November 7, 2005
On the anniversary of the Nazis’ Kristallnacht pogrom (Nov. 10), hundreds of New York City high school students will learn about the Holocaust–through cartoons.
The students will take part in “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust: Art in the Service of Humanity,” a unique program and exhibit, at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, 594 Broadway (between Houston and Prince), on Thursday, November 10, 2005. Groups of students from various city schools will take part in the program at one-hour intervals throughout the day, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
(Media representatives interested in attending any of the sessions may do so without prior reservation. Please note that each one-hour session will begin at the top of the hour.)
“Cartoonists Against the Holocaust” is a sixteen-panel exhibit featuring rare political cartoons from U.S. newspapers in the 1930s and 1940s that tried to alert the American public about the plight of European Jewish refugees and the Holocaust. The exhibit is sponsored by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, and is accompanied by a lecture and discussion with Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff.
“This is a unique and engaging new way for students to learn about the Holocaust,” Medoff notes. “Through the eyes of political cartoonists in the 1940s, students are able to learn about the major events of the Holocaust and America’s response to it.”
Famed comic book artist and editor Joe Kubert, who authored the exhibit’s introduction, adds: “Cartoon illustrations can, with just a few strokes of the pen, convey an image or an idea that will remain in the readers’ minds for years to come.”
The exhibit was created by the Wyman Institute with the assistance of Joe Kubert, Adam Kubert (one of the top artists at Marvel Comics), and Prof. Rob Stolzer of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin. The artists whose cartoons are featured in the exhibit include Arthur Szyk, Eric Godal, Paul Carmack, and Pulitzer Prize winners Edmund Duffy, Fred Packer, and Charles Werner.
“At a time when many Americans were indifferent to the plight of Europe’s Jews, these courageous artists used their talents to try to rouse America’s conscience,” Dr. Medoff emphasizes.
The November 10 program will be followed by a student cartooning contest, in which students are asked to create their own 1940s-era editorial cartoons to try to alert the public about the Holocaust. Last year’s contest winners were picked by a panel of judges that included Pulitzer Prize winner Jules Feiffer, Mark Podwal, Joe Kubert, Adam Kubert, and Yaakov Kirschen. (The winning entries from last year’s contest can be seen at www.WymanInstitute.org )