On June 30, as part of the “Recovery and Renewal” series held in partnership with Baltimore Hebrew Congregation (BHC), the Jewish Museum of Maryland (JMM) is hosting “Stories of Survival,” a reception event marking the 25th anniversary of the iconic Holocaust film “Schindler’s List.”
The “Stories of Survival” event is taking place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland from 1-4:45 p.m. Tickets have already sold out.
“Stories of Survival” will feature a presentation from Baltimorean Lola Hahn, who discovered her family’s connection to Oskar Schindler and the Holocaust upon recognizing her aunt and mother’s name in the book of “Schindler’s List.” Hahn serves on the JMM board as the development chair and regularly volunteers as well.
“We felt that Lola’s is a fascinating story: a second generation Schindler survivor who didn’t know the whole story until the book was released,” said Tracie Guy-Decker, JMM deputy director, on why they chose Hahn to present at the event. “Additionally, since Lola is an active member of the Baltimore and the JMM community, her story is an important reminder that survivors and their descendants are not distant. They are our friends, colleagues, neighbors and loved ones.”
Hahn’s presentation stems from not learning about her family’s connection to the Holocaust until she was an adult, despite being the child of Holocaust survivors. Her parents rarely spoke about their life before escaping to America, wanting nothing more than to start a new life for their children.
“They really wanted their children not to have … fear of other people, but also not to have that kind of hate,” Hahn said. “It was important to them, to get along with everybody and not to create that kind of friction.”
Hahn describes the premise of her presentation as lying in the commonality of second-generation children “either never [finding] out about their parents’ experiences, either whether they were fighting or if they were actual survivors of the Holocaust.”
Despite being interested in her family’s history, it was not until recently that Hahn felt compelled to start sharing their story. She notes how important it is to continue speaking about what happened during the Holocaust, especially when one looks at “all the times that Jewish people have been affected as a result of hate” and the perpetuation of anti-Semitism in today’s world.
“Especially as we are losing many of the survivors, I think it’s important for the younger generation to understand what took place,” says Hahn. “It came from a man having so much hatred for a certain population of people.”
Guy-Decker emphasizes the importance of sharing the stories of Holocaust survivors.
“As a history museum, we have to believe that history matters,” she says. “More than that, we have to believe when history inspires action, it can help change the present and the future for the better.”
The “Stories of Survival” event will start with Hahn’s presentation, followed by a facilitated discussion and dessert refreshments courtesy of Pariser’s Bakery. The screening is scheduled to start at 2:45 p.m. A bus will be transporting people from BHC to the JMM, leaving at 12 p.m. and departing the museum at 3 p.m., following the presentation and discussion.
The Jewish Museum of Maryland, an agency of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, is a museum of regional Jewish history, culture, and community.
For more information visit jewishmuseummd.org
Shani Goloskov is a local freelance writer.