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August 04, 1978 - Image 59

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-08-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

The Impact of NBC's 'Holocaust

By GABRIELLE
BAMBERGER

(Copyright 1978, JTA, Inc.)

The media has been re-
porting an awakening of
"Holocaust consciousness,"
spurred by the recent
NBC-TV series
"Holocaust." But like other
survivors of Nazi persecu-
tion, the 1,400 elderly re-
fugee clients of New York's
Selfhelp Community Ser-
vices need no further educa-
tion.
Selfhelp, a voluntary
agency, was formed in 1936
by a small group of refugees
from Nazi Germany —
among them theologian
Paul Tillich — to help other
arrivals adapt to their new
homeland. Over the years
Selfhelp's base has
broadened; today it serves
some 25,000 elderly
throughout New York. But
it continues to care for its
refugee clients.
For some families, the

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television account of Hi-
tler's atrocities has a
cathartic effect, enabling
parents-to discuss the past
with their children — often
for the first time. While the
subject had previously been
taboo, now parents were
forced to answer their chil-
dren's questions.
Others suffer from
what has been termed the
"guilt of the survivors."
Viewing the program
was unnecessary
punishment. Yet numer-
ous survivors felt com-
pelled to watch, as if the
ordeal would serve as
atonement for their guilt
at having survived while
so many others — some-
times their entire family
— had perished.
The staff at Selfhelp also
found that those less sophis-
ticated among their clients
— those who have not been
able to work out their prob-
lems verbally— also felt ob-
ligated to watch.
Some clients were irate,
feeling strongly that the
broadcast was an exploita-
tion of the survivors. Yet
others feel strongly that all
Americans must under-
stand what actually occur-

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red in Germany, Poland and
the Soviet Union.
Numerous clients expres-
sed regret at what was not
shown . . . perhaps could not
be shown: the all-pervasive
fear that prevailed 24 hours
a day, the extraordinary
will to survive, their total
deprivation as human be-
ings, the grimness, the
sense of pure animal survi-
val that predominated the
camps.
Yet one 90-year-old
woman who watched for
three hours was sorry
that the program
downplayed the role
played by the few indi-
viduals who were good —
who did show human
kindness. Without them,
she said, she would not
have survived.
One social worker said,
"The program preceded the
Passover holiday, a difficult
time for our clients who live
alone and isolated. There
are some we thought had
made the adjustment to
their day-to-day lives — we
thought their wounds had
healed. But the program
reactivated their sense of
loss and aloneness. Now we
must help them to resume
their previous level of func-
tioning."

BONN (JTA) — A dispute
has broken out concerning
the ruins of a synagogue in
Gross-Umstadt, near
Darmstadt, south of
Frankfurt
A plan to transfer the
ruins of the building which
was constructed in 1876 and
destroyed during the "Kris-
tallnacht," along with other
historical buildings still in-
tact, to an outdoor museum
in a park, has aroused
strong public opposition.
Although the Association
of Jewish Communities in
the State of Hessen (in
which Gross-Umstadt is lo-
cated) previously agreed to
the move, its chairman,
Prof. Herbert Lewin, said
the Association had
changed its mind. In a letter
to the Hessen Culture
Minister and various other
authorities he appealed for
the ruin to be left where it
is.
A resolution by the So-
cial Democratic Party
caucus in the Town
Council, calling for the
synagogue to be retained
and restored, was de-
feated. Several citizens
have signed a petition
and announced their in-
tention of setting up an
association for the reten-
tion of the synagogue.
One of the signatories,
Protestant priest Alexander
Claar, said in an interview
that there were no longer
any Jewish residents in the
town. They had either died
in concentration camps or
•emigrated. It was "not fit-
ting" for a "testimonial to
the persecution and de-
struction of innumerable
people" to be presented in
the context of an open air
museum, he said.

Friday, Aegost 4, 1918 54

DSG Stag Day Committees Named

Chairmen and committee committee members for
members for the Detroit the 29th annual Stag Day
Service Group's Stag Day are David Colton, Sidney
have been announced by I. Feldman, Marvin H.
1978 Chairman Myron L. Fleischman, Sidney
Milgrom.
Forbes, Sheldon A.
Dr. Paul C. Feinberg Goldman, Dr. Milton H.
chairs the hospitality com- Goldrath, Stephan Lanyi,
mittee, Robert A. Steinberg Milford Nemer, Albert
is golf chairman, and Irving Newman, Graham Orley
Laker heads the prizes and and Marvin Talan.
awards committee.
Golf committee members
Stag Day is an annual are Dr. Marvin A.
gathering for golf, tennis Aronovitz, Irving Burke,
and relaxation to honor Al- Bruce L. Colton, Mac R.
lied Jewish Campaign- Fisher, Martin R. Goldman,
Israel Emergency Fund Seymour Levine, Harold M.
volunteers. This year's Provizer, Alvin Steinman
event will be held Sept. 7 at and Ronald Stone.
Knollwood Country Club.
Serving on the prizes and
Serving as htispitality awards committee are
David B. Hermelin, Jack
Milen, Max M. Lebowitz

U.S. Pledges Aid
to UNRWA Unit,
Approval Pending

GENEVA (JTA) — A ten-
tative pledge by the United
States of an additional $8.5
million for the United Na-
tions Relief and Works
Agency for Palestine Arabs
(UNRWA) may save that
agency's preparatory school
program for another year.
The schools, which serve
90,000 Palestinian
youngsters throughout the
Middle East, faced suspen-
sion at the end of August be-
cause of UNRWA's multi-
million dollar deficit in
1978.
Thomas
W.
But
McElhiney, commissioner
general of UNRWA, an-
nounced the program will
be extended at least
through October on the
basis of a statement of in-
tent by the U.S. government
to provide the additional
funds. The extra contribu-
tion is subject to approval by
Congress. -
The UNRWA schools op-
erate in Lebanon, Jordan,
Syria, the West Bank and
Gaza Strip.

and Robert L. Siegel.
The Detroit Service
Group, sponsor of Stag Dapp-
is the year-round organiza-
tion for workers of the Cam-
paign. For information, con-
tact Harold Berke at the
DSG office, 965-3939.

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