May 23, 2012
The College of Saint Elizabeth is grateful to Robert Wiener for his important article that highlighted what took place at our Yom Hashoa program about the 1939 rescue of 10,000 Jewish children in the Kindertransport program.
We placed this rescue in its historic context so that it would be understood along with the tragedy of the Holocaust and the enormous death toll that included one-and-a-half million Jewish children.
After hearing the testimonies of Kurt and Margaret Goldberger, who were rescued in separate Kindertransports from Austria and Germany, it was clear that this program had made the students in attendance realize that so many additional lives could have been saved if more people had been involved in rescue.
They identified with the plight of the children who perished and those who were rescued and how terrible it was for the parents of these children.
At the College of Saint Elizabeth, survivors have trusted us and come to our Catholic university campus for almost 25 years so they could tell their stories. Our undergraduate and graduate students and the NJ teachers who attend our programs with their students have told us that this work must be supported and continued.
As Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum said, “We are the first generation to stand at a distance from the Holocaust, and the last generation to know the survivors first-hand.” The programs we offer will continue to include survivors of the Holocaust for as long as there are survivors who can come to speak. We know it’s not easy for them to share such difficult memories. But we are inspired by them and by the response of those who come to our campus to hear them and learn from them.
Thank you to NJJN for your reporting on Holocaust education and remembrance, which enables the community to be aware of efforts to ensure that “Never Again” is more than a slogan and that the victims will be remembered.
Dr. Harriet Sepinwall
Codirector, College of Saint Elizabeth Holocaust Education Resource Center