Why Blog? ‘You just might want to say hello’

The late Nora Ephron writing on HuffPost in 2006:

[G]etting heard outside the world of blogs occasionally requires that you have something to say. And one of the most delicious things about the profoundly parasitical world of blogs is that you don’t have to have anything much to say. Or you just have to have a little tiny thing to say. You just might want to say hello. I’m here. And by the way. On the other hand. Nevertheless. Did you see this? Whatever. A blog is sort of like an exhale. What you hope is that whatever you’re saying is true for about as long as you’re saying it. Even if it’s not much.

Among her many accomplishments, Ephron wrote the script for the lovely romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally. She died in 2012.

See other Why Blog posts for other perspectives on blogging.

Podcast: ‘Join Us in France’

If you want to travel in France and learn about French history, the Join Us in France podcast is a superb resource. The podcast, which launched in 2014, was originally co-hosted by Elyse and Annie. They live in France and know it well. Annie was born in France but has lived in the United States. Although Elyse grew up in New York, she knows the language, the culture and the country’s history inside and out. Elyse, the native American, often seems more French than Annie who was born in France. Go figure. Due to time constraints, Elyse is no longer a co-host but still comes on the show as her time permits.

The podcast does a great job of explaining France and its culture to Americans. I especially enjoyed the episodes about driving in France, cheese and Le Marais. I also learned a great deal by listening to recent episode in which Elyse and Annie discuss the best places to see modern and contemporary art in France.

Each episode has show notes that are very helpful in planning a trip. For example, the modern art episode lists 18 museums around France to explore, including many I knew nothing about.

There are plenty of other resources to help travelers to France select hotels and restaurants. But this podcast will help you to understand France. Annie and Elyse now offer walking tours for Francophiles who want to learn about France and have some great meals with friends.

Annie and Elyse were interviewed for Amateur Traveler episode 428 about Paris. The Amateur Traveler is a great podcast but if your destination is France, Join Us in France is the podcast for you.


Yale Releases Music Drawn from Holocaust Testimonies

Yale’s Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies holds more than 4,400 testimonies comprising 12,000 recorded hours of videotape. The testimonies were produced in cooperation with 36 affiliated projects across North America, South America, Europe, and Israel.

The Archive and its affiliates recorded the testimonies of willing individuals with first-hand experience of the Nazi persecutions, including those who were in hiding, survivors, bystanders, resistants, and liberators.

The Yale collection includes many instances of survivors sharing songs and poems that capture aspects of their experiences before, during, and after the Holocaust. Yale News reports that the archive is making a collection of these songs and poems available with music composed and arranged by Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch, a musician and ethno-musicologist. 

Stephen Naron, the director of the Fortunoff Archive explained to Yale News that:

The pieces were written in the camps collectively. The prisoners wrote the song lyrics and set them to a melody from a popular tune. There’s a great irony in that these are beautifully melodic songs, but the lyrics can be very dark and brutal. They are songs about hunger and struggle and being beaten by guards.

The first batch of recordings are available now on the archive’s website. A full album of songs is slated for release later this year.

The recordings are also available for free on Soundcloud.

Yale History Professor Puts the ‘Alt-Right’ in Historical Perspective

Yale history professor Timothy Snyder writing in The New York Times:

When the supporters of the alt-right chant that “Jews will not replace us,” they recapitulate the Nazi idea of a world Jewry that stifles the master race and must therefore be removed from the planet. When they shout “Blood and soil,” they repeat a Nazi slogan signifying that races will murder races for land without mercy and forever.

Professor Snyder’s most recent book — “The Road to Unfreedom” — warns about the rise of authoritarianism from Russia to Europe and America.

In the following video, Snyder, speaking at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, explains that American business and religious institutions have been less compliant than their counterparts in 1930s Germany. Even so, he doesn’t think we are out of the woods.

Yale Professor Timothy Snyder on the Importance of the EU

This is an address by Professor Timothy Snyder at the official annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony held at the European Parliament on January 23, 2019.

Snyder asks what the next 75 years may bring and explains that the European Union is important to preserve peace and well-being. He believes it was the fall of nation-states after WWI that led to the Holocaust.

Snyder is a history professor at Yale University. He is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, is the faculty advisor for the Fortunoff Collection of Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, and sits on the advisory councils of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research and other organizations. 

