Irene Adler

An adolescent, Irene Adler survived on her own in Budapest.  At one point she was rounded up and sent on a forced march out of the city, but was able to return.  Following the liberation of Budapest by the Russians in 1944, she moved to the home of her only surviving relative, an uncle.  Irene met her future husband while she was distributing sandwiches to returning camp survivors (please see Bernard Adler Interview).  She later joined Bernard in Israel where they were married in 1948 and had one son.  Irene and Bernard had a second son after their move to New York.

 

“Remembering Mother” (1984)

By Irene Adler

I. Oh how much I am thinking about you

With admiration, with love.

The years are going by, but you are always in my mind.

I never can forget you, mother.

II. From where did you take the strength?

What gave you the courage?

To love, to work, to help, to give

All your time for us, when we were in need.

III. The times were hard, there was war and

Every day was a struggle, filled with fear and hunger.

Hate surrounded us, riots and killing

From where did you take the strength mother?

IV. To stand straight, like a tree in the storm.

Give us a smile, to say a kind word.

Understand us and give a warm home.

From where did you take the strength, mother?

V. I am remembering. I see tears in your eves.

But you never complained to us

You tried to keep away the misery, the bitterness.

Oh how much did you suffer, mother?

VI. The war ended, but you never came back.

You went to Auschwitz on the train

Ended up getting killed by the enemy's hand.

But in your last hour, you were thinking of us,

What happened to your youngest children?

VII. Your teaching we remember, the kindness we practice.

What we learned from you and father,

We are believing in religion and love.

Thank you for everything, mother.

“Remembering My Father” (April 1984)

by Irene Adler

I

My Father looked up, his eyes were sad,

"1 am not ready to leave the village, my work is not yet done.

I am planting a tree; life has to go on, even if I am not here anymore.

The sun is shining, buds are on the trees, flowers, life is around us.

II

My Father's hand planted the tree;

The hand which talked without words,

The hand which gave a child a hug,

The hand which held the Torah Scrolls.

III

The hand which waved good-bye to me,

The hand which fed me when I was young;

The same hand planted the tree in the ground

With strength,that life continue, life must go on.

IV

My Father loved life.

He believed, only love he had.

He wanted the pear tree to grow and blossom,

Like a symbol of life, in misery and death.

V

The village he left with tears in his eyes.

The wagon door closed on him hard.

They took my Father to Auschwitz,

Where people suffered, where millions had died.

VI

My Father saw at Auschwitz a raised hand,

Which chose between death and life.

The hand which was a puppet of a monster's mind,

With no human feeling at all inside.

VII

My Father put his hand forward,

A gesture of a question, why?

But he never got an answer.

The monster's hand showed him he had to die.

VIII

My Father's life ended.

But his good deeds stayed on.

They could not kill his ideas, his religious beliefs,

Yes, my dear Father, religion and love will continue with future generations to come.

IX

As long as a human heart is beating,

As long as there are two outstretched hands,

As long as pear trees are growing,

As long as religion and love live in Man.

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Calendar of Events

Film Screening of “Who Will Write Our History” in conversation with Dr. Stephenie Young

Stephenie Young is  a professor in the English Department and  research associate for the SSU Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Salem State  University in Massachusetts. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the State University of New York, Binghamton and her B.A. in Art History from California State University, Long Beach. She has published widely in both national and international journals. Her forthcoming book, The Forensics of Memorialization, is  about the "forensic imagination," and how  traumatic material culture normally considered scientific evidence is used instead to create visual narratives that shape memory politics in post-conflict former Yugoslavia. With Paul Lowe (University of the Arts, London), she co-organizes the annual conference, Why Remember? Memory and Forgetting in Times of War and Its Aftermath, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. With Dr. Liliana Gomez-Popescu she co-leads the Network for Aesthetic Ecologies comprised of architects, artists, curators and theorists based in Zurich and Lebanon. She has received numerous fellowships and grants to conduct her research on comparative genocide and aesthetics. In fall 2019 she was in Warsaw, Poland as a Senior Research Fellow at the Jewish Historical Institute to conduct research about the Ringelblum archive as part of a larger study about contemporary border politics, evidence and memory.

Please watch the documentary before October 22nd's conversation. The documentary can be accessed here anytime before then: www.tinyurl.com/hgidoc

The talk back will take place via google meets on Oct. 22nd at 7pm: www.tinyurl.com/hgitalkback

Support the Uyghurs and Stop The Genocide

An informational session on the Uyghurs. Please support the call for Uyghur abuses to be considered genocide. The Featured speaker will be Salih Hudayer, Founder and President of East Turkistan National Awakening Movement. The talk will be hosted and moderated by dr. Mehnaz M. Afridi, Director of HGI.

Please join us via live stream on our youtube channel at: https://tinyurl.com/uyghurhgi

Peter Hayes: “November 1938 as Turning Point”?

Please join us on November 12th, time TBD with Peter Hayes for our annual Kristallnacht Lecture and Frederick Schweitzer lecture. Peter Hayes is a professor of History and German at Northwestern University. He specializes in the histories of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust and, in particular, in the conduct of the nation’s largest corporations during the Third Reich.

Please register for the event via zoom webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Af329oR_QfS8obrUUbtSrA

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