Dear Friends,

Spring, finally! And vaccinations, finally! And yes: we are starting to prepare in-person events and exhibitions!
For now, we are all about virtual events, though:

The life experience and art of Hungarian born Holocaust survivor Alice Lok Cahana and Indian born Siona Benjamin could not be more different. Join us on Wednesday, April 28 at 5:00 pm EST for “Worlds Apart: Antithetical Jewish Experiences in the Twentieth Century,” when Dr. Meital Orr discusses two recent book publications with author and FAS board member Dr. Ori Z Soltes. Organized by the Center for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University, the event features our book “Immortality, Memory, Creativity, and Survival: The Arts of Alice Lok Cahana, Ronnie Cahana and Kitra Cahana,” which will be juxtaposed to “Growing up Jewish in India.”
You can find out more about the event and REGISTER HERE.
On our website, you can find out more about our book and its context HERE.

On Wednesday, May 5 at 12:00pm EDT, our lecture series “Flight or Fight: Stories of Artists under Repression” continues with “Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980): The Making of an Artist.” You can REGISTER FOR THE ZOOM EVENT HERE.

Oskar Kokoschka, Self-Portrait, 1948. Oil on canvas, 65.5 × 55 cm.
Fondation Oskar Kokoschka FOK 30. ©Fondation Oskar Kokoschka / DACS 2018

The Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) achieved world fame with his intense expressionistic portraits and landscapes. Rüdiger Görner, author of the first English-language biography, depicts the artist in all his fascinating and contradictory complexity. He traces Kokoschka’s path from bête noire of the bourgeoisie and a so-called ‘hunger artist’ to a wealthy and cosmopolitan political and critical artist who played a major role in shaping the European art scene of the twentieth century and whose relevance is undiminished to this day.
In 1938, when the Czechs began to mobilize for the expected invasion by the German Wehrmacht, Kokoschka fled to the United Kingdom, where he remained during the war. Although he had an international reputation at the time of his first emigration to Prague, he was not yet well-known in Britain. This lecture throws new light upon his experiences, reception and work in exile, including his impressions of London, his portrait commissions and his series of now celebrated anti-Fascist works such as the allegory What We Are Fighting For (1943) and The Red Egg (1939-41). In 1947, Kokoschka travelled briefly to the United States before settling in Switzerland in 1953, where he lived the rest of his life.
Kokoschka was more than a mere visual artist: his achievements as a playwright, essayist, and poet bear witness to a remarkable literary talent. Music, too, played a central role in his work, and a passion for teaching led him to establish in 1953 the School of Seeing, an unconventional art school intended to revive humanist ideals in the horrific aftermath of war.

There is more happening during the first week of May: we are partnering with Liberation75, a global gathering of Holocaust survivors, descendants, educators and friends. From May 4 to 9, the free virtual event will feature almost 100 programs including: Concerts, Panel Discussions, Leading Speakers, Holocaust Survivor Testimony, Virtual Tours, Exhibits, Descendant Discussions, Reunions and a full Film Festival. Check out the full schedule of amazing speakers and programming HERE!

And this is something new for us: A free film screening of “Undying Love. Stories of Romance, Marriage and Rebirth in Displaced Persons’ Camps,” followed by a post screening discussion with the writer and director, the independent filmmaker Helene Klodawsky on Wednesday, May 26 at 12:00pm EDT.

Please REGISTER HERE to access the film and the discussion.

Detail of “Undying Love” Film Poster, 2002

Undying Love” tells the poignant, enduring, and miraculous love stories of the survivors of World War II. Against the brutalized landscape of post-war Europe, this film focuses on how survivors struggled to reconstruct personal identities and forge intimate relationships. Using searing testimonies, poetic dramatizations, archives and images of romantic love from the pre- and post-Holocaust era, Undying Love is a textured retelling of several extraordinary love stories which emerged “out of the ashes.” With film awards from the US, Canada, Poland, and Israel, Undying Love has been televised around the world.

Independent filmmaker Helene Klodawsky is a passionate storyteller committed to portraying political and social struggles, as well as to exploring the documentary art form. Her award winning work, spanning thirty-five years, is screened, and televised around the world in venues as diverse as New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Kenyan refugee camps.

We offer all these events for free. But if you can, please support our work by giving to the Fritz Ascher Society HERE.

All best wishes,

Rachel Stern
Director and CEO

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