May 19, 2015
6:00 PM – 7:45 PM
Indian River Library
2320 Old Greenbrier Rd

“The watchword of Holocaust lessons is, ‘Never Forget.’ But once there are no longer survivors to recount their personal stories, what then?” So asks the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater on their website, regarding a compelling and moving program called What We Carry. What We Carry is a presentation of first-hand accounts of survivors of the Holocaust, most of whom are not around anymore to speak their story, but living on through the documents they carried from the period in a suitcase – the period of the Third Reich in Germany. What We Carry has met with resounding success where it has been presented to schools, community groups and military audiences around the country. It will be presented at Indian River Library on May 19, 2015 at 6:00 PM.

We are honored to be able to have the story of the late David Katz (1930-2012) presented at Indian River Library. Recommended for high school students, college students and anyone interested in history, the story of Mr. Katz is quite compelling. The artifacts brought along in the suitcase, which you will see at the program, present an invaluable first-hand account of his story. Born in Leipzig, Germany, into a family of musicians, the young Mr. Katz appeared to be headed toward a career in music. However, the climate in Germany quickly became oppressive. Mr. Katz’s family, which faithfully attended services at synagogue in Leipzig,  determined to escape to the United States. In 1937, Mr. Katz’ family went to Holland to begin proceedings to escape to the United States, but his mother became homesick and the family returned to Leipzig. This proved to be a grave mistake. On November 9, 1938, the Nazis began their pogrom against the Jews; roving gangs of Nazis smashed and looted Jewish businesses and burned down all of the local synagogues, beginning what came to be known as Kristallnacht, or “night of broken glass.” The next morning, two Gestapo agents pounded on the Katz family’s door, and took his two grandparents to Poland. Mr. Katz’s parents knew they would be next, so they sought a way to hide. At that time, anyone who offered safe haven for Jews was immediately sent to a concentration camp. By December of 1938, Mr. Katz’s father was smuggled out of Germany to Brussels, Belguim. Mr. Katz stayed behind with his siblings and mother under the protection of a musician friend of Mr. Katz’s father until February of 1939.

This is only the beginning of Mr. Katz’s story.  To hear the rest of the harrowing story of ingenuity and perseverance against tremendous odds, please come out to Indian River Library on May 19 at 6:00 P.M.  You will be forever changed.

whatwecarrysuitcase

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