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Black Tie International:
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 20th Anniversary Tour



United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
20th Anniversary Tour

Sunday, March 3  2013, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Hilton New York

1335 Avenue of the Americas

Registration (recommended):

Cost: FREE

For 20 years, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has inspired citizens and leaders worldwide to think and act differently by confronting hatred, preventing genocide, and promoting
human dignity.

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, the Museum is mounting
 a four-city, national tour to bring the history of the Holocaust
to audiences across the country, introducing  them to the  Museum’s work, and  inspiring people to take action against indifference today. 

The Tour will make its stop in New York – March 3 at the Hilton
New York in Manhattan. 

The event will bring together well-known thought leaders, writers, and historians with Museum experts in dynamic discussions to explore why the Holocaust happened and the lessons it provides today. The Tour will also offer screenings of films and historical footage rarely shown outside of the Museum’s walls, as well as provide special workshops for families.

During the Tour, Museum curators will be on-site to review artifacts and to share helpful information about preserving collections as part of its ongoing effort to “rescue the evidence” of the Holocaust, including items owned by victims and survivors that relate to their stories, experiences, and histories.

A tribute ceremony honoring Holocaust survivors and all WWII veterans will close the day. For your convenience, the full schedule (subject to change) has been embedded below:



Schedule of Events (New York)

All programs are free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note: Schedule is subject to change.


Main Stage Programs

These programs bring together historians, journalists, thought leaders, and Museum experts to explore why the Holocaust happened and what lessons it holds for us today. Each program includes opportunities for audience participation.


The Unanswerable Question: Why? [10–11 a.m., 2:30–3:30 p.m.]
Join us for a discussion about one of history’s great questions with Museum Director Sara Bloomfield; distinguished historian Dr. Peter Hayes; Yale University historian Timothy Snyder; and Committee on Conscience Director Mike Abramowitz. Knowing that the Holocaust happened in one of the most educated, advanced societies of the world, perpetrated by a nation—albeit a struggling one—with a democratic constitution, a rule of law, and freedom of expression, will we ever be able to answer “Why?” 


Technology in the Hands of Haters: Imagine [11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.]
“Propaganda,” Adolf Hitler wrote in 1924, “is a truly terrible weapon in the hands of an expert.” During the subsequent two decades, Nazi leaders used the latest technology of their day, such as radio, and showed the world bold, new ways to communicate their platform. What might the Nazis have done with the Internet and social media at their disposal? Is there any way to measure technology’s impact on how hate spreads? Moderated by veteran journalist Marvin Kalb and featuring journalist Michael Hirschorn and Dr. Steven Luckert, curator of the Museum’s Permanent Exhibition and of State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda.


It’s Not My Problem. Why Get Involved? [1–2 p.m.]
The Museum challenges us to think about the motivating forces behind individual acts during the Holocaust. Who were the people who risked great personal danger in trying to save friends, acquaintances, and strangers? What influenced the vast majority of ordinary people to look away, do nothing, or comply with the Nazis? What can we learn from these events as individuals and as a society to act responsibly? Moderated by veteran journalist Marvin Kalb and featuring Shankar Vedantam, author of The Hidden Brain, Museum Historian William F. Meinecke, and Eyal Press, author of Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times.


Interactive Workshops

What can we learn from the actions of individuals during the Holocaust that can help us shape the future as we want it to be? These engaging, highly participatory workshops challenge you to think about personal responsibility and individual choice.


Collaboration and Complicity: Who Was Responsible for the Holocaust? [10–11 a.m., 1–2 p.m.]
Join us for a small group discussion about the types of behavior during the Holocaust that challenge us to think deeply about the moral dilemmas that arise in our own lives. This program will include a sneak peek of the Museum’s upcoming exhibition, Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity in the Holocaust.


Photo Reveals: Does a Picture Tell the Whole Story? [11 a.m.–Noon, 2–3 p.m.]
Share the dilemmas that Museum curators confront in developing exhibitions that create an experience of extraordinary power, one that carefully balances facts and emotions. Intriguing images from the Museum’s photo archives will be discussed through an entirely new lens.


Law Enforcement: What Makes a Leader? [Noon–1 p.m., 3–4 p.m.]
The Holocaust could not have happened without the complicity of police officers, lawyers, judges, doctors, university professors, teachers, and other prominent leaders in German society. Join us for a simulation of a training session the Museum offers to members of law enforcement nationwide.


