in Glen Cove, New York. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Holocaust History and Genocide Studies at Clark University. Beth has been the recipient of fellowships from such distinguished institutions as the International Association of Genocide Scholars, Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, YIVO and in 1988 she was granted an unprecedented scholarship as the only undergraduate ever accepted into Yad Vashem’s Post-Graduate Holocaust Institute. She has lectured at Yale University, Smith College, and the Imperial War Museum.



Past Lectures

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