Wyman Institute Update: June 20, 2005

I.     Welcome to the newest member of the Wyman Institute’s Advisory Committee:  U.S. Congressman Chris Cannon

The Hon. Chris Cannon represents Utah’s Third Congressional District.  A graduate of the Brigham Young University law school, he held positions in the Department of Interior and Department of Commerce in the Reagan and Bush administrations, before being elected to the United States Congress in 1996.  He is chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law; and a member of the House Government Reform Committee and the House Resources Committee.

In January 2003, Congressman Cannon was elected chairman of the influential Western Caucus, an organization of more than fifty Congressmembers.

II.     The Wyman Institute in the News

1.     A public ceremony will be held in Ridgewood, New Jersey, on June 26, 2005, at which a street will be renamed in honor of Varian Fry, the American journalist who rescued more than 2,000 of the world’s most famous artists and writers from Vichy France.  (Ridgewood was Fry’s home town.)  Speakers will include William Bingham, son of U.S. diplomat Harry Bingham IV, who worked with Fry in the rescue effort; Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff; local activist Catherine Taub, whose efforts brought about the street-naming; and Steve Draven of the New Jersey State Commission on Holocaust Education.  For more information, please call the Wyman Institute at 202-434-8994.

2.     A standing-room-only audience of more ethan 250 was on hand May 23 for the New York City debut of Professor Laurel Leff and her new book, Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper, at the Center for Jewish History.  The event was sponsored by the Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS).  Leff was introduced by Laurence Zuckerman of the AJHS–who is a former reporter for the New York Times– and Abby Wisse, Books Editor of the New York Post.  Before Leff’s talk, she was feted at a private wine-and-cheese reception and book signing event at the Center for Jewish History.  The reception was sponsored by Lance Kawesch (the Wyman Institute’s general counsel) and Emily Stein, and Institute board members Sigmund Rolat and Stephen and Nina Solarz.

3.     The winners of the Wyman Institute’s first “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust” student art contest received their prizes at an awards ceremony at the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, Maryland, on May 31, 2005.  (The winning cartoons may be viewed at www.WymanInstitute.org) The awards were distributed by Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff and Rena Fruchter, director of the Hebrew Academy’s Deborah Lerner Gross Jewish Cultural Arts Center and one of the judges in the contest.  The other judges were Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer (replacing Will Eisner, who recently passed away); Joe Kubert, legendary comic book artist and editor;  internationally known artist Mark Podwal, whose illustrations appear frequently on the op-ed page of the New York Times; “Dry Bones” cartoonist Ya’akov Kirschen; Adam Kubert, one of the top artists at Marvel Comics.

4.      Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch was interviewed by Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff in the Jewish Community News (California) concerning his views on America’s response to the Holocaust … Medoff’s essay on the U.S. failure to rescue Jewish refugees appeared recently in the New Jersey Jewish Standard and the Jewish Newsweekly of Northern California; his article on U.S. Congressman Emanuel Celler’s clashes with the State Department during the Holocaust was published in the Jewish Journal of Rockland County (NY) … The Chicago Jewish News recently printed a letter from Audrey Cantor, a member of the Wyman Institute’s They Spoke Out Network, concerning the involvement of her uncle, the late boxing champion Barney Ross, in Holocaust rescue efforts.

III.     News About Wyman Institute Committee and Council Members:

1.     In a statement inserted in the Congressional Record on May 5, 2005, to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, U.S. Congressman (and Wyman Institute Advisory Committee member) Gary Ackerman said:  “We must remember the Holocaust because genocide is real.  It is not history, it is reality … It is happening in Sudan. Right now. Today.  Some 400,000 Sudanese have already been killed and, if today is a typical day, 500 more will join them as the world wrings its hands and wonders what to do.  This lassitude, this fecklessness, this disgraceful toleration of genocide is nothing new … We must remember.  A world that doesn’t keep Auschwitz fixed in its mind will see it rebuilt.  We must remember.”

2.     Academic Council member Paul Miller, who has spent the academic year 2004-05 as a Fulbright scholar in Bosnia-Herzgovina, is on the planning committee for the upcoming international academic conference:  “Genocide Against Bosniaks in the UN Safe Area Srebrenica:  Lessons for the Future.” The conference, organized by the Institute for the Research of Crimes Against Humanity andInternational Law (University of Sarajevo), will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacres this summer (July 11-15).  Prof. Miller will deliver a paper at the conference entitled “Rescue from Above:  Comparative Case Studies of the non-Bombing of Auschwitz and of Bosnian Serb Forces at Srebrenica.”
For further information: http://www.inzl.unsa.ba/index.php?lang=en.