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’s List’ Now on Netflix

Schindler’s List follows the true story of Oskar Schindler, who saved more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust. The film opened on December 15, 1993 and won seven Oscars including Best Picture. It’s been called the “best of Spielberg’s ‘serious movies’“. You can watch it now on Netflix.

Schindler’s List 25th Anniversary – Official Trailer 

May 5, 2019: 74th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp

On Sunday the 5th May 2019, a Service of Remembrance for the 74th Anniversary of the Liberation of Dachau Concentration Camp will take place at the former camp, which is near Munich, Germany.

The event is organized by the Comité International de Dachau (CID) with the support of the Bavarian Memorial Sites Foundation. The CID is the international organization of the former concentration camp Dachau. It represents all former prisoners, survivors and victims from the Dachau camp during the period between 1933 and 1945.

The main service of remembrance will begin at 10:45 am on May 5, 2019. The service will include:

  • Words of Remembrance at the former Crematorium
  • Procession through to the former roll call area
  • Words of thanks and the laying of wreaths by the International Memorial

At approximately 1:00 pm an hour of remembrance will follow at the former SS Shooting Range Hebertshausen.

Traveling from Munich, the easiest way to reach the former camp is by public transportation. Take the S2 train from Munich in the direction of Dachau/Petershausen until you reach the Dachau station. The train ride takes about 25 minutes from Munich’s Central Station (Hauptbahnhof). At the Dachau train station, take the bus 726 towards “Saubachsiedlung” to the entrance of the memorial site (“KZ-Gedenkstätte”).

The Dachau camp was liberated by the 42nd and 45th Infantry Divisions and the 20th Armored Division of the US Army on April 29, 1945. At the time of liberation, there were approximately 32,000 prisoners at the camp.

James A. Rose, of Toledo, Ohio, was with the 42nd (“Rainbow”) Division during the liberation of Dachau. In this interview with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Rose describes his impressions of the camp.

See also: Dachau City Official WebsiteKZ-Gedenkstätte DachauMore on the Dachau Camp

We remember what has happened out of respect for the victims and for the future of our children 

Comité International de Dachau (CID)

The Future of Flickr Looks Bright

Frederick Van Johnson interviews Alastair Jolly, Global Marketing Manager of Flickr and SmugMug and Gilmar Smith, a professional photographer and Flickr member to discuss Flickr’s comeback after its acquisition by SmugMug.

Jolly explains that SmugMug is serious about maintaining and improving Flickr. There aren’t many user facing changes at the moment because SmugMug is busy moving the vast number of photos it acquired to its own servers. That takes time. Once that’s complete, users will start to see improvements to the platform. Jolly stressed that SmugMug plans to keep Flickr and SmugMug separate. When asked about Instagram, Jolly explained that Instagram photos are ephemeral – people glance at them and never see them again. In contrast, Flickr not only has a photostream, but also albums and galleries that can remain for as long as the member likes. Flickr makes it easy to share a body of work over the long-haul. This is something I value greatly. Gilmar Smith offers a user’s perspective.

I like Flickr and am pleased to pay $50 a year to be a Pro member, which includes unlimited photo storage and an ad-free experience. I doubt Flickr will replace Instagram but if I had to choose, I would choose Flickr hands down. Instagram is like drinking a shot of espresso. Flickr is like building a home for your photographs.

Denver couple dedicated to photographing Holocaust survivors

The Denver Post reports that John and Amy Israel Pregulman of Denver have a passion for photographing Holocaust survivors. Over five years, they have photographed 735 survivors in 36 cities, including some living in other countries. These photos only go to the survivors. They are not displayed in a museum or on a website. They simply give the photos to the survivors and their families to honor and preserve their legacy. This is a true labor of love.

The Pregulmans also started a nonprofit, called KAVOD, to provide emergency aid to survivors living in poverty. According to the organization, all donations go to survivors. KAVOD is based in Memphis.

See also: WBUR Audio

Atlanta Civil Rights Center Names New Director

The Atlanta Constitution reports that Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights has named Jill Savitt as its new chief executive officer. Savitt is currently acting director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. She has 20 years of experience as a human rights advocate. Savitt graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University in 1990 and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The mission of Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights is to connect the American civil rights movement to the global struggle for human rights. It seeks “to create a safe space for visitors to explore the fundamental rights of all human beings so that they leave inspired and empowered to join the ongoing dialogue about human rights in their communities.”

The Center also produces a podcast called “Rights Not Reserved.” It discusses activism, history, and today’s human rights issues. The podcast is available on iTunes.

See also: The Washington Post