Thursday, May 2, 2013

Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of "We Will Never Die"

Cover of original pageant, 1943.
JHSGW Collections.
In April 1943, official Washington was alerted to the Nazi massacre of Europe's Jews when the pageant We Will Never Die was presented at Constitution Hall. Controversial activist Peter Bergson collaborated with Hollywood's leading screenwriter Ben Hecht to create the pageant. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was among the dignitaries who attended the Washington performance.

On April 25, 2013, the Society hosted two academics, Drs. Rafael Medoff and Allan Lichtman, who discussed the history and politics of the pageant in 1943. The event included readings from the pageant's original script by Adas Israel Cantor Arianne Brown, Ford's Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault, Washington Jewish Week’s Meredith Jacobs, and  D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans. Holocaust survivor Dr. Alfred Munzer also shared his experiences hidden as an infant in the Netherlands. Click here to listen to the entire program or on the links below to hear individual segments.

Remarks
Welcome: Laura Cohen Apelbaum, JHSGW Executive Director
Introduction: Wilma Probst Levy, JHSGW Program Committee Co-Chair
The Politics of a Pageant: Dr. Rafael Medoff, Director, The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
Local Connections: Laura Cohen Apelbaum, JHSGW Executive Director

Recreation of Portions of the Pageant
"Prayer": Cantor Arianne Brown, Adas Israel Congregation
"Corregidor": Paul R. Tetreault, Director, Ford's Theatre
"Remember Us": Meredith Jacobs, Managing Editor, Washington Jewish Week
"Words for Washington": The Hon. Jack Evans, D.C. Councilmember

Speakers
Introduction of Final Speakers: Howard Morse, JHSGW Program Committee Co-Chair
American Jewry in 1943: Dr. Allan Lichtman, Professor, American University Department of History
A Survivor’s Perspective: Dr. Alfred Munzer
Conclusion: Wilma Probst Levy, JHSGW Program Committee Co-Chair


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