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Rachel Stern

Dec 7, 2022

The Shape and Color of Survival.
Samuel Bak (born Vilnius, Lithuania, 1933)
Lecture by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

2022-12-07T18:53:36-05:00December 7th, 2022|, , |Comments Off on The Shape and Color of Survival.
Samuel Bak (born Vilnius, Lithuania, 1933)
Lecture by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

Image above: Samuel Bak, Warsaw Excavation, 2007. Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in. Image Courtesy Pucker Gallery © Samuel Bak Samuel Bak was 6 years old when the Nazis began ending his childhood, as the war that they engendered would soon extend to his native Vilnius. The number “6” became an important element in his art, since it is also the number of the Commandment with which God enjoins us not to commit murder, for which the Holocaust represented such a profound abrogation. His father smuggled him out of the ghetto in the sack that he was still permitted to use to gather firewood—and was subsequently murdered by the regime. By then Bak himself had already [...]

Nov 21, 2022

RECKONINGS – The First Reparations
Film Screening at Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan
Followed by Q+A with Gideon Taylor and Karen Heilig

2022-11-24T05:24:57-05:00November 21st, 2022|, |Comments Off on RECKONINGS – The First Reparations
Film Screening at Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan
Followed by Q+A with Gideon Taylor and Karen Heilig

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, the unprecedented destruction and plight of survivors prompts the unthinkable - German and Jewish leaders meet in secret to grapple with the first reparations in history, resulting in the groundbreaking Luxembourg Agreements of 1952. Screening followed by Q+A with Gideon Taylor and Karen Heilig, from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.   Watch the Trailer: SCREENINGS In the aftermath of the Holocaust, German and Jewish leaders met in secret to negotiate the unthinkable – compensation for the survivors of the largest mass genocide in history. Survivors were in urgent need of help, but how could reparations be determined for the unprecedented destruction [...]

Nov 14, 2022

IN-PERSON CONFERENCE: Welcoming the Stranger.
Abrahamic Hospitality and Contemporary Implications
Fordham University, New York

2022-12-11T20:29:13-05:00November 14th, 2022|, |Comments Off on IN-PERSON CONFERENCE: Welcoming the Stranger.
Abrahamic Hospitality and Contemporary Implications
Fordham University, New York

One of the signal moments in the narrative of Abraham is his insistent and enthusiastic reception of three strangers. That moment is a beginning point of inspiration for all three Abrahamic traditions as they evolve and develop the details of their respective teachings. On the one hand, welcoming the stranger by remembering “that you were strangers in the land of Egypt” is enjoined upon the ancient Israelites, and on the other, oppressing the stranger is condemned by their prophets. These sentiments will be repeated in the New Testament and the Qur’an and elaborated in the interpretive literatures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Such notions have been seriously challenged on many occasions throughout history—at no time more profoundly than in [...]

Oct 23, 2022

Flucht ins Überleben [Escape to Survival]. Four Berlin Biographies from the Time of National Socialism
Märkisches Museum, Berlin (Germany)

2022-11-02T01:09:36-04:00October 23rd, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Flucht ins Überleben [Escape to Survival]. Four Berlin Biographies from the Time of National Socialism
Märkisches Museum, Berlin (Germany)

Four selected life stories tell of survival strategies in war, flight and persecution - and of the consequences of the traumatic experiences for those affected. EVENT RECORDING FORTHCOMING Today we believe that flight, expulsion, oppression and murder which dominated Europe 70 years ago have been overcome. Recent events in Ukraine show us that this is not the case. And again there are countless individuals whose lives are uprooted and who have to reorient themselves. But what does that do to those affected, what does it do to artists and how do they reflect on this experience? With four selected biographies of Berliners, we recall the survival strategies they had to develop during the National Socialist [...]

Sep 7, 2022

Behind the Bronze.
The Sculptor Maurice Blik (born 1939 Amsterdam)
Featuring Maurice Blik and Julian Freeman (both London, UK)

2022-09-07T15:52:51-04:00September 7th, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Behind the Bronze.
The Sculptor Maurice Blik (born 1939 Amsterdam)
Featuring Maurice Blik and Julian Freeman (both London, UK)

Maurice Blik has lived in England since being liberated from Bergen Belsen concentration camp, where he was taken as a small child from his birthplace, Amsterdam. The ability to come to terms with this experience and to confront the face of humanity that he has witnessed, stayed silent in his life for some 40 years. It finally found a voice in the passionate sculptures which began to emerge in the late 1970s when he created a series of horses’ heads. These noble and benevolent creatures posses an energy and a life force that seem just barely harnessed long enough to take their shape in the clay itself. Later he progressed to more figurative work in which the irrepressible joy [...]

Aug 3, 2022

Ludwig and Else Meidner.
An Artist Couple Exiled in London
Lecture by Erik Riedel, Frankfurt/Main (Germany)

2022-08-03T14:52:23-04:00August 3rd, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Ludwig and Else Meidner.
An Artist Couple Exiled in London
Lecture by Erik Riedel, Frankfurt/Main (Germany)

When Ludwig and Else Meidner met in 1925, he was already an established artist well-known for his so-called Apocalyptic Landscapes. Although Else started as Ludwig’s student, she developed a distinct independent style and he always praised her art as more refined than his own “coarse” works. As Else Meidner slowly gained recognition in Berlin art circles, her career was abruptly cut short by the Nazi-regime in 1933. She moved to Cologne with her husband in 1935; and they emigrated to England in 1939 only a few weeks before the war started. In London both lived largely unnoticed by the English art scene. But while Ludwig frustratedly returned to Germany, she decided to stay in England. Their complicated relationship developed from [...]

