Friday, November 8

Day underwritten in memory of Bea & Boris Katz

Mardigian Library and The Voice/ Vision Holocaust Survivors Oral History Archive at the University of Michigan - Dearborn, Program for Holocaust Survivors and Families, a service of Jewish Senior Life

10 a.m.
Marianne Szegedy-Maszák
I Kiss Your Hands Many Times

Aladar was serving in Hungary’s foreign ministry offices when the Nazis took him to Dachau. Hanna was the granddaughter of one of the country’s leading Jewish industrialists and supporter of the arts; her life was saved when the family made a deal with Heinrich Himmler. The two were in love but separated throughout the war and would not reunite until 1945.

I Kiss Your Hands Many Times is the true story of Aladar and Hanna, based on their wartime letters and written by their daughter, Marianne Szegedy-Maszák. It is also an invitation to a forgotten world of elegance and honor, of terrible intrigue and of families lost and found, as well as an insightful look at the complex relationship between Hungary and its Jewish population.

Marianne Szegedy-Maszák is a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, the New Republic, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and Psychology Today.
This is her first book.

Co-sponsored by Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies Temple Kol Ami Sisterhood

11:30 a.m.
Thomas Harding
Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz

The man said he was a farmer named Franz Lang. Hanns Alexander, a Jewish lieutenant in the British Army, knew better. “Lang,” he discovered, was in fact Rudolf Hoss, former commandant of Auschwitz and the most efficient master of Hitler’s program of mass extermination of the Jews.

Following advice from Himmler, Hoss disguised himself among German Navy personnel after the war and escaped arrest. But he was not forgotten.

In May 1945, Hanns Alexander was part of the British War Crimes Investigation Team that was determined to find Hoss. The story of how Hoss is discovered and captured – thanks to the help of a very surprising source – reads like a great spy novel. But it’s all true, and the full story is revealed for the first time in Hanns and Rudolf.

Thomas Harding is a former documentary filmmaker and journalist who has written for the Financial Times and The Guardian. The founder of a television station in Oxford, England, he was for many years an award-winning publisher of a newspaper in West Virginia. He lives in Hampshire, England.

“The protagonists’ individual choices and family backgrounds give this biographical history a unique, intimate quality.” – Kirkus Review

1 p.m.
Maybe One Day

How could the sophisticated, cultured citizens of Vienna become vicious, bigoted, violent Nazi followers determined to destroy the Jews? An estimated 65,000 persished as a consequence of Austria’s annexation of Hitler’s Nazi Germany in 1938. Jeannette Olson’s parents, were able to flee, exiled from their homeland, imprisoned in detention camps, starved and hidden, fearing for their lives and separated from their young child.

Olson’s mother managed to save every letter and document relating to the war years, letters between family members, letters from their rescuers, photographs - all relating to her parents’ lives during WWII.

Maybe One Day is a narration of the interviews that Olson conducted with her parents detailing the saga of their flight from the Nazis and miraculous survival as a result of their courage, luck and the aid of the Christian families who protected and risked their lives to save her family.

Jeannette Gerstl Olson was a child during WWII. Born in Nice, France, in 1940, she survived the war hidden by a Christian French couple and was reunited with her parents after the liberation in 1944.