Conference poster. Photo by Dr. Sonja M. Hedgepeth.
Dr. Sonja Hedgepeth, Middle Tennessee State University, represented Remember the Women Institute at a conference at the Ravensbrück women's concentration camp memorial's Summer University Ravensbrück. The topic of the conference was “Forced Prostitution and War in the 20th and the beginning of the 21st Century.”
The Ravensbrück Memorial Site has been running an annual summer university dedicated to a specific topic since 2005. This year’s European Summer University was under the patronage of the Minister of Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg, Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka. Dr. Insa Eschebach is director of the memorial. The sessions reflected the theme of an exhibition, “Forced Sex Labour in Nazi Concentration Camps,” shown at the Ravensbrück Memorial through September 30, 2007.
Dr. Sonja M. Hedgepeth at the conference, speaking on behalf of the Remember the Women Institute.
Nazi document showing woman forced to work in a bordello.
This conference questioned the relationship between sexual violence and war. Forced prostitution in Nazi concentration camps and in the territories occupied by Japan during World War II was also on the agenda, with the main focus on the narrations of the victims. Other key aspects included forced prostitution, as well as legal issues in the international framework. Please see http://www.ravensbrueck.de/mgr/deutsch/dl/esur07/esur07progeng.pdf for the complete program. For related information on the sexual abuse of women, please see: Projects
October 29-31, 2007
Beit Berl Academic College, Beit Terezin and Beit Lohamei Haghetaot, Israel
The Fourth International Conference on Women and the Holocaust
“Childhood and Youth under the Third Reich – A Gender Perspective”
Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel signs a copy of her new Hebrew edition of The Jewish Women of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp on October 31 at Beit Lohamei Hagetaot. One survivor bought seven copies for her Israeli grandchildren. Photo by Dr. Sonja M. Hedgepeth.
As part of this conference, the morning of October 31 was the official launch for the publication of the Hebrew edition of The Jewish Women of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp by Rochelle G. Saidel. The book, elegantly translated into Hebrew by Avri Fischer, is the first in Hebrew on this subject. The session featured remarks by Dr. Saidel about children in Ravensbrück, as well as by some of those children who now live in Israel. Published by Beyahad Publishers, the publishing division of Lohamei Hagetaot (The Ghetto Fighters' House and Museum), the book has a new foreword by Professor Dalia Ofer, Max and Rita Haber Professor of Holocaust and Eastern Europe Studies, Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The book launch, co-sponsored by Remember the Women Institute, was a feature of the conference. For more information about the book and its publication, please see Projects.
Dr. Batya Brutin, a professor at Beit Berl Academic
College and member of the Advisory Board of Remember the Women Institute,
chairs the October conference on women and the Holocaust in Israel.
Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel, at Hebrew edition book launch
with Dr. Sonja M. Hedgepeth and Dr. Miriam Sivan.
Dr. Batya Brutin of Beit Berl Academic College, a member of the Advisory
Board of Remember the Women Institute, chaired the conference. For
a complete program of the conference on Women and the Holocaust: Childhood
and Youth under the Third Reich – A Gender Perspective,
For further information, please see:
November 7, 2007
St. Louis Jewish, MO
Washington University in St Louis, Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies
In commemoration of Kristallnacht, Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel presents an illustrated lecture about the Jewish Women of Ravensbrück.
November 8-10, 2007
Questions of Memory and Conscience
Holocaust Conference at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
At the eighth bi-annual Holocaust Studies Conference at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), a special ground-breaking session entitled “Sexual Coercion of Women During the Holocaust” took place on November 9, organized by Remember the Women Institute. Featured presentations were: “Silenced by Death, Silenced by Shame: Sexual Abuse in the Ghetto” by Helene J. Sinnreich, Ph.D., Director, Judaic and Holocaust Studies, Youngstown State University; and “Gendered Violence: Rape in the Nazi-occupied East” by Monika Flaschka, Doctoral candidate, Modern European History, Kent State University and Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow for Archival Research, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2007. Moderators were Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel and Dr. Sonja Hedgepeth, MTSU, with Dr. Hedgepeth reporting on a conference on forced prostitution, held in September at Ravensbrück concentration camp memorial.
