PAST PRESENT WONDER – In Conversation Series
Join us for this fascinating In Conversation Series as part of South Australia’s History Festival during the month of May. The program features South Australian Holocaust survivors and descendants contemplating the theme of this year’s History Festival – Past Present Wonder and the ways in which the memory of the Holocaust is being kept alive in meaningful and relevant ways today.
The museum will be open from 5 pm giving you the opportunity to view our permanent exhibition and the In Conversation will commence at 6 pm.
Tuesday 2 May
The Wonder of Life – In conversation with Andrew Steiner and Yael Eaglstein
The wonder of life after The Tragedy is the theme of this conversation with local Holocaust survivor Andrew Steiner, and Yael Eaglstein, Head of the Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Teachers at Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. One of the biggest mysteries for many of us is how people who experience devastating losses manage to recreate their identities. In addition, although they may never be able to cast aside the shadow of the past, they make their survival matter and live by the ancient Jewish obligation of leaving a better world behind than the one they received. The conversation will explore two different experiences and how their impact on the lives of later generations.
Tuesday 9 May
The Wonder of Courage – In Conversation with Ron Hoenig
As a child of Holocaust survivors, Ron Hoenig has been asked to present his story – the tale of the interwoven relationship between his mother, who was born Gizella or Gizi Berkovits, his father, Gaby, and János Zornánszky. János was a 20-year-old guard in a municipal office in Budapest who, in April 1944, decided to provide false papers to Gizi Berkovits, a desperate young Jewish woman, so she could pass as a Christian and perhaps survive. Ron says he is alive today because of János’s courageous actions. In recent years, telling this story has become a focal point of his life and writing – perhaps, an obsession. This In Conversation event will illuminate the multifaceted ways descendants like Ron are keeping Holocaust memory alive today.
Tuesday 16 May
The Wonder of Knowledge – In conversation with Eva and Andrew Temple
How much do you remember from when you were 15 months old? Would you know that you’d survived a genocide? How many decades does it take to find the only person who knew you when you were rescued from Bergen-Belsen? There are so many questions that Eva Temple, one of the youngest survivors of the Holocaust, had to try to find answers to, when aged just 10, she was told that she was an orphan and a Jew. In this conversation with Eva and her son Andrew, we will look at the past that haunts, the questions we can answer and the ones we will never know. Eva’s story of creating her identity is a metaphor for the challenges most survivors had to go through – when you can’t go back to the places or people from before, because they are gone, never to be seen again.
Tuesday 23 May
The Wonder of Memory – In conversation with Pam Rachootin
Anni Rachootin née Salberg grew up in a Jewish family enduring persecution under the Nazi regime of 1930s Germany. But she was one of the lucky ones – she and her parents and brother were able to escape and join relatives in America prior to the start of WW2. They brought with them several items to remind them of their former life which are now treasured family heirlooms. During her lifetime, Anni wrote down her childhood memories and talked to groups about her Holocaust experience. In this conversation with Anni’s daughter, local GP Pam Rachootin, we discuss how some of the items play a major part in our permanent display and education program. We also reflect on the importance of descendants keeping the memory alive today and how Pam continues to share Anni’s stories through her creative writing and poetry.