UC San Diego News Center


Holocaust Living History Workshop Presents “The Long Shadow of the Past” Series

UC San Diego’s Holocaust Living History Workshop (HLHW), sponsored by the UC San Diego Library and the Judaic Studies Program, will present a year-long series of all-new speakers and artists following the theme of “The Long Shadow of the Past.”  The series continues the HLHW’s efforts to broaden understanding of the past and to foster tolerance.  At the events, interested individuals are invited to listen to local Holocaust survivors, witnesses, and scholars share their stories and learn about the Visual History Archive, the world’s largest database of Holocaust testimony. Members of the campus community and the public are encouraged to attend these special and free sessions.  All events will be held in Geisel Library from 5 to 7 p.m. except for the Nov. 26 event, which will be held in the Mandeville Recital Hall.

On October 10th, Stephen Victor Kraus will kick off the series with a talk about his experiences during the Nazi period.  Escaping to Palestine is the tale of a boy who grew up in interwar Poland. As the German tanks rolled in, his family fled. After an excruciating odyssey through Romania, Turkey, and Yugoslavia, they reached Palestine and safety.

In commemoration of Kristallnacht (9 Nov. 1938), the pogrom that started the Nazis’ brutal attack on the lives of German Jews, the HLHW sponsors three events in November. On November 5, Dr. Andrea Petö will talk about the identity of the Hungarian Jewish Holocaust. In Legalism and Memory: The Post-WW II Identity of Jewish Survivors in Budapest she discusses their participation in post-WW II trials and its negative effect on Jewish identity. Petö is an associate professor in the Department of Gender Studies at the Central European University in Budapest, and has published widely on the Holocaust.

The event on November 14, titled A Childhood in the Shadow of the Holocaust, features San Diego resident Trudie Richman-Wilder. Richman was born in Vienna in 1923 and managed to escape to the U.S. during World War II. Her memoir, Escape from Vienna, details reminiscences of her childhood and the dramatic events of her bid for freedom. An accomplished singer and guitarist who has recorded folksongs for the prestigious Smithsonian Folkways label, Richman will conclude her presentation with some Yiddish songs.

Music also dominates An Evening with Madame F. with Claudia Stevens on November 26, a unique approach to the Holocaust jointly sponsored with the UC San Diego Department of Music. A performance artist and playwright, Stevens uses music to explore the catastrophe that turned her parents into refugees. An Evening with Madame F. is a musical theater piece focusing on a woman prisoner forced to perform to an audience of concentration camp guards, thereby saving her life.

Please note: An Evening with Madame F. will be held in Mandeville Recital Hall. All other events will take place in the Geisel Library’s Seuss room on the UC San Diego campus from 5 - 7 pm. Driving and parking directions are available on the HLHW website.

All events are organized by the Holocaust Living History Workshop, launched in 2007 by the UC San Diego Library and the Judaic Studies Program to connect UC San Diego students, San Diego Holocaust survivors and interested individuals, and to increase the visibility and use of the Visual History Archive, a database of approximately 52,000 survivor and witness testimonies. The UC San Diego Library is one of only three university libraries on the West Coast to have access to the archive. The archive, which is administered by the Shoah Foundation Institute at the University of Southern California includes testimonies recorded in 56 countries and 32 languages. Students and members of the public can access the videos from any computer on the UC San Diego campus.

For more information about UC San Diego's Holocaust Living History Workshop, contact program coordinator Susanne Hillman at or go to: Training in the use of the Visual History Archive is available for individuals and groups upon appointment.

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