Today for my class on Holocaust history, we watched the film, Woman in Gold. The film is about an Austrian Holocaust survivor, Maria Altmann, who discovered late in life that a famous painting of her aunt was stolen by the Nazis. With the help of a young Jewish lawyer, she battles powerful forces in the Austrian government and the museum world and recovers the painting for her family and for posterity. There were many poignant things about this film including Altmann’s brave battle for reparations and justice, but what struck me most was the image of America as a place of refuge for this woman and for so many other Holocaust survivors. In the 1940’s, she and her husband managed to escape to America where they rebuilt their lives. America became their new home. America became their place of refuge.
As I watched this film, I couldn’t help but think of the many children at the border who are still being separated from their parents. Many of these families came to America because of this longstanding tradition– America the land of opportunity; America the land of freedom; America the place of refuge.
How does this image square with the image of children in cages and tents?
October 16, 2pm, Binghamton, NY
I will be speaking at the first annual Binghamton University Lyceum Faculty Lecture Series at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, at WSKG, 601 Gates Road, Vestal.
I will be speaking about my book, The Weeping Time: Memory and the Largest Slave Auction in American History, and will also discuss how this legacy presents both challenges as well as opportunities for creating community today.
The talk is open to the public, but an RSVP is required at email@example.com or 607-777-2587
THE WEEPING TIME IN KENYA
Hard to believe that tomorrow, October 9, will be the first anniversary of the publication of my new book. Very thankful for a journey that has taken me as close as New York City and as far as Kenya.