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Holocaust Historian Speaks of Survival and Portrayal


HRISTOPHER R. BROWNING, Ph.D., Frank Porter Graham professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a prominent Holocaust historian, presented Holocaust History and Survivor Testimony: The Case of the Starachowice Factory Slave Labor Camps in February to the Manhattan College community. Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave Labor Camp is Browning’s most recent work and was the basis for his presentation at the College. The evening began with a candle lighting honoring all victims of the Holocaust. Jeff Horn, Ph.D., professor and chair of the history department and director of the Holocaust Resource Center then recalled the story of Paul Cymerman, a survivor from the Starachowice labor camp, whose kindness directly impacted the Riverdale

was the depiction of the factory slave community. Cymerman was quoted several times in Browning’s latest book labor camp, a type, which he noted was “hitherto neglected in Holocaust history and is best remembered by Riverdale writing.” Starachowice was historically residents as the caretaker of what was then the Henry Hudson Park. His volun- unique. At the time of the camp’s creation, the liquidation of the ghettos had teer work helped transform the park just begun, and their residents were into a haven for local children, and being sent to labor camps. However, as in 2003, residents renamed the park is typical of a war economy, there was a Paul’s Park to honor his legacy. “A historical event and the memory of shortage of industrial workers. The solution to these issues was to create the that event are not the same,” Browning factory slave labor camp, where ghetto said, as he commenced the lecture and residents were interned and forced to explained the importance and difficulwork for the military economy. ties involved in gathering and sorting “We cannot read through the history survivor testimony. of the camp if we want to read stories He discussed the various types of memory survivors had and the instabili- that have a feel-good ending, if we want stories that end with some kind ties in each different type. Browning of redemption, that in the ends say, oh, posed that using survivor testimony, and checking it in the best ways one can, it will all work out,” Browning concluded. “The Holocaust was not redempwill provide an effective way to docutive; it was simply one of the greatest ment events. crimes in our history.” The second aspect he focused on

A Room With A Better View TWO CLASSROOMS were the beneficiaries of a technological makeover this January. The first steps in a classroom renewal project that will upgrade teaching spaces throughout the campus, room 207 in both De La Salle Hall and in Miguel Hall were remodeled during intersession. The renovation included the installation of better electronic equipment, including sound systems, improved lighting, whiteboards, new furniture, and a general spruce-up. Charles Geisst, Ph.D., professor of economics and finance, tests out the new technology room in De La Salle Hall this semester for his Multinational Finance course.

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Manhattan Magazine Spring 2011  

SPRING A Day in the Life of the College 56 OBITS 22 A DAY IN THE LIFE MANHATTAN COLLEGE EDITORIAL Lydia Gray, Director of College Relations...