Upcoming Events

We want you to keep up to date on what’s happening at The 1939 Society. Here you’ll find upcoming events and activities, as well as more ways you can contribute to the mission.

13 September
7 PM

Glenn Kurtz
Author of Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film

Traveling in Europe in August 1938, one year before the outbreak of World War II, David Kurtz, the author’s grandfather, captured three minutes on 16 mm Kodachrome color film of ordinary life in a small, predominantly Jewish town in Poland. Originally a family travel souvenir, David Kurtz’s home movie became the sole remaining record of a vibrant town on the brink of catastrophe.

In this lecture, Glenn Kurtz traces his four years of tenacious research to identify the people in his grandfather’s images. His search took him across the United States, to Canada, England, Poland and Israel, where he discovered seven living survivors of the town, including an 86-year-old man who appears in the film as a 13-year-old boy.

A 2016 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, Glenn Kurtz is a graduate of Tufts University and the New England Conservatory of Music. He holds a doctorate in German studies and comparative literature from Stanford University. His articles have been published in ZYZZYVA, Artweek, and Tema Celeste, among other journals. Dr. Kurtz currently teaches at New York University.

Books available for purchase. Book signing will follow the lecture.

Co-sponsored by the Department of History, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Location: Chapman Auditorium, Memorial Hall (Chapman University)
1 October
7 PM

Fischmann Family Distinguished Lecture: "Left to the Mercy of a Rude Stream: A Son's Memoir"

Join the Jewish Studies Program at LMU for a pre-release book reading by Stanley A. Goldman, professor of law and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Genocide at Loyola Law School. Response and discussion with Michael Bazyler, professor of law, at Chapman University. Kosher reception to follow.

This event is free to attend and open to all, but space is limited. Please RSVP at bellarmine.lmu.edu/fischmann.

The 2018 Fischmann Family Distinguished Lecture is generously sponsored by the Fischmann Family, with additional support from Loyola Law School and the Center for the Study of Law and Genocide at Loyola Law School.

Location: Roski Dining Room, University Hall, Loyola Marymount University
7 October
10 AM

CSUN Jewish Studies Program Upcoming Film: From Swastika to Jim Crow

Co-Sponsored by Adat Ari El, Temple Ahavat Shalom, Temple Ramat Zion, Valley Beth Shalom, and Hillel 818.

This documentary presents the story of Jewish professors expelled by the Nazi government in 1939 from German universities who found teaching positions in the traditionally Black colleges in the segregated American South. Recognizing the common burden of oppression in their very different cultures, the film—with historic visual images—explores the effect that these Jews and their Black students and colleagues had on each other. 56 minutes.

Followed by Q & A led by CSUN JS faculty and Prof. Marc Dollinger (San Francisco State University), author of the new book, Black Power, Jewish Politics.

Limited seating. RSVP required. Please call (818) 677-4724 or email jewish.studies@csun.edu to reserve a seat (maximum 2 seats per request – names for each seat are required).

Location: Laemmle's Town Center 5, 17200 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316
16 October
2:30 - 4:45 PM

Exiles in Los Angeles: Thomas Mann, Arnold Schoenberg, Theodor Adorno and the Doctor Faustus Controversy

Introduction by Dr. Marilyn Harran, Stern Chair in Holocaust Education and Director, Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education

A Schoenberg Perspective on the Doctor Faustus Controversy
E. Randol Schoenberg
Editor of The Doctor Faustus Dossier: Arnold Schoenberg, Thomas Mann, and Their Contemporaries, 1930-1951

Competing Modernisms: The California Exile of Mann, Adorno, and Schoenberg
Marjorie Perloff
Author of The Edge of Irony: Modernism in the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire and
The Vienna Paradox: A Memoir
Presidential Fellow, Chapman University

Location: Argyros Forum 209 (Chapman University)
16 October
7 - 7:45 PM

A Conversation with Marjorie Perloff and E. Randol Schoenberg
Moderated by Daniele Struppa, Chapman University

Selected works by Marjorie Perloff and E. Randol Schoenberg will be available for purchase before the event and after the concert.
Book signing will follow concert.

Location: Wallace All Faiths Chapel, Fish Interfaith Center (Chapman University)
16 October
8-9 PM

Trio Céleste Performs Selected Works by Zeisl, Messiaen, and Schoenberg

Ron Gasworth, Cello
Iryna Krechkovsky, Violin
Kevin Kwan Louks, Piano

Hailed as “technically dazzling” (Long Beach Gazette) and “flawless” (New York Concert Review), Trio Céleste has firmly established itself as one of the most dynamic chamber music ensembles on the classical music scene today. Recent highlights for the Trio include recital debuts at the Chicago Cultural Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and New York’s Carnegie Hall. In 2014, the ensemble was selected from over 500 applicants to be Artists-in-Residence at the Grand Canyon National Park.

