EDUCATION OUTREACH AND SURVIVOR COLLECTIONS

Drop-in hours for tours: Sunday 12-2.

SCHOOL OUTREACH, VISITS AND PROGRAMS

 

Over the last decade the WCHC has reached 20,000 school children, from primary schools through universities, from public schools to private and parochial schools. We have hosted thousands of students in our Education and Action Gallery, connected over 6,000 students on Staten Island to Holocaust Survivors, created curriculum to be shared in classrooms and performed our annual play, Rise Up: Young Holocaust Heroes at the S. George Theater for thousands of students. We have teamed with the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Task Force. We transmit the importance of remembering the past in order to promote empathy, courage and ethical action.

 

We have partnered with: P.S. 1, P.S. 19, P.S. 29, Lavelle Charter School, Staten Island Academy, Jewish Foundation School, I.S. 2, Susan Wagner High School, Staten Island Tech High School, New Ventures H.S., New Dorp H.S., Port Richmond High School, I.S. 49 Berta Dreyfus Intermediate School.

Local Holocaust survivors who participated as eyewitness to Kristallnacht and Nazi atrocities, include: Gabi Held, Arthur Spielman, Rachel Gottlieb, Chaim Ben-Aron, Rachel Roth, Brenda Perelman, Miriam Jacobs-Schwarcz, Ernie Buehler, Margot Capell, Egon Salmon.

Survivor Arthur Spielman with Students

 

 

Survivor Brenda Perlman and Director Lori Weintrob with students


 

 

 

 

 

 

                              Survivor Shirley Gottesman with students

 

Kristallnacht and S.S. St. Louis Survivor Egon Salmon

Wagner College Students performing “Rise Up: Young Holocaust Heroes” at the S. George Theater, for Staten Island Public School Students

 

    

Students from Staten Island Public Schools created our beautiful tile Wall of Hope

 

We hold an annual Holocaust Art and Poetry Contest for student from primary through High School throughout Staten Island

See all our previous winners!:

 

 

Our Wagner Students

 

Professor Laura Morowitz with Wagner Students on International Holocaust Rememberance

Day 2023

Wagner Students visiting the Holocaust Education and Action Gallery

 

 

STATEN ISLAND SURVIVORS

 

“Our Neighbors, Their Stories”:

The Wagner College Holocaust Center has collaborated in the creation of profiles and videos about fifteen Holocaust survivors now living on Staten Island and a guide for K-12 Holocaust educators. Produced by our local newspaper, the Staten Island Advance, and their talented New York Emmy-award winning videographer Shira Stoll, these intimate portraits enhance our understanding of how the Holocaust happened, as do their short films: Where Life Leads You and Rise Up. 

 


Survivor Films

The Story of Gabi Held

Gabi Held was 10 years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Dachau and Bergen-Belsen from Hungary. After the war he became a boxer in Hungary, then served in the U.S. Navy. Today, Gabi Held lives in Staten Island, New York, with his wife Marianne and continues to speak to youth and community members in programs organized by the Holocaust Education Center at Wagner College. This video was edited from original footage by the Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive. Watch The Story of Gabi Held

The Story of Arthur Spielman

Edited by Cameron Haffner for the Wagner College Holocaust Education and Programming Center. This video was edited from original footage by the Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive. Watch The Story of Arthur Spielman

The Story of Egon Salmon

Egon J. Salmon was an eyewitness to rising anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany and to Kristallnacht. His father Paul was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Dachau. With his mother Erna and sister Edna, Egon sailed on the historic voyage of the S.S. St. Louis, also known as the “voyage of the damned.” On his 15th birthday, he saw the lights of Miami as he was sent back to Nazi Europe, having been denied entry to the United States and Cuba. While others in his family fled to Bolivia, Uruguay and Shanghai, Egon was able to immigrate in 1940 to Staten Island. He returned to Europe in the United States military, serving in the Italian campaign and post-war German interrogations of Nazi criminals for the Holocaust, before even receiving citizenship. Along with his wife Marie, sons Jon and Henry, and many grandchildren, his family has contributed to the flourishing of Jewish life and to business and community development in the New York region. Watch The Story of Egon Salmon

