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Matt Erlich, son of survivors, speaks at Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis

A Day of Reflection on Holocaust at Veterans Museum
By Justyna Tomtas / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2015 10:54 am

 

Local high school students met at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis Tuesday to learn about painful and tragic events in an effort to ensure that history would not repeat itself.

The day marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of one of the most notorious death camps in Europe, Auschwitz-Birkenau. According to Matthew Elrich, of the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle, 1.1 million people went through the death camp’s gates, never to return again. 

“We have to constantly keep in front of us what went on during that time so we as students and adults do everything in our power to not allow that to happen ever again,” Robert Sande, a social studies teacher at W.F. West High School, said.

Elrich gave a presentation on his mother’s life and the effects the dark period of history had on his family. She survived the Holocaust and was among those saved on liberation day.

His mother, Felicia Lewkowicz, died six years ago from cancer, but her story was told vividly, marking the trials and tribulations she experienced during her time in Europe. “It’s important to understand the greater lessons of the Holocaust, why we use a capital ‘H’ for this one,” Elrich told the students.

Lewkowicz was born in Krakow, Poland, in June of 1924 and lived a normal life until the Nazis
came to power and decided Jews, among others, were an inferior race. The ethnic cleansing, which later took place, attempted to rid the world of unwanted ethnic and religious groups.

After leaving the Krakow ghetto, Lewkowicz found work elsewhere until the day she was arrested as a political prisoner and taken to Auschwitz in August of 1944. Continue Reading

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In The Seattle Times - Preserving Stories Aim Of Belltown Museum

By Zahra Farah | Seattle Times staff reporter | June 11, 2014 |

The museum, scheduled to open in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, will display artifacts from the Holocaust and feature testimonies from survivors, an interactive exhibit exploring human-rights issues, a library and research center, and a classroom for up to about 100 students.

 

Holocaust survivor Henry Friedman is a major donor for the Henry and Sandra Friedman Holocaust Center for Humanity.
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Henry Friedman has told the story for years, of how he and his family hid in the countryside, while the Nazis annihilated his hometown of Brody, Poland.

 

Of the town’s 9,000 to 10,000 Jews, about 100 survived the Holocaust.

 

Had Julia Symchuck, a 17-year-old Ukrainian who worked as a maid at the local police station, not warned Friedman’s father that the Gestapo was after him, the Friedman family almost certainly would have been killed.

 

“To this day I have to pinch myself, many times. How did I survive?” he said.

 

Soon, Friedman, 86, and the state’s other survivors will have a new place to share their stories. On Wednesday, the Holocaust Center for Humanity unveiled its plan for the first Holocaust museum in the Pacific Northwest.

 

The museum, scheduled to open in January in storefront space in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, will display artifacts from the Holocaust and feature testimonies from survivors, an interactive exhibit exploring human-rights issues, temporary exhibits, a library and research center, and a classroom that can accommodate about 100 students.

 

The 6,000-square-foot museum at 2033 Second Ave. will be named for its largest donors: Henry and Sandra Friedman Holocaust Center for Humanity. So far, $1.5 million has been raised for the $3.4 million project.

 

While the museum’s focus is the Holocaust, its broader mission is to examine intolerance, said Executive Director Dee Simon.

The museum, she explained, will be divided into four parts to show how hate can evolve into human-rights abuses and even genocide.

Simon said the museum will teach why it’s important to be engaged in a community and show, in the stories of rescuers, that one person’s actions can matter.

 

“Each one of us is different, each one of us can make a difference, but because we are so different we should not be indifferent when we see injustice being done to fellow human beings,” Friedman said.  Read Full Article

Holocaust survivor shares his story with Boise students

student-Boise-PeteM-3-14KTVB - BOISE -- More than 300 middle schoolers at Les Bois Junior High got a chance to learn a history lesson you just can't get out of a book Wednesday.

They gathered in the school's gym as Holocaust survivor Peter Metzelaar told the story of his life.

Metzelaar is fortunate to be alive.

Hiding from German soldiers for more than four years during World War II, he escaped death and torture in the Nazi concentration camps.

He now shares his story of survival with students across the country.

"I feel fortunate to be alive, and feel very sad," Metzelaar told KTVB when asked how he felt about the experience.

Angela Harvey is an 8th grade English teacher who studies and teaches Holocaust literature. She reached out to this survivor and helped bring him to Boise.

"When the students actually hear a Holocaust survivor's testimony, it becomes part of them," Harvey said. "It's different from seeing it in a book or a movie. They actually can carry that story on long after the Holocaust survivors are gone."

Students like Katherine Kerkman sat in silence for nearly two hours as Metzelaar spoke.

