In London, we decided to find where Nicholas Winton's children had ended up - at Liverpool Station. There we found a monument, not only to his children but to the entire Kindertransport project. This became even more poignant when we were blessed to meet a survivor of that effort - courtesy of Centropa - in Vienna.
Last summer on the way to Centropa we came across Kathe Kollwitz's rooms near Moritzburg, where she died. We saw some of her works there, and in Berlin her magnificent sculpture. It was a delightful surprise to come across this 1923 work, "The War againat War!" in the MAK in Vienna with Centropa.
Yesterday we (Erwin Dorn and me) arrived in Sarajevo by plane. We visited some places closely connected to the assassination of the archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie Chotek.
Finally we saw the touching exhibition of photographs dealing with "Sebrenica" and the siege of Sarajevo (see attached photos).
Today we will be glad to meet you!!! :-)
We had another full day, though a large part of today was spent on the road. I highly admire the driving and parking skills of our bus driver. If only I know how to park my Suzuki Splash the way he parked our behemoth bus + trailer in front of our Vienna hotel.
Yesterday was a very productive and enjoyable day. The Leo Luster fllm, the lecture by Hannah Lessing, and the presentation on ephimeral films were all inspiring. I will try to bring Mr Luster to our school, and I am thinking about having some of my students work with the website of the Ephimeral Film Project: National Socialism in Austria. I very much enjoyed the shabbat service, which was quite different from what I am used to in Israel.
Please allow me (and maybe all of the Israeli participants, but I can only speak for myself) to apologize for having been and continuing to be a little bit preoccupied every now and then in the last couple of days. While we are here a war is going on in Israel and Gaza. My family and I live near Haifa, in the north of the country. In 2006, during the Second Lebanon War, my wife was pregnant with our third child, and after a week we fled to Holland, where we stayed for five weeks. I constantly (wherever and whenever there is WIFI, that is) receive updates from home and follow the news.
Today was our first full day with the Centropa Summer Academy and it was a full day.
To say that I am impressed by the level of these educators from all over the world is an understatement.
Thanks to everyone here in Centropa, at the Diplomatic Academy, and in the outreach department of the City of Vienna and the countries of Austria and Germany for your support in this program.
Every life is unique, and virtually every person has a moving and often fascinating story to tell about his or her life and family, if you are just willing to listen and to ask the right questions. This is especially true for elderly people who survived the Holocaust. Today we were once again able to see and hear this with our own eyes and ears. Amy Vargas-Tonsi and I had the honor and pleasure to meet Julius Chaimowitz He told us the story of his family before, during, and after World War II.
From 1988 to 1991, noted artist Alfred Hrdlicka created his Monument againat War and Fascism in the Albertinaplatz in Vienna. This monument, while it deals with all of the victims, does pay special attention to the plight of the Jews, with the prone figure of a jew, tied down by barbed wire, being forced to scrub the streets. The granite bases were quarried from Mauthausen. Other, more recent memorials tend to indicate that Austria is coming to better grips with its past.