Elie Wiesel, the world’s best known and most influential Holocaust survivor, is no longer. More than anyone else, he changed the status of survivors from victims to witnesses with a moral mission, writes Michael Berenbaum.
It is a cliché that behind every successful man is a good woman, but Chris stood not only beside Miles but together with him. We travelled together to Eastern Europe numerous times. Chris was indispensable, offering emotional support and human insight, tempering her husband’s drive just enough that he did not run over people.
The date of Ernest Michel’s death was fitting, somehow. A Holocaust survivor and former executive vice president of UJA-Federation of New York from 1970-1989, Michel died at home on May 7, in the week between Yom Hashoah and Yom Ha’atzmaut.
In essays by grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, one might expect a sense of inadequacy and guilt. Instead, there’s empowerment, and an appreciation of the privileges of freedom.
Israel Gutman, Israel’s most prominent survivor historian, died in Jerusalem on October 1.
Vladka Meed, one of the last surviving leaders of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, died in Phoenix on November 21 just before her 91st birthday.
Holocaust scholar Henry Friedlander, who established the significance of Hitler’s mass murder of the disabled as a precursor to the Shoah, has died. He was 82.
Those who lived through the Holocaust understandably have a different perspective on it than scholars who study it. At long last, they are starting to understand one another.
Peter Novick, author of ‘The Holocaust in American Life,’ argued that Jews overused the Holocaust to create a false sense of oppression in the U.S.
Eli Pfefferkorn was sent to a concentration camp and lived to tell about it, albeit 65 years later. He sheds light on how real human beings lived and died amid the horror.