Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

David Fishman on Saving Jewish Documents during World War II

During the 1930s and ’40s, the Nazi regime in Germany tried to eradicate Jewish culture through the pillaging and destruction of Jewish artwork, literature, and other documents as part of the broader strategy of the Holocaust. Prof. David Fishman of the Jewish Theological Seminary tells the story of a courageous group of Jews in Vilna (Vilnius), Lithuania who took it upon themselves to preserve these cultural treasures at great risk to themselves. The Paper Brigade, as they were known as, hid these documents from the Nazis and, later, the Soviets. With recent caches of these documents rediscovered in 1991 and 2016, we review the content of these findings as well as the importance of preserving history.

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Elie Estrin on the History and Traditions of Chanukah

With Chanukah season upon us, we invite Rabbi Elie Estrin, director of the University of Washington’s Chabad, to explain the history, meaning, and traditions of the holiday. We cover recent archaeological discoveries in Israel, different ways Chanukah has been celebrated over time, and what it is like celebrating Jewish holidays in a predominately Christian nation. For those not familiar with Chanukah, this is a wonderful introduction and Rabbi Estrin also connects it to the importance of religious liberty in our contemporary world.

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James Felak on Pope Pius XII, the Wartime Pontiff

In March of 1939, Eugenio MarĂ­a Giuseppe Pacelli became Pope Pius XII just days before the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia and months before Germany continued their march into Poland. Prof. James Felak (University of Washington) examines the life and times of Pope Pius XII and explores the controversy surrounding his papacy. Interestingly, we learn that criticism of Pope Pius XII’s actions only emerged two decades after World War II. Prof. Felak discusses the difficult diplomatic and moral situation that Pius XII found himself in during the war, lays out the logic of his actions, and then assesses the overall impact (including his post-war proclamations) of Pius XII’s papacy on the contemporary Church Church.

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