Montgomery College Holds Annual Holocaust Commemoration Ceremony, April 8 Program features Bernice Steinhardt, executive producer of “Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz”

The Paul Peck Humanities Institute at Montgomery College will host the annual Holocaust Commemoration, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, from 6:30–8:30 p.m. in the Theatre Arts Arena on the Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, MD.

The Commemoration pays tribute to the millions who died—including six million Jews; hundreds of thousands of Sinti-Roma; 250,000 people with mental or physical disabilities; more than three million Soviet prisoners; about two million Poles and another one million Slavs; and many homosexuals, Communists, Socialists, trade unionists and Jehovah’s Witnesses—as well as to survivors who convey tremendous courage in remembering and in helping us to remember.

The evening opens with student-read narratives and photographs of people from many diverse backgrounds who experienced Nazi persecution. Local Holocaust survivors will attend and participate in a candle-lighting ceremony. MC music students, under the direction of Professor Dawn Avery, will perform live music.

Bernice Steinhardt, founder of Art & Remembrance, an arts and educational nonprofit based in Maryland, will show the organization’s award-winning film, “Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz.” The 30 minute-long film features the story of Steinhardt’s mother, Esther, a 15-year-old girl whose courage and grit saved her and a younger sister from the Nazis who killed the rest of their family and most of the other Jews in their small Polish village. At age 50, Esther found a way to share her story and her memories. Needle and thread were her powerful tools, and the 36 fabric collage and embroidered panels she designed and carefully stitched are beautiful and haunting.

A partial exhibit of Portraits of Life: Holocaust Survivors of Montgomery County, a documentary project created to tell the stories of survivors who have lived in and around Montgomery County, will be on display.

This event is free and open to the public. Event attendees may park in the white-lined spaces on the Rockville Campus. Light refreshments will be served, starting at 6 p.m. RSVP is recommended, but not required. Please RSVP to 240-567-7417 or e-mail ruthann.wilbraham@montgomerycollege.edu.

Requests for disability accommodations should be communicated to Ms. Wilbraham by March 31, 2014.

To learn about the College’s annual Holocaust Commemoration, the Portraits of Life: Holocaust Survivors of Montgomery County traveling exhibit/educational program as well as other events organized by the Paul Peck Humanities Institute, visit montgomerycollege.edu/humanities or email sara.ducey@montgomerycollege.edu.

To find out more about the tradition of Holocaust remembrance, please visit these sites: ushmm.org and yadvashem.org.il.

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