"I thought It was really interesting," Kerman said, adding that she learned more through actually meeting the man than simply researching the topic online.

Metzelaar's story is one of intense stress and good fortune. Read More

 

KTVB - BOISE

by Matt Standal. Posted on March 12, 2014
Photo courtesy of KTVB

 

New Home For The Holocaust Center In Downtown Seattle

IN THE NEWS!

 

 

 

Washington State's First Holocaust Museum To Be Unveiled In Downtown Seattle

By Gabriel Spitzer, KPLU | Listen Now

 

NewBuilding frontentranceinside(sm)The nation’s newest Holocaust museum, and the first in Washington state, is about to be unveiled in downtown Seattle. Its founders hope it will connect lessons from history with present-day issues.

 

The people behind the Holocaust Center for Humanity have been working in Washington classrooms for decades. Now they’ll have a permanent home in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, where teachers, students and the public can come to them.  READ MORE

 

 

Preserving Stories Aim Of Belltown Museum

By Zahra Farah | Seattle Times staff reporter | June 11, 2014

The museum, scheduled to open in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, will display artifacts from the Holocaust and feature testimonies from survivors, an interactive exhibit exploring human-rights issues, a library and research center, and a classroom for up to about 100 students...

 

The museum, scheduled to open in January in storefront space in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, will display artifacts from the Holocaust and feature testimonies from survivors, an interactive exhibit exploring human-rights issues, temporary exhibits, a library and research center, and a classroom that can accommodate about 100 students.

 

The 6,000-square-foot museum at 2033 Second Ave. will be named for its largest donors: Henry and Sandra Friedman Holocaust Center for Humanity. So far, $1.5 million has been raised for the $3.4 million project. READ MORE

 

 

With Ribbon Cut And Prizes Awarded, Construction Of A Holocaust Museum Prepares To Commence

By Joel Magalnick, Editor, The Jewish Sound

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Henry Friedman had a message for the nearly 100 school-aged kids and their parents who sat in the shell of what will soon become the museum that bears his name: “It’s not for Holocaust survivors,” he said. “It’s for you.”

 

The event, an award ceremony for the winners of the Holocaust Center for Humanity’s annual writing and art contest, also marked the groundbreaking, so to speak, of construction of the Henry and Sandra Friedman Holocaust Center for Humanity. When it opens in early 2015 at Second and Lenora in downtown Seattle, the center will be the first Holocaust museum in the Pacific Northwest and will nearly triple the amount of space the Holocaust Center has at its current location a block away, which it rents from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. READ MORE

 

 

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Local survivor on the evening news - Rockford, WA

Holocaust survivor, and member of the Holocaust Center's speakers burearu, Peter M., spoke to a crowd of students in Rockford, WA in November.  His arrival and his presentation were covered on the local tv news station. Watch Now.

Holocaust Survivor Speaks at Everett Community College

By Julie Muhlstein, Herald Columnist  -

It's a tangible piece of a terrible history. During a talk Wednesday at Everett Community College, Holocaust survivor Robert Herschkowitz passed around a mustard-yellow cloth Star of David. It is stamped with the letter J.

Framed in a small case, it doesn't look as old as it is. Like millions of other Jewish people in Europe, his grandmother was forced by the Nazis to wear the yellow badge more than 70 years ago.

Herschkowitz was a child from Belgium during World War II. To survive, his family fled their homeland. Their odyssey took them through France, into a Nazi-run camp and eventually through the Alps on foot to safety in Switzerland.

The Bellevue man has told his story before, at EvCC and to other groups around the region. Now 76, he continues to share his memories so that others will never forget.

His talk Wednesday was part of the annual EvCC “Surviving the Holocaust” speaker series, now in its 15th year. Humanities instructor Joyce Walker brings Holocaust survivors to campus for her Humanities 150D class. The talks are open to the public.

“It's always an honor to listen to him,” Walker said. “It's becoming increasingly difficult to hear the direct stories.” The first two speakers in this spring's series were descendants of people who lived through the Holocaust. Continue Reading

Anne Frank Tree Sapling

New photo of Seattle's Anne Frank Tree sapling - March 31, 2014

Anne Frank Tree 3-31-14

The Holocaust Center, in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, was one of 11 organizations chosen to receive a sapling from the original Anne Frank Tree. After more than 3 years in quarantine, the sapling has arrived in Seattle! It will remain in the care of Seattle Parks and Recreation until it is ready to plant in the spring 2015. Stay tuned for more details about the planting ceremony!

KOMO News (Story & Video) - April 20, 2013
ABC News Story - March 23, 2013
The Sapling Project - Anne Frank Center USA

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