Howard Community College Hosts Series of Events to Explore Holocaust History
Earlier this month, community members joined Howard Community College (HCC) faculty, staff, and students in the college’s Smith Theatre for a special one-day exhibit , presentation, and roundtable exploring the lives of Jews and Roma survivors during the Holocaust in Transnistria (territory of occupied Ukraine controlled by Romania during World War II).
Attendees began their journey viewing the exhibit “Routes to Disappearance” in the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center lobby. The exhibit featured oral histories, original photographs and documents from the family archives of survivors, along with research materials. This special exhibit has been presented in the Moldova Republic, Ukraine, Russia, and the Czech Republic.
The exhibit was followed by a presentation by Anna Abakunova, one of its historical researchers. Abakunova spoke about her research and the exhibit, politics of the Nazis toward Jews and Roma, and the role of German allies and ordinary Ukrainian citizens during the Holocaust. She was later joined by Manny Mandel, a Maryland resident and survivor who shared stories about his family life during the Holocaust and his experiences with Hungarian allies. A question and answer session was included.
The event’s afternoon roundtable featured discussion of Jewish and Roma self-rescue and the rescue of Jews by Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars. Participants included Abakunova, historical researcher at the University of Sheffield (UK); Dr. Hanael Bianchi, assistant professor and chair of historical studies at HCC; Howard Kaidanow, Holocaust survivor; and Dr. Huseyin Oylupinar from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University.