Holocaust

Vladimir Munk remembers the day he walked free from Blechhammer, a sub-camp of Auschwitz in eastern Germany.

"I was happy," Munk says. He was sick and starving, but he had survived.

The Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945. The concentration camp in Poland is where more than a million people, mostly Jews, were murdered during the Holocaust. This Monday, on the 75th anniversary of the liberation, Munk is traveling back to Auschwitz for the first time since he was imprisoned there.

JOSE JIMNEZ-TIRADO FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

On this Tuesday, Jan. 7, episode of Sundial:

Puerto Rico Earthquakes

Puerto Rico's governor, Wanda Vázquez, has declared a state of emergency after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the island early this morning. The earthquake was followed by an aftershock measuring 6.0. 


Gay Block

This story was updated on Nov. 8, 2019 to correct some factual errors.

 

Heroes can have different faces. They can be teachers, diplomats, families that live routine lives until extreme circumstances force them to make significant choices. 

 

This is the main takeaway from "Rescuers," an exhibition that just opened at the JCC Levis Sandler Center in Boca Raton. It explores the stories of individuals who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.

 

A young Jewish girl begins a diary just as World War II is about to break out in Europe. She records the details of her daily life, but more and more, the war takes over. Eventually, the diary comes to a heartbreaking end.

In this case, it is not the story of Anne Frank. This is Renia's Diary, a journal that spent decades stored away in a safe deposit box. Now it's being published with help from Renia's niece and sister.

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. 

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