Holocaust

John McCall / South Florida Sun Sentinel

A Palm Beach County Holocaust controversy is prompting legislation to strengthen the state’s standards on teaching students about the extermination of millions of Jews during World War II.

State Sen. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, and state Rep. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, filed bills Monday to expand a state law mandating Holocaust education. The new law would include charter schools and private schools that accept state-backed scholarships.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum / Courtesy

The Holocaust is usually taught in history or social studies classes, but according to the director of Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education the lessons learned from the mass genocide can be implemented in science, math and even physical education classes. 

Carline Jean / South Florida Sun Sentinel

Former Spanish River High School Principal William Latson’s day of reckoning, anxiously awaited by Boca Raton residents and observers across the country who have called for his firing, has been delayed.

The Palm Beach County School District has decided to investigate him further instead of proceeding with a vote that had been scheduled for Wednesday on whether to dismiss him from the school district.

Illustration by Madeline Fox / Documents courtesy of Rose Maklan Ross and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Much of what Rose Maklan Ross knew about her parents’ experiences during World War II came out during trips to the movies.

She and her mother, Gisela Maklans, made weekly trips to the movies, arriving 20 minutes early to talk.

“It was the one place she felt safe,” Maklan Ross said. “She could speak in the dark.”

Maklans survived the Auschwitz and Stutthof concentration camps. Her father died on the train to Auschwitz. Her brother and mother were sent immediately to the gas chambers, and she and her sister were sent to live in the camp, where her sister later died.

Gina Fontana / via the South Florida Sun Sentinel

William Latson, the principal of Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, was removed from his post this week. The Palm Beach Post reported on an email exchange he had with a parent – he wrote he could not say the Holocaust was a factual event.

Latson was reassigned to a district office job after the Post published its story. The Palm Beach County school district will likely vote on whether to renew his contract on July 24th.

Gina Fontana / via the South Florida Sun Sentinel

The superintendent of Palm Beach County Schools said Wednesday that he recommended that the school board not renew former Spanish River High School principal William Latson's contract. 

Latson was reassigned to a district position last week after news emerged that he had sent an email claiming he couldn’t say the Holocaust was a factual, historical event.

Gina Fontana / Via the South Florida Sun Sentinel

A principal in heavily Jewish Boca Raton is out of a job because he refused to say the Holocaust was a real historical event.

Spanish River High School Principal William Latson told a parent that as a public school official he needed to remain “politically neutral” — sensitive to both Holocaust education advocates and people who deny the destruction of six million Jews during World War II.

A Jewish family has lost a 15-year legal battle to recover a painting stolen by Nazis during World War II.

An 1897 impressionist work by Camille Pissarro, Rue Saint-Honoré, Après-midi, Effet de Pluie, depicting a rain-covered Paris street, had been in the family since 1900. But when Fritz and Lilly Cassirer decided to flee Nazi Germany in 1939, the government had a condition: If they wanted a visa to leave the country, they needed to hand over the oil painting in exchange for about $360 — well below the painting's value.

Hanni Weissenberg, now Hanni Lévy, survived as a Jew in Nazi Germany.

Today, the petite and lively 94-year-old lives in Paris. Earlier this month, she returned to Berlin, her home during the war years, to attend the screening of a film about her and other Jews who survived while hiding under the noses of the Nazis.

The Invisibles, a German documentary-drama based on the accounts of four survivors, opened Friday in the U.S.

In the film, Lévy is depicted first at age 17, sitting in her Berlin apartment in 1943, with the Gestapo pounding on the door.

Former prisoners of Auschwitz gathered at the former Nazi concentration camp on the 74th anniversary of its liberation by Soviet forces.

In the site that once housed the largest Nazi death camp, a group of survivors, politicians and foreign dignitaries marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day in a ceremony Sunday.

"Auschwitz has shown what can happen when the worst qualities in people come to bear," said Armin Laschet, premier of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Holocaust Documentation & Education Center
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The entire crowd inside the Holocaust Documentation & Education Center on Sunday joined in singing the national anthem of Israel. 

It was the opening of the exhibit: Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann

The Nazi official orchestrated much of the Holocaust. He was hanged in Israel in 1962. 

More than 500 people came to see the exhibit, which features original documents from when Eichmann was captured in Argentina, and artifacts from his trial. 

At Auschwitz, death is everywhere, but this monstrous place was full of life this week, as thousands marched through the infamous iron gates to commemorate those who perished during the Holocaust.

Many who participated in the 30th March of the Living are elderly survivors or descendants of victims, and they were joined by youth groups from around the world. Most came from places of exile, like South Africa, Canada, the United States and beyond.

Katie Lepri / WLRN News

Guests for Sundial Tuesday April 10, 2018:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday that he will run for the Senate. He will be challenging  incumbent democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.  Politico Florida Senior Editor Sergio Bustos joined the program via Skype to discuss Scott's announcement .

Holocaust Survivor

Peter Haden

On the opening day of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, founding chairman and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel said, “The museum is not meant to be an answer. It's meant to be a question.”

Museum director Sara Bloomfield says that’s the starting place for the new “Never Stop Asking Why” digital campaign, launched to mark the 25th anniversary of the institution by engaging new generations on the lessons of the Holocaust. 

“Why did the Holocaust happen? What made it possible? How could it have been different? What does it mean for me today?” she said.

The Holocaust Museum Miami Beach held a special event in remembrance of Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, on Nov. 9, the anniversary of the event.

Herbert Karliner, Miami-Beach resident and Holocaust survivor, was 13 when his family’s grocery store was destroyed during Kristallnacht. He was set to speak at the event, joined by Yad Vashem scholar Sheryl Ochayon.

Mr. Karliner and Ms. Ochayon joined us on Wednesday’s edition of Sundial.

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