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Jewish American Heritage Month

2G Survivors of the Holocaust in Ithaca

Jewish American Heritage Month

Gathering of Second Generation (2G) Survivors of the Holocaust in Ithaca

 

Over the past year, a group of Second Generation Holocaust Survivors (2G) have met monthly at The History Center in Tompkins County. Qualifications for membership are that at least one parent survived the Holocaust. Though 2G's share this history, their individual stories vary greatly. Some survivor family members emigrated safely before WWII, some went into hiding or were hidden. Some were part of the resistance movement, some were forced into ghettos and internment camps or jailed, and others were deported to death camps. Many of the surviving parents were the only survivors in their families, and consequently many 2G's grew up without grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins. They fled from all over Europe and from Russia and some eventually moved to the Ithaca area. Some 2G's also lived for many years in Israel or other parts of the world before moving to this area. 

The monthly Gathering of Holocaust descendants focuses on their shared bond and the personal and social repercussions that are the result. The themes that reverberate through their discussions are:

  • As our parents, the Holocaust survivors, age and die, what is our responsibility to preserve and transmit their histories so that they are instructive to the next generation in how to prevent the seeds of hatred, prejudice and bias from taking root?
  • What can be learned about intergenerational issues, such as the transmission of trauma, and how might we help one another and others who still suffer?
  • How does our being Second Generation Holocaust Survivors influence how we react to the political issues that threaten freedom, democracy and individual liberties? What can we do about those threats?

This Gathering, which is affiliated with the Ithaca Area United Jewish Community, has identified more than 70 area residents who are Second Generation Holocaust Survivors. Group members are exploring how to collaborate with The History Center to highlight something meaningful related to this issue in the new exhibit space in the Tompkins Center for History and Culture.

 

If you are a member of the second generation of a family that survived the Holocaust and wish to attend these meetings at The History Center, please contact secondgeneration@iaujc.org or 607-257-5181.

 

Thank you, 

2G Survivors of the Holocaust in Ithaca

 

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