Pictured above: Panelists at a groundbreaking session on sexual coercion of women, held at the Middle Tennessee State University Holocaust Studies Conference on November 9, left to right, Dr. Helene Sinnreich, Monika Flashka, Dr. Sonja M. Hedgepeth, Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel. Photo by Dr. Michael Rice.
Dr. Nancy Rupprecht of MTSU, a member of the Advisory Board of Remember the Women Institute, was conference chair. For more information, please contact [email protected] or see the conference website.
March 11 – 13, 2007
Scholars' Conference on the Holocaust, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
On Sunday evening from 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. there was a special panel entitled S. L. Shneiderman’s Early Contributions: New Books on Women and the Holocaust. This was held in conjunction with the launching of two books, Mary Berg's Diary edited by Susan Pentlin and Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story edited by Rochelle G. Saidel. Both books, long out of print, were originally edited by S. L. Shneiderman.
Dr. Susan Pentlin, Central Missouri State University, and Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel, Remember the Women Institute, discussed their new books. Dr. Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland at College Park, talked about his father's quest to tell Holocaust stories. (Visit the UMD Library web page for more on S. L. and Eileen Shneidermann and the Shneiderman collection of Yiddish books.) Dr. Sonja Hedgepeth, Middle Tennessee State University, chaired the session. Dr. Pentlin and Dr. Hedgepeth are members of the Advisory Board of Remember the Women Institute.
Pictured above: Rochelle Saidel, Ben Shneiderman, and Susan Pentlin at Scholars' Conference panel, March 11, 2007.
March 14, 2007
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN,
As a feature of the activities organized for Women's History Month, Rochelle G. Saidel lectured on her new book, Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story.
Pictured above: Rochelle Saidel lectures at Middle Tennessee State University.
April 15, 2007
University of Maryland, College Park
Personal Stories: S. L. Shneiderman and the Commemoration of the Holocaust
The Meyerhoff Center recognized Yom Ha Shoah and acknowledged the legacy of S. L. Shneiderman with this examination of personal stories of survival and of Holocaust commemoration in the years immediately after the end of world war two. After an introduction by Shneiderman's son, two of the presentations focused on the republication of works by Shneiderman, the third on the rebirth of Jewish culture in the DP camps in the post-war period.
My Parents' Quest
Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland
Ben Shneiderman described his parent's family history and their journalistic motivations in helping Holocaust survivors tell their stories. His visual history captured his parents emigration from Warsaw to Paris, their role in the Spanish Civil War, and their 50 years of literary activism in New York City's Yiddish and English press.
Warsaw Ghetto Diary of Mary Berg
Susan L. Pentlin, University of Central Missouri
Susan Pentlin spoke about the Diary of Mary Berg which was the first full account of the Warsaw Ghetto by a survivor to appear in print in the United States. S. L. Shneiderman edited and published the diary which began to appear in the Yiddish Morgen Journal in May 1944 and in English with L. B. Fischer in February 1945. Berg's mother was a born in the United States and the family was repatriated from the Vittel Internment Camp in March 1944.
Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story
Rochelle G. Saidel, Remember the Women Institute, New York, NY
Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel spoke about Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story, a new and expanded memoir that she edited, just published by Syracuse University Press. This significant memoir of Holocaust, American, and European history offers an intimate glimpse into the life and times of New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia's family. The memoir was originally published in 1961, with S. L. Shneiderman as editor.
Cultural Reclamation in the Aftermath of the Holocaust
Miriam Isaacs, University of Maryland
Miriam Isaacs spoke about the cultural climate in the DP camps with respect to cultural reclamation, touching on some aspects that were undergoing serious reconsideration within the confines of the Yiddish cultural perspective. Some of the figures she discussed are H. Leivick and David Volpe, Josef Gar and Rudolf Valsonek.
Pictured above: Ben Shneiderman explains the program format.
Pictured above: Rochelle Saidel speaking at University of Maryland, as Ben Shneiderman assists with her visuals.
