The Legacy of the Holocaust

Last weekend I attended my first World Federation Conference of Child Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants.

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Waiting at the Sacramento Airport with friends

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Flying into Burbank Airport

Eleven members of the 2 Gen group from Sacramento participated.

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Photographer at the conference is documenting survivors and descendents for a project

About 600 attendees sat down to meals at the Marriott.

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So many enjoying a meal together. Plenty to eat, plenty to talk about!

The almost 600 attendees participated in many workshops, some panel discussions, dancing, and plenty of good food.

We gather for dinner with friends.

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You can’t be serious! (Kidding.  I didn’t actually listen to conversation)

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It’s all good.

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A 4 day information packed conference with many workshop choices for each generation

The second generation made up the largest group. There is an age difference between the survivors who were over 16 at the end of the war, and those who were under 16 years old at the end of 1945. The personal stories varied, the impact of the Holocaust differed, and the perceptions proved dissimilar.

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Second Generation group broke up into smaller groups after the introductions.

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Candle lighting ceremony

Sarah Moskovitz is honored for her work with child survivors

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Here my friend visits with Sarah

We listened to the lawyer who represented the family in the real life story of Woman in Gold.  

After food the tables are moved out of the way and it is time to dance. Everyone gets into the action.

On the last day after the closing ceremony we went to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. This is a small museum with a lot of information.

I connected with my cousin who I have not seen in at least 46 years. It was a very, very short visit, but at least there was at least a reconnection.

After the convention I tried to talk to my mother. She is feeling very alone right now. After 69 years together with my Dad she is alone. Recently I discovered a letter she wrote to her Uncle Lazar Kahan in Shanghai after the war. Unaware that he passed away right after the war ended the letter was given back to my mother probably by his wife, Shoshana. In the letter she described her terrible journey. Before the age of 19 my mother endured the arrest and murder by the Nazis of my grandfather, Israel Kahan, journalist and owner of Lodzer Nachrichten, moving into the Lodz Ghetto with her mother, and its liquidation in August 1944. My mother and Grandmother were transported to Auschwitz August 1944 where they were separated and my Grandmother was gassed. My mother was sent to work camps as slave labor and ended up in Bergen Belsen. The English liberated the camp in May 1945, but not before she endured death marches trying to stay one step ahead of the Allies.  Liberation, a brief stay in Sweden to recuperate, and a ship brought her to New York. War is over and everyone wants to move on. No psychological help is offered, no knowledge of PTSD. The letter she writes demonstrates that very real damage has been done. Alone, feeling guilty, seeing life without hourly fears, having no support system my mother poured out her feelings in this letter. A couple of months later my Dad enters her life, and she finds a quiet understanding. And then time to start living, start a family, and participate in the American dream.

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Alina and Arthur pose in May 2016, a couple of months before my Dad’s passing

Both my parents gave testimony in the Shoah project started by Steven Spielberg. This is my family legacy.

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Autumn around the Fountains

Getting back to looking at my surroundings from an unusual point of view. For a second time I would be shooting at the Fountains at Roseville.

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Looking comfy

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Moms workin’ it

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Ghostly comings and goings in time for Halloween

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Moose makes his appearance neath the palm tree

What do you see when you look at these images?

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Love my dancing splashes

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Curves and Drops

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Colors and Textures

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Simple Red Rose

Roseville Farmer’s Market provides many shooting opportunities.

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Mum’s the word

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The care this vendor has with his product is evident

Getting out again, and sharing my photographs. I call this a win-win. I’m ready for some more relaxing time.

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Sacramento dedicates first Holocaust Library

On October 23, 2016 CVHEN (Central Valley Holocaust Educator’s Network)Library and Resource Center opened its doors. This is Liz Igra’s dream to provide a single place for Holocaust education.

I attended as a Second Generation member, a retired librarian, and the photographer for the event. I wanted to capture the day’s story as it unfolded. When I know that I am going to photograph an event I usually check for lighting and backgrounds. I can then decide what camera set up I need. This time my family needed me, and I didn’t have the time. I looked at some past events, and made my decision. I ended up using my Nikon dslr with a 18-200mm lens with a flash. This would allow for flexible composition.

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This event brought out many from throughout the Sacramento valley. The guest book is signed, and programs distributed.

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Friends Zelda and Diane

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In the last minute I decided to bring my Olympus OMD-5 mirrorless camera. I brought all my lenses, and ended up using my 75mm 1.8 lens. Great gear for use during the keynote speech. I had a seat up close, and I didn’t need a flash.

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Rabbi Reuven Taff of Mosaic Law

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Liz Igra, president of CVHEN

Keynote speaker Rabbi Michael Berenbaum spoke to the continuous need for educating everyone about the Holocaust and its implications for today.

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Second Gen member Muriel B.

 

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Liz Igra displays her warmth and charm with Rabbi Reuven Taff of Mosaic Law

With each photograph I tried to see a story. I rarely asked for someone to pose. This resulted in more than a few blurry pictures. Overall, I think I captured the participant’s emotion.

Such a spread for all the share. Plenty of food. Delicious kugel, bagels, and all kosher too.

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Zelda, a Second Generation member.

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I am proud to know Liz with her endless energy,

Group is invited to witness the affixing of the Mezuzah.

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Rabbi Taff provides explanation about the placement of the Mezuzah. For additonal information I have provided a link here.

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People who helped make this library possible is asked to step forward and help place the Mezuzah on the door post.

