Oh I Remember the Black Birch playwright Velina Hasu Houston

Moment Zoominar: Oh, I Remember the Black Birch: Play Reading and Talkback w/ Velina Hasu Houston & Keren M. Goldberg

This program is part of the 2021 Moment Theater Festival.

In the Autumn of 1941, 18-year-old Brina Berman, a Jewish Polish young woman from Warsaw, finds herself alone in Kobe, Japan, having traveled halfway across the world following the Nazi invasion of her hometown and murder of her family. Thus unfolds a little-known true story of what happened to Jewish refugees when Japanese Diplomat Chiune Sugihara was stationed in Kovno, Lithuania and wrote transit visas to Japan, saving thousands of Jews who were running from the advancing German army. Seen through her many struggles in Kobe, Brina is surprised to find an established Jewish community and nurturing Japanese residents and organizations working to support the arriving Jewish refugees.

The cast, director, and playwright of Oh, I Remember the Black Birch discuss their new original play about a young Jewish woman struggling in a new country and finding community during the Holocaust. Playwright Velina Hasu Houston is also in conversation with producer and dramaturg Keren M. Goldberg about the journey of Oh, I Remember the Black Birch which is inspired by true events.

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Moment Zoominar: A Secret Identity with Daniela Gerson and Robert Siegel

Nazi hunter and international lawyer Allan Gerson, who represented victim’s families after the Lockerbie bombing, didn’t know his real name until he was 12 years old. Born at the end of World War II, Allan and his family, out of desperation, eventually entered the United States under assumed names. Daniela Gerson, assistant professor of journalism at California State University, Northridge, discusses her father’s book Lies that Matter and what it was like learning about her family’s past secrets. Daniela is in conversation with Robert Siegel, Moment special literary contributor and former senior host of NPR’s All Things Considered.

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Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest: Why We Still Write Holocaust Fiction

Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest presents:

Authors Ruby Namdar (The Ruined House), Ruth Franklin (A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction) and Moment editor-in-chief Nadine Epstein (Elie Wiesel: An Extraordinary Life) discuss the enduring power–and perils–of Holocaust fiction.

Prior to the conversation, the 2020 Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest winners read excerpts from their stories:

1st place – Omer Friedlander, The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land

2nd place – Linda Brettler, Private

3rd place – Rona Arato, Polonaise

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Women Resistance Fighters

Moment Zoominar: Women Resistance Fighters during the Holocaust with Author Judy Batalion, Filmmaker Aviva Kempner and Psychologist Eva Fogelman

Judy Batalion, author of The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos discusses the young women who found different ways of fighting back against the Nazis, with filmmaker Aviva Kempner, who produced and conceived of the film Partisans of Vilna: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance during World War II. The program is moderated by psychologist Dr. Eva Fogelman, a pioneer in the treatment of psychological effects of the Holocaust on survivors and their descendants and author of Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust.

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Jo Kent Katz discusses ancestral trauma

Jo Kent Katz on the Continuing Impact of Ancestral Trauma

It takes a lot for me to trust that someone knows about, or cares about, the survival of my people. And I need to hear it, and I need to hear it several times, in order to quell the fear that I have inside of me that says that they don’t care, they don’t have our backs, and that we could all just be annihilated and that would be better according to whoever they are.

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