Videos of this event, including the
video recording of Dr. Saidel's lecture , can be downloaded as .ram
files at http://www.jewishstudies.umd.edu/events/slshneidermanconference.htm
April 24, 2007
Centro Primo Levi for Italian Jewish Studies
Center for Jewish History, 15W. 16th Street, New York.
FIORELLO'S SISTER, GEMMA'S BROTHER
Some 300 people attended this sold out program to launch Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story edited by Rochelle G. Saidel and published by Syracuse University Press. Immigrant and cosmopolitan; poor and educated; Italian American and Jewish: Mayor of New York and anti-Nazi activist: Fiorello La Guardia. Triestine and American, Jewish and secular, prisoner and ransom of Nazi Germany: Gemma La Guardia. An Italian American Jewish saga between the two Wars and afterward.
Participants in public conversation about Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and his sister Gemma La Guardia Gluck were Matilda Raffa Cuomo, Dr. Katherine LaGuardia, Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel, and Natalia Indrimi, with opening remarks by Hon. Antonio Bandini, Consul General of Italy in New York and Hon. Marjorie B. Tiven, Commissioner, City of New York, and sister of current mayor Michael Bloomberg.
A slide show, film, and radio clips explored the early years of the La Guardia family; the political career of Fiorello La Guardia and his public and personal involvement with the American Anti-Nazi-Fascist campaigns, the Jewish Labor Committee, and civilian relief during and after World War II; and Gemma's experiences in Nazi Europe and afterward.
At the core of Dr. Saidel's discussion about Gemma's memoir was her recollection of deportation to Ravensbrück concentration camp from Budapest as a political hostage of the Nazis, because of her famous brother. Gemma's story was set against the backdrop of the Italian and Jewish stories of her parents, Triestine Irene Luzzatto Coen and Sicilian Achille La Guardia, their coming to the United States in 1880, the family's return to Trieste in 1898, and Fiorello's pursuit of his passion for politics.
The evening was enriched by visual and audio documents from the Jewish community of Trieste, WNYC/New York City Archives, the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University, Yad Vashem, Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück, Sharlot Hall Museum, Remember the Women Institute, La Guardia family members, and The LaGuardia and Wagner Archives, LaGuardia Community College/CUNY. The event was held in cooperation with the Consulate General of Italy, Wagner College, Columbus Citizens Foundation, Key Tre Viaggi under the auspices of the Jewish Community of Trieste, National Organization of Italian American Women, Fiorello H. La Guardia Foundation, and Remember the Women Institute.
A reception and book signing followed the program.
Click to view the invitation (PDF file).
Pictured above: (l. to r.) Centro Primo Levi Director Natalia Indrimi, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, Rochelle G. Saidel, and Fiorello La Guardia's granddaughter Katherine La Guardia discuss Gemma and Fiorello at the April 24, 2007 event at Center for Jewish History, New York. Photo by Daniel Wolk.
Granddaughter of Gemma La Guardia Gluck, Gladys Roberts McMilleon (right) meets her second cousin, Mary Baldwin, granddaughter of Gemma and Fiorello's sibbling, Richard La Guardia. Photo by David Baldwin.
Pictured above: (l. to r.) Gemma La Guardia Gluck's grandchildren, Richard Denes, Jimmy Roberts, and Gladys Roberts McMilleon, with Rochelle G. Saidel on April 24, 2007. Photo by Daniel Wolk.
Pictured above: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's granddaughter Gladys Roberts McMilleon, with Rochelle G. Saidel on April 24, 2007. Photo by Daniel Wolk.
Pictured above: Rochelle G. Saidel signing copies of Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story at Centro Primo Levi event on April 24, 2007. Photo by Daniel Wolk.