The Story of Hannah Steiner

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Steiner went with her mother to Budapest to get jobs in machine embroidery after their own shop was confiscated under the Hungarian Jewish laws, which affected Transylvania/Romania where she was born. In 1943, her boyfriend at the time was taken by local Nazi sympathizers and they were separated. Seven years later, Hannah found herself in a hospital in Sweden. After backbreaking labor in Auschwitz and a death march to Bergen-Belsen, she had weighed only 28 kilos. But she managed to track down her boyfriend in Israel and took a boat there. When she got off the boat he said to her: “I don’t know how you feel, but I feel like I didn’t see you for 2 weeks not 7 years.” Hannah remained married him for over 60 years and is the proud mother of Michael, Jacob and Helene, 7 well-educated grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. After working as a seamstress in Israel and Brazil, she came to Staten Island in 1961 and speaks 5 languages. Watch The Story of Hannah Steiner

The Story of Margot Capell

In 1934 she had been denied the honor to be class valedictorian because she was Jewish. Because she loved Shirley Temple movies, she snuck into the theater although it was off limits for Jews. Margot recalled: “In the beginning you could hardly notice any change and people assumed the anti-Semitism came in from outside agitation.” Gradually her friends stopped inviting her over, her brother left for Sweden and the police refused to help when her father’s shop was vandalized. She started in the millinery trade in Karlsruhe, making hats, then moved to Freiburg. Then on the night of November 9th she was meeting in a synagogue in Freiburg on with her youth group. They were warned to leave and go home. From inside her home she heard shots fired and the next morning the synagogue was burned to rubble. Her father was taken to Dachau, his business burned and he was forced to leave to make Germany “Judenfrei.” She returned to Karlruhe and worked in a Jewish pensione then went to England before coming to the U.S. She speaks today about how, despite growing awareness of Nazi atrocities, we still don’t fully understand the rise of Nazi anti-Semitism. Watch The Story of Margot Capell
Video thumbnail 2 The Story of Gabi Held
Video thumbnail 3 The Story of Arthur Spielman
Video thumbnail 4 The Story of Egon Salmon
Video thumbnail 5 The Story of Hannah Steiner
Video thumbnail 6 The Story of Margot Capell

Survivor Articles

  
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Miriam Schwarcz and Alan Steinburg
June 14, 2015
Staten Island Celebrates Holocaust Survivors "More than a dozen Holocaust Survivors who live on Staten Island were honored Sunday with their family and friends at the 5th annual Café Europa event.
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Beatrice Becker
May 10, 2015
Romania: An Anti – Semitic History Antonescu, leader of Romania, and Adolf Hitler at the Fuhrerbau in Munich Dating all the way back to the 16th century, Jews were persecuted in this Christian orthodox
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Gabi Held Quotes Vlada Braginsky and Alyssa Thompson
April 13, 2015
When did things start to change? "I already felt anti-semitism in school and there was a new law that passed that if you were a Jew, you were ordered to wear a yellow Jewish star. We had curfews. We couldn't
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Ruchama Rachel Rothstein (Rachel Roth)
March 28, 2015
"In despair, I try to suppress the tears welling up within me. Panic and fear possess me completely. The curfew hour is drawing near, in a few minutes I will be forbidden to be seen on the street. People
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Helen Gens
March 28, 2015
An Introduction to the Lodz Ghetto Map of Lódz Ghetto (1940 -1944) Lodz, Poland was the second largest city in Poland at the start of World War II. It was home to the second highest population of Jews
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Benjamin Wayne: Facing Terror
March 22, 2015
"I do not blame any generation of today for what happened." - Benjamin Wayne His Early Years Benjamin Wayne, was born on July 6th 1927 as Vojtech Weinberger, in Michalovce, Czechoslovakia. In his home,
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Arthur Spielman
March 16, 2015
 The Story of Arthur Spielman "To save your life you would do anything we never were thinking of changing to be anything else but Jewish. Me being here today is a miracle   sheer luck" -Arthur Spielman
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Luba Dora Malz
March 16, 2015
"I was in a concentration camp and I didn't know what was going on...We did not believe it because it is not human nature to kill people. How could we figure out they were going to kill hundreds or thousands
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Gabi Held
March 16, 2015
  Growing Up Jewish in Hungary Gabi Held was born in Encs on September 9, 1931 to the local grocers Abraham and Yolanda Held. The family grocery store also functioned as a creamery and a liquor
Edward Polidi
March 16, 2015
Edward Polidi with interviewer Leslie Bennet-Troper Edward Polidi was born on a cold winter day in Sofia, Bulgaria on December 23rd, 1935. It was an extremely cold day, with lots of snow which hindered

Please also visit SILIVE’s catalogue of Holocaust survivor stories