Trio Céleste is currently an Ensemble-in-Residence at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine and Directors of the acclaimed arts organizations Chamber Music OC where they have been featured in collaborations with violist Paul Coletti, Emerson String Quartet violinist Philip Setzer and principal players of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. In 2016, the Trio released their debut album on the Navona label which debuted at No. 5 on iTunes for “Best Seller New Release” and No. 20 on Amazon’s “Chamber Music Albums.”

The ensemble was inspired to take its name after their very first meeting in New York City, where a rare celestial occurrence – the largest harvest moon in two decades – marked the beginning of their tenure together.

Trio Céleste CDs will be available for purchase after the concert.

Location: Wallace All Faiths Chapel, Fish Interfaith Center (Chapman University)
30 October
4 PM


Adapted and Performed by
Susan Stein

Directed by Austin Pendleton

Etty Hillesum’s life ended at Auschwitz when she was only 29 years old. In the play Etty, drawn entirely from Etty Hillesum's diaries and letters of 1941-1943, we meet a remarkable young Dutch woman, who is insightful, determined, poetic and sensual. Through the voice of Susan Stein, Hillesum speaks directly to her audience, frankly, and with compassion--even for the enemy. Seeking the meaning of her life—and all life—during the terror of Nazi occupation, Hillesum “happens upon” prayer, discovers a reality that she calls God and opens herself to the power of being fully alive and present, bearing witness to the catastrophe unfolding around her. In her gentle yet forthright way, Hillesum asks us not to leave her at Auschwitz, but to let her have a “little bit of a say” in what she hopes will be a new world.

Susan Stein is an actress, playwright and teaching artist living in New York City. Stein studied acting in the graduate program at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She adapted Etty using only Hillesum’s words. She has performed the play in theatres, universities, and museums throughout the United States.

Austin Pendleton is an American film, television and stage actor, playwright and theatre director. He is an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

For more information about Etty, the play, or about Etty Hillesum, visit Ettyplay.org

Co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences • Fish Interfaith Center
The Joyce and Saul Brandman Foundation Lecture Series

Location: Wallace All Faiths Chapel, Fish Interfaith Center (Chapman University)
30 October
7 PM

Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor: A Conversation with Yossi Klein Halevi

Featuring a candle lighting and lecture by Yossi Klein Halevi, renowned American-born Israeli author and journalist.
Kosher dessert reception to follow.
Additional information coming soon!

The 2018 Kristallnacht Commemoration is generously cosponsored by the Academy for Jewish Religion, the Academic Engagement Network, the Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination at LMU, Jewish Life at LMU, and University Synagogue. For more information, visit the Loyola Marymount website

Location: Roski Dining Room, University Hall, Loyola Marymount University
5 November
9 AM

Global Histories of German Literature

The notion of global history has recently garnered much attention across the humanities, drawing inspiration from innovative, interdisciplinary scholarships in comparative literature, postcolonial and global studies, and digital humanities. Is a global history of German literature the same as the German history of world literature? What does global or German mean here and how is it to be understood in relation to the local, the national or the universal? The aim of this conference is to address such urgent questions with insights from distinguished speakers in the heterogeneous field of German Studies from around the globe.

Sponsored by the
Freie Universität Berlin, UCLA Dean of Humanities, UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies, UCLA Department of Germanic Languages, UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies (the Michael and Irene Ross Endowment), UCLA Department of Spanish & Portuguese, UCLA Department of History, J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Research Institute, and American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Organized by Urs Büttner & David D. Kim

No RSVP. For more info, please contact David Kim at dkim@humnet.ucla.edu

Location: Royce Hall 306 (UCLA Campus)
8 November
7 PM

An Interfaith Service of Remembrance for Kristallnacht: 1938-2018

Kristallnacht - The End of the Beginning, the Beginning of the End
Michael Berenbaum, Ph.D.

Director, Sigi Ziering Institute, American Jewish University
Author of A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of its Survivors

With guest of honor, Engelina Billauer
Holocaust Witness and Survivor of Kristallnacht

For the 11th year, Chapman University gathers as an interfaith community to commemorate Kristallnacht. We remember the violence that swept across Germany 80 years ago on November 9-10, 1938, and the arrests and deportations that followed. On this night, when hatred and violence ruled Germany and Austria, we also remember the courageous few from many walks of life, beliefs, and religious traditions who dared on Kristallnacht and afterwards to defy Nazi authority and to become resisters and rescuers.

Dr. Michael Berenbaum is a writer, lecturer, and teacher consulting in the conceptual development of museums and the development of historical films. He is also the director of the Sigi Ziering Institute at American Jewish University. Dr. Berenbaum is the author and editor of 20 books, scores of scholarly articles, and hundreds of opinion pieces, and served as the executive editor of the second edition of the 22 volume Encyclopedia Judaica.