May 24-26, 2007
"The Legacy of the Holocaust: The World Before, The World After"
Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Participating Remember the Women Institute Advisory Board members included Dr. Ellen Ben-Sefer, Dr. Batya Brutin, Dr. Sonja M. Hedgepeth, Dr. Diane Plotkin, and Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel. Dr. Saidel's topic was: “Identity and the Holocaust: The Case of Gemma La Guardia Gluck.” Dr. Ben-Sefer, University of Technology, Sydney Australia, presented a paper entitled “Hanging by a Thread: Children in Transit Camps.” Dr. Brutin, Beit Berl College, Israel, discussed “The Visible and the Concealed in the Art of 'Second Generation' Artists.” Dr. Hedgepeth, Middle Tennessee State University, USA, spoke on “Deciding on Genocide? The 'Anti-Holocaust' Conference in Teheran.” Dr. Plotkin, Brookhaven College, TX, USA, discussed “Jewish Life in the Shtetl as Portrayed in Yiddish Literature.”
Pictured above: Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel and Dr. Ellen Ben-Sefer, Sydney, Australia, at the conference at Jagiellonian University, May 2007. Photo by Dr. Batya Brutin.
The session that included Dr. Saidel's paper was entitled Women and the Holocaust: Roles and Identities. Dr. Ben-Sefer chaired this session, which included two other papers. Dr. Susanne Bleiberg Seperson, Dowling College, NY, USA, spoke on “A Woman's Work Before, During and After the Holocaust: A Case Study.” Dr. Zoë Waxman, Royal Holloway, University of London, England, presented a paper entitled “Testimony and Silence: Reappraising Women's Holocaust Narratives.”
Pictured above: Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel presents her paper at the session on Women and the Holocaust: Roles and Identities, Jagiellonian University. Photo by Dr. Batya Brutin.
June 4, 2007
Congregation Moreshet Yisrael, Jerusalem, Israel
Co-sponsored by the Fuchsberg Center's Oded program and the congregation, the Israeli book launch of Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story, edited by Rochelle Saidel.
Pictured above: Helen Shneiderman Sarid, daughter of S. L. Shneiderman, editor of Gemma La Guardia Gluck's My Story, published in 1961, speaks at the Israeli book launch of Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story, edited by Rochelle Saidel. Dr. Saidel listens at left. Photo by Dr. Sonja Hedgepeth.
June 6, 2007
Amit Women's Annual Book and Author Luncheon, Jerusalem, Israel
Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel was the featured author, speaking about Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story.
July 14, 2007
ESRA English Speaking Residents Association, Modiin, Israel
Guest Speaker Harriet Spitzer reviewed Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story, edited by Rochelle G. Saidel.
Radio and Television Interviews with Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel about Fiorello's Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck's Story
Shmooze with Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky, KOL Seattle on May 13, 2007
Talkline with Zev Brenner, WMCA New York on May 21, 2007
Jordan Rich Radio Show, WBZ Boston on July 8, 2008
Pictured above: Sheila Zucker, IBA Israel Broadcasting Authority English News, interviews Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel, June 2007. The program, taped on June 3, aired in Israel on July 21. Photo by Dr. Sonja M. Hedgepeth.
June 28, 2007
Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research, Jersualem, Israel
Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel presented a lecture on her research on “The Untold Story of Mielec, Poland.” [Preliminary Report on “The Untold Story of Mielec, Poland” Yad Vashem Research Project.] This was based on her research fellowship at the Yad Vashem Institute during the fall 2006 semester, as well as field work in Poland and survivor interviews. Dr. Saidel most recently visited Mielec in May 2007, accompanied by Dr. Sonja Hedgepeth and Anna Sommer, a graduate student at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. They met with officials in the municipality and the regional museum, and were accompanied to relevant sites by Edward Michocki. Photographs from this trip, along with photos given to Dr. Saidel by Mr. Michocki and Mielec survivor Moshe Borger were part of the Yad Vashem presentation.
This photo was taken in Mielec at the site of the former Nazi Heinkel aircraft factory. After the evacuation of the town's Jewish population on March 9, 1942, the factory operated as a work camp. It was later converted to a full-fledged concentration camp with extremely sadistic commandants. This monument marks the place where workers were taken to be executed. Today this monument is within Europark, Mielec. Photo by Rochelle G. Saidel
This photo shows the entrance to Europark today, on the same grounds as the Nazi Heinkel aircraft factory and concentration camp. This is now one of the major industrial parks in Poland, with factories from the European Union and the United States. Photo by Dr. Sonja M. Hedgepeth
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