UNCA to Observe Holocaust Education Days
with a Variety of Programs
UNC Asheville will hold its annual observance of Holocaust Education
Days from April 15-19 with three special events. Among the highlights will
be a screening of "Secret Lives" with a director's talk. The
film, directed by Aviva Slesin, tells the story of children hidden from
the Holocaust and their rescuers during World War II. All events are free
and open to the public.
** On April 15 and 16 from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. there will be a reading
of Holocaust victims' names on the steps of UNCA's Ramsey Library.
Asheville community members will join UNCA students, faculty and staff to
continuously read Holocaust victims' names. The event is sponsored by
UNCA's Center for Jewish Studies and Western North Carolina Hillel. To
participate, register online.
** Holocaust survivor Walter Ziffer will present a lecture on
"Christian Reactions to the Holocaust: Barmen, Germany & Le
Chambon, France." The talk will be held at 12:20 p.m. Friday April
16, in UNCA's Laurel Forum, located on the main floor of Karpen Hall.
Ziffer's presentation will focus on two European towns' responses to
the Holocaust during World War II. In Barmen, Germany, the Barmen
Declaration of the German Confessing Church affirmed resistance to Hitler
but omitted mention of the Nazi persecution of the Jews. The declaration
was concerned with Jews who had converted to Christianity but who were
still vulnerable to persecution under Nuremburg race laws. In Le Chambon,
France, the largely Protestant reformed population risked its existence by
hiding 3,000-4,000 Jews.
** The film "Secret Lives," produced and directed by Aviva
Slesin, will be screened at 7 p.m. Monday, April 19, in UNCA's Reuter
Center. The screening is the 2004 Phyllis Freed Sollod Memorial Event and
will include a director's talk.
Using firsthand testimonies, the film explores the experiences of
children and their rescuers during the Holocaust from across Europe.
"Secret Lives" tells of the individuals who, wherever the Nazis
were in power, reacted with defiance and humanity, to protect children
from being murdered. The story tells of how children were stowed away in
closets and barns, or out in the open where their true identity had to be
hidden. The film also reunites children and their rescuers, many of whom
are now historians, professors, writers and psychologists.
Slesin, a director, producer and editor, was a hidden child in
Lithuania. She received an Academy Award for "The Ten Year Lunch: The
Wit and Legend of the Algonquin Round Table" and has produced and
directed many other documentaries that have aired on PBS, TBS and HBO.
For more information, contact Richard Chess, UNCA Center for Jewish
Studies Director, at 828/251-6576.
- Dr. Richard Chess, UNCA Center for Jewish Studies Director,
- Jill Yarnall, UNCA Public Information Assistant Director,