Dr. Berenbaum was the conceptual developer of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, the Belzec Memorial at the site of the death camp, and the permanent exhibit on the Holocaust at the Memorial Museum to Macedonian Jewry in Skopje, Macedonia. He has served as historical consultant on numerous films, including HBO’s Conspiracy and NBC’s Uprising, and he has received an Academy Award as the co-producer of the documentary One Survivor Remembers: The Gerda Weissmann Klein Story.

The John and Toby Martz Distinguished Lecture in Holocaust Studies

The Sally and Jerry Schwartz Endowment for Holocaust Education

Co-sponsored by the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education

Location: Wallace All Faiths Chapel, Fish Interfaith Center (Chapman University)
27 November
12 PM

BOOK LAUNCH: The Holocaust and North Africa

Aomar Boum (UCLA) and Sarah Abrevaya Stein (UCLA)
Join us to celebrate the release of The Holocaust and North Africa.

This path-breaking work, which offers the first English-language study of the implementation of race laws and forced labor across the Maghrib during World War II, pushes at the boundaries of Holocaust Studies and North African Studies.

Sponsored by the
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies

Cosponsored by the
UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies
UCLA Department of Germanic Studies
UCLA Department of Anthropology
UCLA Department of History
UCLA African Studies Center

Funding provided by
The 1939 Society
The Maurice Amado Program in Sephardic Studies

Location: Royce Hall 314 (UCLA Campus)
29 January
7 PM

Screening of Europa Europa with Q&A with Amir Vodka

The screening features a Jewish teen who is separated from his family after Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass"). He ends up in a Russian orphanage and convinces Nazi troops that he is a German Aryan and becomes an invaluable interpreter and then an unwitting war hero. His deception becomes increasingly difficult to maintain after he joins the Hitler Youth and falls in love with a fervent anti-Semite.

Location: James Bridges Theater (UCLA Campus)
8 March
11 AM

20th Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest

Purposeful Telling: Through Memory to Action

Location: Chapman Auditorium, Memorial Hall (Chapman University)
14 March
4 PM

Unexpected Itineraries: Holocaust Testimony beyond Borders

Michael Rothberg (UCLA)
This talk will discuss the trajectories of three women who survived the Holocaust and went on to bear witness to their experiences in various media, from oral and written testimonies to film and music: Charlotte Delbo, Marceline Loridan-Ivens, and Esther Bejarano. In considering these women’s acts of witness, this account will emphasize the creativity and resilience that characterize their lives after Auschwitz.

Sponsored by the
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies

Cosponsored by the
UCLA Department of Germanic Languages
UCLA Department of History

Location: UCLA Faculty Center (UCLA Campus)
4 April
4 PM

Hannah Arendt’s Message of Ill-Tidings

Lyndsey Stonebridge (University of Birmingham)

This talk turns to the refugee years of German-born, American philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, to show how her influential theories about rights, the human condition, and political life were forged through her understanding of statelessness as an existential condition.

Sponsored by the
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
Cosponsored by the
UCLA Department of Comparative Literature

Location: Royce Hall 314 (UCLA Campus)
2 May
4 PM

Global Itineraries of Holocaust Memory: The Jewish Caribbean and Nazi Persecution in Literature and Art

Sarah Phillips Casteel (Carleton University)
During World War II, the Caribbean provided safe haven to Jewish refugees from the Nazis, while Caribbean expatriates living in Europe found themselves caught up in the war and, in some cases, imprisoned. This talk revisits these entangled wartime histories through the lens of art and literature, highlighting the Caribbean as a site where Black and Jewish but also Sephardic and Ashkenazi memories and identities converge.

Sponsored by the
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
Cosponsored by the
Program in Caribbean Studies of the Latin American Institute>br> UCLA Department of French and Francophone Studies

Location: Royce Hall 314 (UCLA Campus)
2 May
7 PM

An Evening of Holocaust Remembrance

A Tribute in Words and Music

Location: Chapman Auditorium, Memorial Hall (Chapman University)
9 May
4 PM

South African Jews, the Holocaust, and Apartheid

Shirli Gilbert (University of Southampton)
South Africa’s system of Apartheid (‘apartness’ in Afrikaans) was formalized in 1948, just three years after the end of the Holocaust. For South African Jews, the recent genocide served as powerful currency in the debate about how to relate to local racist practices and ideas. In this talk, Gilbert will explore the diverse and sometimes unexpected ways in which the history of Jewish persecution, and especially the Holocaust, shaped Jews’ attitudes to racism both during apartheid (1948-1994) and after the transition to democracy. Sponsored by the
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies

Cosponsored by the
UCLA Department of Germanic Languages

Location: Royce Hall 314 (UCLA Campus)