Last week we discussed the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, this afternoon we’ll hear about another episode during that terrible time. During the Holocaust, Hebrew Union College played a key role in the rescue of college professors and students from Nazi-occupied Europe. From his office on the Clifton campus, then-HUC President Julian Morgenstern orchestrated the rescue, saving 16 people from likely death in Nazi camps and ghettos.
Between 1940 and 1945, approximately 1.3 million men, women and children, most of whom were Jewish, were deported to Auschwitz. Before the concentration camp was finally liberated by Soviet forces on January 27, 1945, 1.1 million had perished there. The Soviet troops found only 7,000 survivors. A new exhibition commemorating the 70th anniversary of the camp's liberation, Unlocking the Gates of Auschwitz 70 Years Later, opens January 30 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
The exhibit uses artifacts, photographs and personal stories, including those of local survivors Bella Ouziel and Werner Coppel, to tell the history of the Holocaust from various perspectives: victim, collaborator, bystander and perpetrator. Joining us this afternoon to share some of that history, are: Werner Coppel;Sarah Weiss, executive director of the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education; and, Dr. C. G. Newsome, president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
A delegation from the Freedom Center met recently with activists in Greece, Lithuania and Romania, to talk about human trafficking.
Brooke Hathaway of the Freedom Center, who was among the three-member delegation, says they went to Eastern Europe to meet and thank the people who've been instrumental in combating human trafficking in those nations. She says they wanted to learn from those people and to raise awareness of the problem back in the United States.
This Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On November 9, 1989, thousands of Berliners from both East and West climbed over the wall, others went through the border crossing, still others began to physically chip away at the wall that had divided East and West since 1961. Joining us to discuss the historic event, and its impact on world politics, is former U.S. Ambassador to NATOWilliam Howard Taft, IV, and Richard E. Schade, professor emeritus of German Studies at the University of Cincinnati.
William Howard Taft, IV and Herbert Quelle, consul general, Federal Republic of Germany, will be at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center this Sunday, November 9, for a program commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Center has been home to a section of the Berlin Wall since 2010, in view of the Ohio River. Click here for information on the free event, or to RSVP call 513-333-7739.
This weekend the Freedom Center will honor two revolutionary freedom fighters, the late Nelson Mandela and Lech Walesa.
The former Polish President was leader of the non-violent Solidarity movement that ended the Communist regime in Poland in the late 1980s. Friday at a news conference he was asked whether the U.S. is doing enough to bring peace to the Ukraine.
Through an interpreter he said, it appears the U.S. is not willing to continue with it's leadership position, so it should establish the framework for a committee to help solve problems in that region of the world.