3.     Academic Council member Prof. Harry Reicher (U. of Penn. Law School) will speak at the Holocaust Education Center of the Jewish Community Council in Boone, North Carolina, on June 29, on “The Nazi Ideology and Perversion of Law” … On July 1, he will deliver the keynote address at  the Law and Citizenship Program of the Northeast School District’s Project PATCH, in Huntington, NY … On July 8, Prof. Reicher will  speak on “The Nuremberg Trials and Their Abiding Legacy into the Twenty-First Century” at the  Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, in New York City.

4.     The Din in the Head, the fifth collection of essays by Cynthia Ozick (chair of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council) will be published next spring by Houghton Mifflin.  One of the essays, “The Heretical Passions of Gershom Scholem,”  rehearses what happened to the members of Scholem’s family who, unlike him, did not emigrate to then-Palestine, and were left behind in Germany.

5.     Advisory Committee members Serge and Beate Klarsfeld were presented with the Janusz Korczak Award at the recent annual dinner of the American Friends of the Ghetto Fighters’ Museum, in New York City, in recognition of their efforts to bring  Nazi war criminals to justice.

6.     Academic Council member Dr. Myrna Goldenberg has been named the Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Holocaust Studies at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, for the academic
year, 2005-2006.

7.     Carroll and Graf has just published “Virginia Woolf: Her Will to Create as a Woman,” by Dr. Ruth Gruber, a member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts and Letters Council.  She describes the book, her eighteenth, as “the story of how Virginia Woolf and Hitler’s Germany became entwined in  my life.”

8.     Academic Council member Dr. Marcia Sachs Littell (Richard Stockton College of New Jersey( will lead the “Lest We Forget” Study Tour to Holocaust sites in Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic from July 20 to July 22.

9.     Academic Council member Zev Garber (Los Angeles Valley College and Case Western Reserve University)  contributed to and edited Shofar 23.2 (Winter 2005), a special issue devoted to “Shoah and Israeli Writing.”

10.     Arts & Letters Council member Pierre Sauvage gave the Yom Hashoah address on May 5, 2005 at Temple Israel of Hollywood (CA), focusing on America’s response to the Holocaust.

IV. Upcoming Events:


The Wyman Institute’s third national conference, “America and the Holocaust: Politics, Art, History,” will be held at the Fordham University School of Law, 140 West 62 St., New York City, on Sunday, September 18, 2005, from 10 am to 5 pm.  Sessions include:   LaGuardia and the Holocaust –chaired by former Mayor Ed Koch … The Americans Who Rescued Marc Chagall –how U.S. journalist Varian Fry and diplomat Hiram Bingham IV rescued 2,000 refugees from Vichy France –featuring Annette Fry, William Bingham, and Bella Chagall Meyer … The Day George McGovern Bombed Auschwitz:  first public screening of a video interview with the former presidential candidate discussing his bombing missions over the Auschwitz area in 1944 … The History Book That Changed History — marking the 20th anniversary of David Wyman’s The Abandonment of the Jews, this panel, chaired by the Hon. Stephen Solarz, will discuss the books impact–including its role in the rescue of Jews from Ethiopia.

Law professor and novelist Thane Rosenbaum will be the m.c.  Registration is $25, including a kosher lunch ($15 for students).  Register at www.WymanInstitute.org or call 202-434-8994.


Dr. Irvin Ungar, president of the Arthur Szyk Society and member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council, will lead a Szyk Renaissance Tour to Poland from October 21 to October 28, 2005.  Celebrating the life and work of Arthur Szyk, the famed artist and Bergson Group activist, the tour will visit Lodz, Szyk’s hometown; Krakow, where he studied art;  and Warsaw, home to numerous Jewish landmarks. The participants will take part in the opening reception at the premiere in Poland of “Justice Illuminated: The Art of Arthur Szyk,” and will  meet with high level Polish government officials, U.S. diplomats, and Jewish leaders.  More information:  http://szyk.org/szykrentour/index.html


On November 9-10, the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Wyman Institute will present its “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust: Art in the Service of Humanity” exhibit and program at several prestigious locations in the New York City area.  On Wednesday, November 9, the program will be held at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, in Dover, New Jersey.  Joe Kubert and his son Adam Kubert, of Marvel Comics, will join Dr. Rafael Medoff for a panel discussion as part of the program.

On Thursday, November 10, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, at 594 Broadway (between Houston and Prince), New York City, will host the “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust” exhibit and program.  Groups of middle school and high school students, up to a maximum of 75 at a time, will visit the Museum on that day, by arrangement, for the one hour program.  There will be eight consecutive one-hour programs throughout the day, from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.  To arrange a visit, please call the Wyman Institute at 202-434-8994.