NEW YORK, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 300 educators are expected to convene for "Memory and Legacy: Memoirs and Diaries in Teaching History," a free symposium for teachers at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in Battery Park City. The event on Thursday, March 4th, from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., is made possible by a grant from Fanya Gottesfeld Heller and will address how to incorporate memoirs and diaries into the classroom. Nearly 3,000 teachers have been educated through these conferences in the past decade.
Memoirs and diaries are integral to teaching about the Holocaust. Through these first-person accounts, future generations are able to connect with the tragedies and the triumphs of those who lived through this catastrophic time. With the publication of her memoir, Love in a World of Sorrow: A Teenage Girl's Holocaust Memoirs (Devora Publishing, 2005), Mrs. Heller has travelled across the country and around the world to introduce to audiences of all ages and backgrounds the study of the Holocaust through her candid personal story.
In her introductory address to educators, Mrs. Heller will testify to the difficult task of putting pen to paper in the writing of such personal experiences. "For me, the Holocaust forever changed the way I view the world and myself. This symposium will enable educators to transmit to their students the lessons of the Holocaust based on the experiences of those who survived it," says Mrs. Heller, a Holocaust survivor and Museum Trustee.
Educators will gain a broad perspective on the genre of first-person accounts by examining those written during and after the Holocaust. Professor Lawrence L. Langer, renowned scholar and author of Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory, will give the keynote lecture. Other presenters, including Professor Susan Suleiman, and Alexandra Zapruder, author of Salvaged Pages, will discuss methodology for using Holocaust memoirs and diaries in the classroom and the issues that arise.
This symposium is ideally suited for middle and high school teachers of History and Literature, and will include a tour of the Core Exhibition of the Museum and a book presentation featuring related scholarly works by the speakers and other notable authors, as well as a signing by Mrs. Heller.
Fanya Gottesfeld Heller was born in Ukraine in 1924 and, despite starvation, disease and constant danger of arrest and execution by the Nazis, survived the Holocaust along with her family. A Trustee of the Museum, she relates her experiences through her book and as a lecturer in the Museum's Speakers Bureau. Love in a World of Sorrow, now in its third printing, has become an important teaching resource and has been placed on the curriculum of courses at Princeton University, Yale University, and at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. Mrs. Heller is the recipient of the Louis E. Yavner Citizen Award, presented annually by the New York Board of Regents in recognition of outstanding contributions to teaching about the Holocaust and other violations of human rights. Mrs. Heller obtained a B.A. and an M.A. in psychology from the New School for Social Research and honorary degrees from Yeshiva University and Bar-Ilan University.
Lawrence L. Langer is Alumnae Chair Professor of English emeritus at Simmons College in Boston. In the fall of 2002 he was the Strassler Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. In the fall of 1996 he was the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Research Institute of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. In spring 1997 he was Koerner Research Fellow for the study of the Holocaust at the Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Yarnton in Oxford, England. Among his published works are Versions of Survival: The Holocaust and the Human Spirit (State University of New York Press, 1982), and Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory (Yale University Press, 1991), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism and was named one of the ten best books of 1991 by the editors of the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Other published works include Art from the Ashes: A Holocaust Anthology (Oxford University Press, USA, 1995), Preempting the Holocaust (Yale University Press, 1998), and Using and Abusing the Holocaust (Indiana University Press, 2006).
Susan Suleiman is currently the C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. She has written and edited a number of books and articles on contemporary literature and culture and has also published poetry and autobiographical works. Her latest book is Crises of Memory and the Second World War (Harvard University Press, 2006).
Alexandra Zapruder was the researcher for the exhibition Daniel's Story at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. She is currently an independent writer and scholar. She is the author of Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002), which offers a new framework for thinking about the diaries of young people in extreme crisis. Salvaged Pages was the winner of the 2000-2001 National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category.
SOURCE Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust