January 13, 2022
U.S. HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM’S
FIRST PERSON: CONVERSATIONS WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS
CONTINUING THROUGH 2022
Free virtual program features survivors sharing their experiences in their own words
Free resources for teachers available to accompany the programs
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s First Person: Conversations with Holocaust Survivors series will continue through 2022. The next episode will be on Wednesday, January 19 at 1:00 pm; programs will be held monthly throughout the year. Now in its 23rd season, First Person enables audiences to hear Holocaust survivors tell their life stories in their own words, uniting personal experience with history in a way that is extraordinary in its immediacy and power. Each hour-long program will feature a live interview between journalist Bill Benson and a survivor, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. The program is being hosted monthly on YouTube.
The January program will feature a conversation with Steven Fenves. Steven vividly remembers his family’s expulsion from their home in Axis-controlled Subotica (today part of Serbia), in may 1944. Neighbors lined both sides of the stairs, spitting and yelling antisemitic insults, eager to ransack their apartment. Their former cook was in the crowd, and managed to rescue his mother’s recipe book and some of her artwork. After the war, the cook returned those treasured possessions to Steven and his sister.
Viewers will learn about Steven’s deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where, at the age of only 13, he joined the resistance, served as an interpreter for Polish political prisoners, and was smuggled onto a transport to a Buchenwald subcamp, before being liberated by American soldiers.
“This program provides an opportunity to put a human face on the events of the Holocaust,” said Diane Saltzman, Director of Survivor Affairs at the Museum. “While nothing can equal the power of meeting a survivor in person, hearing from them is more important than ever as we witness the rise in antisemitism and Holocaust denial, and the survivor community diminishes. Although we cannot hold in-person events with them right now, through this virtual program, the survivors continue to share their stories, especially with young people, worldwide.”
Educators can download a teaching guide and student interactive from the Museum’s web site.
“We are excited that teachers from across the country can access this very special program,” said Gretchen Skidmore, Director of Education Initiatives at the Museum. “While the pandemic has prevented us from holding these programs in person, making them available digitally means teachers from across the country have access to this important content. Hearing a Holocaust survivor tell their story in their own words fosters for students a deeper understanding of the personal impact of this history.”
Media interested in speaking with survivors or program organizers should contact Kristy Buechner at email@example.com or at 202.314.1754.
This season of First Person is made possible by generous support from the Louis Franklin Smith Foundation.
About the Museum
A federally chartered, nonpartisan educational institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum serves as America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. The Museum is dedicated to ensuring the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding, and relevance and inspires leaders and individuals worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. For more information, visit ushmm.org.
View All Museum News Releases