Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education

“Jewish Life in Poland: Before, During and After the Holocaust”

Free and Open to the Public - Registration Required
All Times Posted are Pacific Standard (PST)
7:00 p.m. – Anderson University Center, Regency Room
Opening of Conference

Screening of Three Minutes: A Lengthening, a film based on Glenn Kurtz’s acclaimed book Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film

Three minutes of footage are the only moving images left of the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk before the Holocaust. Three minutes, in color, random, and full of life, are turned into a historical and personal dimension. Three Minutes-A Lengthening (2022) is based on Three Minutes in Poland; the documentary is directed by Bianca Stigter and narrated by Helena Bonham Carter.

Convener: Robert P. Ericksen, Mayer Chair of Holocaust Studies, Emeritus, PLU

Post-film discussion with Glenn Kurtz, Ph.D. from Stanford University in German Studies and Comparative Literature

Dessert Reception – AUC, Regency Lobby
9:00 a.m. Registration & Coffee – Anderson University Center, Regency Lobby
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. – AUC, Regency Room
Jewish Life in Poland: The Best of Times and the Worst of Times

Sheryl Ochayon, Project Director, Echoes and Reflections, International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem

Mania Cieśla will present On the fields of Grochow. The history and memorialization of the former “Kibbutz Grochow” in Warsaw Grochow, today a neighborhood in Warsaw, was the place of the essential Zionistic training farm of the HeChalutz movement. In my presentation, I will introduce the Kibbutz Grochow project, run by the Anski Association in Warsaw, commemorating the former kibbutz. Cieśla will present the history of Grochow and address how to commemorate such sites.

Convener: Beth Griech-Polelle, Associate Professor of Holocaust History and Kurt Mayer Chair of Holocaust Studies, PLU

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. – Lunch, AUC, Room 133
Presentations by Mayer Summer Scholars

Introduction: Natalie Mayer

Sarah Calvin-Stupfel will present Witnessing Memory, Trauma, and Survival: Lessons from Molly Applebaum’s Testimonies in Buried Words

Sage Warner will present American Jewish Responses to Nazi Persecution of European Jews (Zoom presentation)

Convener: Rona Kaufman, Associate Professor, English & Director, FYEP, PLU

12:45 - 1:35 p.m. – Klezmer Music by Kesselgarden, Regency Room

Carl Shutoff (clarinet in C) and Laurie Andres (accordion) constitute the Kesselgarden Klezmer Duo in Seattle, WA. They have performed at concerts, festivals, fundraisers and Jewish life cycle events since 2003. The name Kesselgarden comes from the way Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe pronounced “Castle Garden,” the facility on the southern tip of Manhattan where Ashkenazi Jews entered this country prior to the opening of Ellis Island in 1892. Among first and second generation Jews, the term Kesselgarden was eventually generalized to mean any situation that was noisy, confusing and chaotic. Kesselgarden is a traditional band, playing Eastern European instrumental Jewish music of the 19th and 20th centuries.

1:45 - 3:30 p.m. – During the time of Darkness: Jewish Polish Women’s Voices, Regency Room
Tales of the Alchemyst Theatre Group

Tales of the Alchemysts Theatre is excited to present our first fully staged performance piece, “The Ruins of Memory,” detailing women’s voices from the Holocaust. Nazi Germany’s master plan to eradicate the Jewish people did not technically differentiate between gender. However, as professed by Holocaust educators, Carol Rittner and John Roth, “Any consistent Nazi plan had to target Jewish women specifically as they were the only ones who would finally be able to ensure the continuity of Jewish life.” The odds of a woman surviving the death camps was much lower than that of a man. Yet aside from the diary of Anne Frank and the memories of Gisella Perl who was a Jewish doctor at Auschwitz, women’s voices are, for the most part, little known outside of academia. The most famous writers of that time – Victor Frankl, Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel – whose works have been widely read and discussed, are all male. We hope to provide some balance to that picture by showcasing stories that put the women, their suffering, and their experiences, at the forefront.

Convener: Lisa Marcus, Professor of English, Director, Holocaust & Genocide Studies, PLU

3:45 - 5:00 p.m. – Polish Holocaust Survivor Stories, Regency Room

Dan Grunfeld, Author of By the Grace of the Game: The Holocaust, A Basketball Legacy, and an Unprecedented American Dream
Matthew Erlich, 1st generation survivor who will be sharing his mother’s story of survival in Auschwitz. Mr. Erlich is part of the Holocaust Center Speakers Bureau.

Convener: Dee Simon, Baral Family CEO at the Holocaust Center for Humanity, Seattle, Washington

5:00 - 6:45 p.m. – Dinner Break
7:00 p.m. – Keynote Lecture, AUC, Regency Room

Dr. Jan Grabowski

“Poland’s Problem with the Holocaust: History, Memory and Commemoration”

In Poland, the Holocaust, its history, and commemoration are a constantly evolving memorial battlefield where public debates go hand in hand with state-sponsored and state-enforced attempts to establish an official historical narrative. The unresolved issues include the attitudes of the Polish society to the Jewish catastrophe, the role of individual and organized help to Jews, the fate of Jewish property, as well as the participation of Polish neighbors in anti-Jewish violence.

Convener: Robert P. Ericksen, Mayer Chair of Holocaust Studies, Emeritus, PLU

Dessert Reception, AUC, Regency Lobby
8:30 a.m. Registration & Coffee, Anderson University Center, Regency Lobby
9:00 - 10:15 a.m. – AUC, Regency Room (Zoom Presentation)
The Voice of Child Holocaust Survivors and the Politics of the Memorialization of the Holocaust

Joanna Michlic, Honorary Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Collective Violence, Holocaust and Genocide Studies at University College London.

Convener: Michael Artime, Department Chair of Political Science, PLU

10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. – AUC, Regency Room (Zoom Presentation)
The Jewish Community in Poland: Contemporary Jewish-Polish Relations

Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, Beit Polska and Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland

Anna Cichopek-Gajraj, Associate Professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University

Erica Lehrer, Associate Professor of History and Sociology/Anthropology at Concordia University, Canada Research Chair in Museum and Heritage Studies, and Director of the Curating and Public Scholarship Lab at Concordia University

Convener: Rabbi Bruce Kadden, PLU

12:30 - 1:15 p.m. – Lunch, AUC, Chris Knutzen Room

During lunch, there will be a screening of “Raise the Roof”, a film that documents the decades-long journey of artists Rick and Laura Brown as they, along with more than 300 students and professionals, travel to Poland to rebuild Gwoździec, one of the 200 magnificent wooden synagogues destroyed by the end of World War II.

1:20 - 3:00 p.m. – AUC, Chris Knutzen Room (Zoom)
Commentary on ``Raise the Roof`` film

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, University Professor Emerita and Professor Emerita of Performance Studies at New York University. She served as the Chief Curator of the Core Exhibition at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Convener: Paul Regelbrugge, Director of Education, Holocaust Center for Humanity, Seattle