Jul 26, 2022

Death and Immortality:
The Gentle Power of Hans von Trotha’s “Pollak’s Arm”
Hans von Trotha and Ori Z Soltes in conversation

2022-08-25T13:01:20-04:00July 26th, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Death and Immortality:
The Gentle Power of Hans von Trotha’s “Pollak’s Arm”
Hans von Trotha and Ori Z Soltes in conversation

Ludwig Pollak (Prague 1868-1943 Auschwitz) was an extraordinary connoisseur of antiquities--an Austro-Hungarian Jew whose path into academia was impeded by his religion, but who settled in Rome, where he carved out a unique place for himself as an expert in recognizing, understanding, and organizing great works of art. It was he who shaped and articulated the magnificent collections of JP Morgan. Of perhaps even greater consequence, his astute eye saw a sculpted fragment of an arm in a flea market that, he deduced, was the limb missing from the spectacular Hellenistic-Roman sculptural group known as Laocoon. He gifted that arm fragment to the Vatican so that it might complete the work that occupied an important place within [...]

Jul 20, 2022

Nazi Billionaires.
The Dark History of Germany’s Wealthiest Dynasties
Author David de Jong and Rachel Stern in conversation

2022-07-20T13:29:12-04:00July 20th, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Nazi Billionaires.
The Dark History of Germany’s Wealthiest Dynasties
Author David de Jong and Rachel Stern in conversation

This event features a conversation between Rachel Stern and David de Jong, author of the landmark work of investigative journalism, which reveals the true story of how Germany’s wealthiest business dynasties amassed untold money and power by abetting the atrocities of the Third Reich – and how America knowingly allowed these horrors to happen. In 1946, Günther Quandt – patriarch of Germany’s most iconic industrial empire, a dynasty that today controls BMW – was arrested for suspected Nazi collaboration. Quandt claimed that he had been forced to join the party by his archrival, propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, and the courts acquitted him. But Quandt lied. And his heirs, and those of other Nazi billionaires, have [...]

May 18, 2022

ART FOR NO ONE:
Artists in Germany between 1933 and 1945
Lecture by Ilka Voermann, Frankfurt/Main (Germany)

2022-05-19T05:21:58-04:00May 18th, 2022|, , |Comments Off on ART FOR NO ONE:
Artists in Germany between 1933 and 1945
Lecture by Ilka Voermann, Frankfurt/Main (Germany)

Between 1933 and 1945, the National Socialist regime controlled artistic work in Germany. Particularly artists who were persecuted based on their religion, race, or political views fled into exile due to threats from the government. But what happened to the artists who remained in the country? Isolation, lack of an audience, and limited exchange impacted the creativity of the individuals who were deprived of a basis for work and life under National Socialism. Their situation is often described in a generalized way as “ostracism” or “inner emigration.” In light of the multilayered and divergent personal circumstances, however, these terms fall short of the mark. Image above: Hans Grundig, Clash of the Bears and Wolves, 1938, Oil on plywood, 90,5 [...]

May 4, 2022

Prison Diaries by Hans Uhlmann, 1933-1935:
Drawing as Life Line
Featuring Dorothea Schöne, Berlin (Germany)

2022-05-04T15:26:49-04:00May 4th, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Prison Diaries by Hans Uhlmann, 1933-1935:
Drawing as Life Line
Featuring Dorothea Schöne, Berlin (Germany)

On October 26, 1933, Hans Uhlmann was arrested by the Gestapo on the street. In the notorious Columbia-Haus, he was interrogated for several weeks and then found guilty by the court of appeal of “preparations for a traitorous enterprise.” He spent a year and a half in prison—first in Moabit and then in Tegel Prison. The artist recorded his experiences of those years in diaries. In parallel with these diaries, he produced four books of sketches. In his diary entries Uhlmann describes his arrest as well as scenes from daily life in confinement but above all his artistic concerns and projects: “I think often of freedom; of my first works; I occupy myself here by imagining these figures” (May [...]

Apr 26, 2022

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter May 2022

2022-04-28T09:33:15-04:00April 26th, 2022|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter May 2022

Dear Friends, Thursday is Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Memorial Day. In January, we invited you to actively commemorate victims of National Socialism by contributing to the Arolsen Archive’s digital memorial #EVERYNAMECOUNTS. I know that some of you found the project so meaningful that you are still donating your time to it. Right now, you can choose to enter data of documents from Buchenwald, Flossenbürg or Dachau: PARTICIPATE HERE This Thursday, I invite all to donate time to help build this important digital memorial. On our website you find further information about the project and our partnership with the Arolsen Archive: https://fritzaschersociety.org/digifas/everynamecounts/ And please share your experience with us! In May, we turn to the experience of [...]

Apr 6, 2022

Ben-Zion (1897-1987):
Man of Many Faces
Featuring Tabita Shalem and Ori Z Soltes

2022-04-06T15:57:51-04:00April 6th, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Ben-Zion (1897-1987):
Man of Many Faces
Featuring Tabita Shalem and Ori Z Soltes

Born in the Russian Empire, Ben-Zion (Benzion Weinman, 1897-1987) immigrated to New York City between the wars, arriving as a craftsman of words whose cultural Zionist convictions led him to write his poetry in Hebrew. By the early 1930s, the rise of fascism and its particularized manipulations of language drove him to despair of the power of words and to turn to visual art as a medium of expression. Endlessly creative, across the next six decades he produced a flood of drawings and oil paintings and sculptures often made by re-visioning found objects of wood, stone, and iron. As a founding member of the expressionist group, "The Ten"--that included among others a young Mark Rothko--Ben-Zion addressed social, political, and cultural [...]

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