 

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Six Butterflys symbolize the Six Million.

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Susan S. and Tammy T. witness and celebrate

One thing that I need to think about when photographing an event is to carry a pad. I know that this is a group of people important for the CVHEN Library and Resource Center, but I don’t have this information.

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Henry Gorden provides an inservice on how to use the Library resources.

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This powerpoint provides a bit of humor to the task of moving 1,700 books from Liz’s personal library found in her home. It was a huge task for a part-time volunteer.

This brought me back to my days as the Rio Americano High School Librarian. I started working there in 1985. I remember typing and filing catalog cards. Keeping them up to date, changing the keywords to reflect changing social norms, teaching students how to make the most from the information. Then came computers. First to keep up with circulation records. Later to bring the collection into the digital age.

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This powerpoint shows a library card catalog moving to a computerized system.

The CVHEN Library catalog can be accessed by computer. CVHEN Library. It is user friendly, and the resources are extensive. Most books are available since circulation hasn’t been established yet.  If I am interested in obtaining the books for check-out, I can go to Sacramento Public Library right from my computer.  Having worked at the Sac Public Library I know that if the book is not in the collection it may be obtained through LINK services, or possibly as a digital e-version.

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Tammy T.another Second Gen learns how the collection is organized.

An English teacher at El Camino Fundamental High School teaches her students about the Holocaust. She explains how the resources in this library helps support this education.

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Someone in the audience asked, “Can I go back to high school?”

Six weeks ago my father Arthur (Anschel) Rubinstein died. At almost 98 years old he leaves this world with one less witness to the terrible tragedy of the Holocaust. Living in Krakow he shared experiences with Liz Igra’s uncle, a classmate in high school. Small world. Later he was interned in Krakow-Plaszow concentration camp, worked for Oskar Schindler and deported to Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. There my Dad was liberated by American troops.

In his passing, I asked that donations be made in his name to the CVHEN Library Resource Center. I want to thank those who honored my request. I am touched.

Now I can go and learn more about my parent’s story. My Second Generation group plans our next meeting at the library.

Exploring San Francisco

It’s been a while since my husband and I got away. So when my grandson was off on a Tuesday we headed out.  First we voted. David got to the voting place and was first on line. All seemed in order, except there were no ballots. Straightened out quickly, and off we went.

Heading west, we made our usual stop at the Vallejo Rest Stop.

Then the GPS guided us to the Lands End Lookout. This is the site of the Sutro Baths. The Visitor Center is worth seeing. As a photographer, the old images were amazing. The building is designed for good viewing. I found out that the climate is usually very different from other parts of the city. It is windy, cloudy and misty. Sacramento hit the 100 degree mark a couple of times this past week. What a change, and to think we just traveled two hours.

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Land’s End Visitor Center

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Ruins of the Sutro Baths

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I love how the colors cling to the cliff

Next time I will follow the path down to the Baths and explore the caves.

This image was taken with my new Panasonic LUMIX zs50

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More flowers leading to the Sutro Baths

This trip I used some lighter gear. I brought my 4/3 mirrorless Olympus OMD-E5. I mainly used my 12-50mm lens, and my 75mm 1.8 lens. I also brought along my newest toy, the Panasonic Lumix ZS50. I purchased this  super zoom point & shoot from Costco. Light and easy to use, and I wanted to see what kind of images I could get on mainly auto/ aperture and program modes.

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SOme depth of field seen here  Not bad at all.

The box says it is a compact travel camera. I want to be able to hand the camera to someone so that I can get in the picture, sometimes. Also, this was a getaway, and not a photoshoot with my photo buddies.

Parking was super easy, and free. Much to my surprise. We headed to the Cliff House for a different view of the Sutro Baths. There are a couple of eateries that take advantage of the great views, but we didn’t partake.

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Historic Cliff House

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Home of Camera Obscura

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Interesting, but it was closed this Tuesday. Next time!

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Ocean Beach with no sun bathers

Just a lonely fisherman.

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Captured this image with my super zoom

We were getting hungry so we headed to our next destination, Pier 23 Cafe off the Embarcadero.  Diners, Drive Ins and Dives visited this place and David wanted to try it, though he could not remember what Guy ate. The clam chowder was tasty. We ordered the SF Crab and Shrimp sandwich to share. Did I say we were hungry? Sandwich was good, but the crab and shrimp could have been more flavorful.

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Just H2O. Dined outside, in the shade.

This place is Dog Friendly.

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VIsiting pooch

Rested, we walked up to Pier 39 to hang out at Fisherman’s Wharf. Lots to see. Lots to photograph.

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Good name for this eatery

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Pier 39  Fisherman’s Wharf

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Imagine a whole shop for Left-Handed people

I found a shop called Bow Wow and had to check it out. LOoked hard, and even found Schnoodle Wear!

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Cartoonist trying to capture this family

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Scene from Forest Gump

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Ahh! Huddling together.

I’m impressed with this new camera.

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Now that is one hungry person!

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I prefer Ben & Jerry’s. We indulged.

Walking along the Embarcadero we were entertained.

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Spray paint artist creates scene of San Francisco

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Musician plays a melodic tune

Walked a lot. Now tired, our day away was over. Unfortunately, we should have paid more attention to the time, and avoid getting stuck in traffic. CAught some images while stuck in rush hour traffic.

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1968 Plymouth

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Amusing License Plate and no tail fins!

David came prepared with 3 discs full of surf music. So we surfed on home to Sacramento.  Fun day!