Finally it’s spring, and with it comes the energy of renewal and hope.

At the Fritz Ascher Society, we have installed a new system to register for events. Hoping it will work flawlessly, I ask you to be kind and patient if it doesn’t.

Next week, we will hear National Jewish Book Award winner Benjamin Balint in conversation with Georgetown University Professor Ori Z Soltes:

12:00 PM EDT
BRUNO SCHULZ (1892-1942):
An Artist, a Murder, and the Hijacking of History

Bruno Schulz, ‘The Enchanted Town II,’ 1920-1922.

Bruno Schulz is renowned as a master of twentieth-century imaginative fiction. Isaac Bashevis Singer called him “one of the most remarkable writers who ever lived.” But Schulz was also an exceptionally talented graphic artist whose masochistic drawings would catch the eye of a sadistic Nazi officer. Schulz’s art became the currency in which he bought life.

Drawing on extensive new reporting and archival research, Benjamin Balint chases the inventive murals Schulz painted on the walls of an SS villa—the last traces of his vanished world—into multiple dimensions of the artist’s life and afterlife. Sixty years after Schulz was murdered, those murals were miraculously rediscovered, only to be secretly smuggled by Israeli agents to Jerusalem. The ensuing international furor summoned broader perplexities, including about who has the right to curate orphaned artworks and to construe their meanings.

Previously unexamined sources and archives have shed new light on what exactly happened during the Vel d’Hiv Roundup of 16-17 July, 1942, organized by the French authorities and carried out by French policemen:

4:30 PM EST
The Largest Mass Arrest in Wartime French History

This is the only photograph of the Vel d’Hiv Roundup, July 16 and 17, 1942: the buses used by French police, parked rue Nélaton. © Getty – Hulton Archives

On July 16-17, 1942 in Occupied Paris, more than 13,000 French Jews were arrested by French Police. The victims were held in deplorable conditions at the Vélodrome d’Hiver or Vel d’Hiv, an indoor cycling stadium until they were sent to detainment camps outside of Paris where they either died or were deported to concentration camps. Dr. Eileen Angelini’s presentation will discuss how the Vichy Government planned this round-up and how the French government and people have since dealt with the pain and shame of this traumatic event.

This event was organized by the Keene State College Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Holocaust Resource Center of Kean University, in cooperation with The Fritz Ascher Society for Persecuted, Ostracized and Banned Art.

YOU WERE TAUGHT THEY WENT LIKE SHEEP TO THE SLAUGHTER. You were taught a Nazi Lie. Join us for the New York Theatrical Release:

MONDAY, April 15
7:00 PM EDT
DCTV Firehouse Cinema
87 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10013

Told by survivors, their children, and expert witnesses from the U.S. Israel, and Europe, Resistance: They Fought Back, is a revelation based on extensive research of how the Jews of Europe fought back. It uncovers evidence of non-violent methods which served as crucial tools of resistance and evolved into Jewish armed revolts in ghettos, forests and death camps, even as the odds of success were vanishingly small.

The film screening will be followed by Q&A with director Paula S. Apsell and Avinoa J. Patt, Ph.D., Professor of Holocaust Studies, New York University.

And finally the book is out: April 2nd is the publication date of our new book at Fordham University Press:

This timely book offers theoretical and practical reflections on ‘welcoming the stranger.’ From the theological analysis of Abraham to the legal and political discussion of immigration and refugees, the volume explores how hospitality—welcoming the ‘other’ into our tents—leads to peace and improving the world.—Mehnaz Afridi, Director, Holocaust, Genocide & Interfaith Education Center and Professor, Religious Studies, Manhattan College

If you missed our March events, you can watch the recordings here:

Please donate generously to make programs like this possible. THANK YOU. 

The Fritz Ascher Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. Your donation is fully tax deductible.

We look forward to seeing you in New York and online!

All best wishes,

Rachel Stern
Executive Director