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MCC Explores Holocaust Featuring Eyewitness Accounts

MCC is hosting a riveting display of photographs of the Jewish community of Oświęcim, the Polish town more commonly known as Auschwitz. The town was taken over as the Nazis created the Auschwitz concentration camp. The designer and curator of the exhibit, Shiri Sandler (left), delivered a captivating lecture on the history of the town at a reception. The exhibit will be at MCC until March 9. Ms. Sandler is shown with Professor Terrence Corrigan, coordinator of MCC’s Holocaust and Human Rights Center, which organized the exhibit, and Shirley Wachtel, English professor and author of books on the Holocaust.

MCC’s Holocaust and Human Rights Center is offering two programs this month and next that explore the horrors of the Holocaust by two people who were there.

Holocaust survivor Sol Lurie, who was rescued from Auschwitz when he was 15 years old and survived six concentration camps, will share his story Thursday March 8 at 2 p.m. in West Hall. Born and raised in a small town in Lithuania, Mr. Lurie will recount being forced into ghettos with his family and then five different concentration camps before arriving at Auschwitz. He was brought to the United States after the war as an orphan and has dedicated his life to educating the world about the horrors of the Holocaust. The program is called “Living Through Hell and Surviving It.”

The next month, Erwin Ganz will speak on “Enduring Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany and Thriving in America: A Story of Survival and Immigration.” It will take place Thursday, April 12 at 2 p.m. in the Parkview Room in West Hall.

Mr. Ganz will present his story of growing up in Nazi Germany during the rise of antisemitism and witnessing the violence and destruction of Kristallnacht – The Night of Broken Glass – that saw almost all synagogues in Germany and Austria destroyed, thousands of businesses and homes ruined, and 30,000 Jewish men forced into prisons and concentration camps. Mr. Ganz and his family immigrated to the United States in 1939. He went to college at night for nine years to become a successful Certified Public Accountant. This program will take place on April 12, which is known worldwide as Holocaust Remembrance Day, a time to reflect on the suffering inflicted on millions of European Jews by the Nazis.

Both programs are sponsored by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and the Holocaust and Human Rights Center at MCC.