Faculty Showcase: U.S. Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Spring 2015 Jewish Studies Faculty Showcase Presents

Dr. Garrett Eisler

"America's First Holocaust Drama: We Will Never Die (1943)"

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Handwerker Gallery

*Free and open to the public

In March 1943, Hitler’s “Final Solution” was well under way in Europe, but few Americans were aware of its genocidal extent. So a group of Jewish American activists, artists, and performers sounded the alarm by staging a mass-spectacle protest in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Titled “We Will Never Die: A Mass Memorial to the Two Million Dead of Europe,” this unusual pageant remains today a historical footnote to the history of America’s early response to the Holocaust. But it is also a striking document of evolving Jewish-American identity during the war years. This talk will offer an overview of the performance from a theatrical as well as historical perspective—especially regarding the prominent artists involved: writers Ben Hecht and Moss Hart, composer Kurt Weill, and Hollywood stars Paul Muni, Edward G. Robinson, and John Garfield. What did it mean for famous show business figures to “come out” as Jewish at such a time? And how did World War II and the Holocaust impact Jewish identity on the home front?

Upcoming Spring Faculty Showcase Presentation:

Tuesday, April 28th 12:10-1 Handwerker Gallery "The Art of Religion: Aestheticizing Jewish Ceremonial Art" Cynthia A. Hogan, Ph.D. Candidate, UNC-Chapel Hill

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Annette Levine at alevine@ithaca.edu or (607) 274-3252. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.

Originally published in Intercom: Faculty Showcase: U.S. Holocaust Remembrance Day