Through Their Eyes: A Student Exhibit on the Holocaust
In commemoration of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day 2022
Jewish Federation’s Holocaust Education Center is sponsoring a student exhibit featuring original works on the study of the Holocaust created by local students from Champaign and Ford Counties. Featured video presents students work.
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The Auschwitz Experience in the Art of Prisoners
The Auschwitz Experience in the Art of Prisoners exhibition comprised of artwork by 12 survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp who documented their experiences during the Holocaust. This exhibit featuring 59 pieces of art is on loan from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in Poland. It is our honor to premier this exhibition in the U.S.
“By observing life in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp through the memory of its inmates, you will have the opportunity to increase knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust and learn about the daily struggle for survival by the camp’s prisoners,” says Robert Lehmann, co-chair of the CUJF’s Holocaust Education Committee.
Join a docent-led tour of this exhibit where you can learn more about each artist. You’ll be able to examine each of the artworks in detail to better understand the way of life in the concentration camp and the experiences of each individual who faced exhausting, long lasting work and constant humiliation.
Sponsored by The Holocaust Education Center of CUJF and Illini Hillel
Classroom Activities [.pdf]
Supplementary Materials [.pdf]
Brushstrokes of Resilience
Sullivan High School Junior Natalee Hunter was recently recognized as an international finalist in the 23rd annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest sponored by Chapman University in California and the 1939 Society (a group of Holocaust survivors, their descendents, and friends). Natalee created a three minute film with music and narration that focused on the testimony of Sally Roisman and connected it to lessons about courage, hope, and resilience. Natalee reflected on what she learned from Sally’s testimony and how it relates to her life. Natalee, her mother Lee Hunter, and her former English teacher Rebecca Lawson, a member of CUJF’s Holocaust Education Center, attended the award ceremony in California in March.
Dr. William Gingold: Survivor Story
Students in University Laboratory High School’s German 4 class were privileged to welcome Holocaust survivor Dr. William Gingold as a guest speaker in their class. Gingold, whose family fled the Warsaw Ghetto, shared his story publicly for the first time with Uni students and faculty.
The presentation was part of teacher Jenny Robins’ unit on WWII and the Holocaust, where she brings in community members to help students better understand this difficult period in German history.
Gingold shared the story of his family’s escape, their time in a camp in Russia, his experience in a DP camp, and, finally, his family’s journey to the U.S. where they settled in Milwaukee.
His story was illustrated by a series of photos, as well as by passing around “Tunnel, Smuggle, Collect: A Holocaust Boy”, a book about Gingold’s older brother, Sam. The book was researched and written by Gingold's nephew, Jeffrey Gingold.
Gingold’s vivid and touching account inspired both tears and hope, and the Uni community is honored to have been the first to publicly hear his story. We appreciate the efforts of Brian Kahn, director of Holocaust Education for the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation, who facilitated the talk.
Dr. Gingold Bio
William (Baruch) Gingold, a Holocaust survivor from World War II, was born September 20, 1939, one day before the hospital, (in which he was born), was bombed and destroyed by Nazi, Germany. The Gingold’s (immediate family) were incarcerated in the Warsaw Ghetto until eventually escaping to the Russian border in January of 1942. Upon reaching the Russian encampment, they and other Jewish people were transported in trucks to trains which took them to a Siberian lumber work camp. In November of 1942 the Gingold’s were allowed to leave the camp and move about within Russia and eventually finding their way to Zhambly in Kazakhstan.
In the spring of 1945, (May 8th), Hitler was dead and Germany surrenders. Upon those events, the Gingold’s reach their goal in September of 1945 by arriving at and entering the American Sector in occupied Berlin. Shortly thereafter in May of 1946, the Gingold’s were sent to the Föehrenwald Displacement Camp. After six years living at this camp, the Gingold’s emigrate to the United States of America in May of 1951 and arrive by boat to Ellis Island, NY. Soon thereafter the Gingold’s are resettled in Milwaukee, WI, where new lives and many transitions began in their start of the American dream and way of life.
Marthe Cohn: Author, Nurse, Spy, and Holocaust Survivor
World War II spy Marthe Cohn, the author of Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany, is sharing her story of joining the French intelligence service, posing as a nurse, crossing enemy lines and relaying information about the Nazis back to the French.
Marthe Cohn was born Marthe Hoffnung on April 13, 1920 into an Orthodox Jewish family and raised in Metz, France near the German border. By the time she was in her late teens, Hitler rose to power, and Cohn’s sister was sent to Auschwitz. In November 1944, after the liberation of Paris, Marthe became a member of the Intelligence Service of the French 1st Army, assuming the identity of a German nurse named Martha Ulrich, claiming she was searching for her missing fiancé. The intelligence she gathered and reported led to positive military outcomes for the French 1st Army. Today as a highly decorated war hero, Marthe travels the world with her husband, Major L. Cohn, sharing their experiences.
Student Filmmaker: Remembering the Holocaust
The Holocaust: Remembering the Past as We Stand Together for a Brighter Future.
Countryside 8th grader and filmmaker, Max Libman, spoke to a packed house with his presentation, “The Holocaust: Remembering the Past as We Stand Together for a Brighter Future”, on Wednesday night at Countryside’s Gym and Performing Arts Center.
The audience listened intently to Max describe the life of his great-grandmother, Ann Gershuny, growing up in Poland prior to German occupation. The audience viewed an original screen play, “A Star”, written by Max and inspired by Ann’s life which debuted at CU Film Society’s Pens to Lens gala last year.
Max described the history of Ann’s hometown of Tykocin, Poland, how she escaped to the United States before the Nazi’s invaded, and the horrors of the Nazi massacre of the Jews in Tykocin in 1941. Max closed his presentation with the viewing a second film - his moving documentary containing an interview of his great-grandmother describing how she learned she had lost her entire family in the Holocaust. With over 200 community members and several religious and community leaders in attendance, Max pleaded that we all stand together - united against hatred.
The evening concluded with guests viewing a gallery of Holocaust-inspired artwork and poetry. The art was created by Countryside’s 7th and 8th graders after viewing interviews with Holocaust survivors.
My name is Tamra Gingold, and I am the Orchestra Director at Urbana High School. I have always been an advocate for exposing my students to a broad range of culture by using music. I decided to do a unit on the Holocaust, focusing on the music, artwork, and poetry of Terezin, knowing that I would only be able to touch the surface as there was so much information and several of my students knew absolutely nothing about it except that it happened. In addition to researching the music, artwork, poetry, and prisoners of Terezin, students got the opportunity to hear from survivors of the Holocaust, including my dad, Dr. William Gingold. They learned how to play several melodies from songs composed in Terezin as well as songs written in remembrance of the 12 million+ souls whose lives were ended because of hate, ignorance, and fear.