Past Programs

Under Swiss Protection: The Story of Holocaust Rescuer Carl Lutz
Annual Rubin Feldman Memorial Lecture
Presenters: Agnes Hirschi-Grausz and Charlotte Schallié, PhD.
February 28, 2021

Generously sponsored by the Rubin (of blessed memory) and Gloria Feldman Family Educational Institute of the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum & AISH St. Louis.

Agnes Hirschi is a Holocaust survivor and the stepdaughter of Carl Lutz. Agnes was a child in Budapest and witnessed her father’s heroic actions in saving Jewish refugees. During the last 20 years, she has travelled the world lecturing on the role of diplomatic rescue in the Holocaust.

Charlotte Schallié is a professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. Her research interests include post-1945 German literature and film, memory studies, visual storytelling, Jewish identity in contemporary cultural discourse, teaching and learning about the Holocaust, and human rights education.

The pair co-edited the book Under Swiss Protection: Jewish Eyewitness Accounts from Wartime Budapest, which retraces Lutz’s rescue efforts in wartime Budapest through the lens of eyewitness testimonies.

 

Rescue Board: The United States War Refugee Board and the Holocaust
Lecture in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Presenter: Dr. Rebecca Erbelding
January 27, 2021

In January 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt, responding to public and private pressure, created the War Refugee Board, a new government agency tasked with the rescue and relief of European Jews. The WRB’s young staff—almost all Treasury Department lawyers in their thirties—undertook extraordinary efforts to work through (and sometimes sidestep) bureaucracy to rescue Jews. They laundered money into Sweden, participated in ransom negotiations with Nazis, opened a refugee camp in upstate New York, sent rescuer Raoul Wallenberg to Budapest, helped 8,000 Jews escape to Palestine by boat, and approved $11 million in relief for Nazi-occupied Europe in the final year of the war. In doing so, they saved tens of thousands of lives.

Dr. Rebecca Erbelding discussed the United States War Refugee Board, which is the topic of her book “Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe.”