Purchase, NY (PRWEB) January 5, 2009
The Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) recently hosted a Focus Seminar at which Professor Suzanne Vromen, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Bard College, presented her recently-published book, "Hidden Children of the Holocaust: Belgian Nuns and their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis." Nearly 100 people attended.
Hidden Children of the Holocaust tells the story of Jewish families in Belgium who sought a safe place for their children after the Nazis invaded the country and began brutal deportations. The children found refuge with other families, in orphanages and in Roman Catholic convents. Vromen interviewed former "hidden children," nuns who provided shelter, and Christian women, members of the Resistance, who rescued them by bringing them to the convents.
Thanks to a well-organized resistance network in which Jews and Christians closely cooperated, nuns at more than 200 institutions and convents took the Jewish children in, hid their identities from Nazis and ultimately saved their lives. "This rescue is an example of humanitarian resistance transcending religion, class and political ideologies," Vromen said.
Vromen was living in Belgium when the Germans invaded the country in 1940. After a year under Nazi occupation with her family, she succeeded in escaping and finding refuge in the Belgian Congo.
"We have seen in history that people of different cultures and backgrounds can come together for a greater human cause," said Donna Cohen, HHREC's executive director. "That's just the message we are trying to teach in our programs: that every individual deserves to be treated with dignity and respect."
HHREC's Focus Seminars emphasize specific aspects of the Holocaust and its ongoing human rights lessons. Each seminar also includes practical suggestions and materials for the classroom.
The Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) is located at 2900 Purchase Street, Purchase, New York 10577. For further information, please contact 914.696.0738, or visit http://www.holocausteducationctr.org.
About the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center (HHREC): The Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) is an interfaith, not-for-profit organization serving Westchester, Fairfield and Putnam counties to encourage and enhance teaching and learning about the Holocaust and its human rights lessons for today. Its members encourage students to speak up and act against all forms of bigotry and prejudice.