Film, Video, and Theater

Original and rarely seen films from the Museum archives are screened throughout the day as experts discuss their origins, preservation, and historical significance.


Projections of Life: Jewish Life before the Holocaust [10–11 a.m.]
Rare, intimate home movies—shot by hobbyists recording family milestones, vacations, and more—provide a glimpse into the lives of individuals who were soon swept into the destruction of the Holocaust.


Time Capsule in a Milk Can: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Secret Archives of the Warsaw Ghetto [11 a.m.–Noon, 2–3 p.m.]
A group of several dozen writers, teachers, rabbis, and historians led by Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum documented life in the Warsaw ghetto in a secret operation code-named Oneg Shabbat (Hebrew for “Sabbath delight”). They wrote diaries, collected documents, commissioned papers, and preserved the posters and decrees that comprised the memory of the doomed community. The archive was placed in three milk cans and some metal boxes and buried in the cellars of several Warsaw buildings. Co-commissioned by the Smithsonian and the Museum, Marc Spiegel's emotionally gripping one-man theatrical performance explores this history. It is recommended for ages ten and above.


Inside Nazi Germany [Noon–1 p.m.]
Private footage from the Museum’s collection captures life under the Nazi regime from the inside—including footage shot by Hitler’s secret mistress, an avid filmmaker—of Hitler at leisure, Hitler greeting jubilant crowds in Vienna upon the German annexation of Austria, early Nazi party members travelling to the annual Nuremberg Reich Party Day, and the German attack on Poland that started World War II.


Liberation and Return to Life [1–2 p.m.]
View liberation and its immediate aftermath through the eyes of the American soldiers who entered Nazi concentration camps in the spring of 1945, and amateur footage that shows the rebuilding of the personal, political, and religious lives of Holocaust survivors in displaced persons camps.


Europe on the Brink of War [3–4 p.m.]
Eyewitness footage from three of the Museum’s film collections provides a close-up look at some of the most pivotal moments in Holocaust history. See what three Americans captured with their cameras as German troops entered Austria in 1938 and as Warsaw fell siege to the Nazis one year later.


Special Museum Projects

Every new artifact discovered, testimony recorded, and history uncovered is essential to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and ensuring the world continues to learn from it. These innovative projects showcase the power of evidence to transmit history to new generations.


Everyday Objects: What Makes the Ordinary Extraordinary? [Noon–1 p.m., 3–4 p.m.]
Museum curators share the behind-the-scenes stories of how some of our most unusual collections are discovered, sometimes after years of neglect or storage, and the innovative preservation techniques that are used to give these “extraordinary” ordinary objects a new life.


Remember Me? [10–11 a.m.]
What happens when there is no record of your childhood? Hear the remarkable stories of how children orphaned by the Holocaust are being identified today through the Museum’s website and learning about their past experiences.


Little-known Stories of Rescue and Refuge in Latin America [11 a.m.–Noon]
While the major events of the Holocaust took place in and around Europe between 1933 and 1945, Latin America played a role in refuge and rescue thousands of miles away. View rarely seen Museum archival collections and hear about the daring diplomatic rescue efforts led by Latin American men and women who protected thousands of victims from Nazi persecution.


World Memory Project [1–2 p.m.]
Imagine not knowing the fate of a loved one. The Museum and are building the world’s largest online resource for information about individual victims of Nazi persecution. We need your help in building this extensive database. Find out how you can participate.


Searching for Survivors: The Fate of the St. Louis Passengers [2–3 p.m.]
In 1939, the Cuban government turned away the St. Louis, a passenger liner carrying 937 people—almost all of them Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. Refused safe haven in the United States as well, the ship returned to Europe on the brink of World War II. In the spring of 1996, Museum staff launched a project to trace the fate of the 937 passengers of the St. Louis. Find out about this painstaking investigation and how we uncovered the fate of each passenger.


Testimony Film

 [10 a.m.–4 p.m.]

The Museum’s Permanent Exhibition concludes with a powerful film of Holocaust survivors’ testimony. For the first time since the Museum opened in 1993, this film is being shown outside the Museum’s walls. It will run continuously throughout the day.


Rescuing the Evidence

                [10 a.m.–4 p.m.]

With each passing year, the work of preserving Holocaust survivors’ legacies before it is too late becomes more urgent. Find out about how you can safeguard your family history for generations to come. Museum curators will be on site to review your personal artifacts and discuss opportunities to donate them to the Museum’s growing collection.


Family Research/World Memory Project

 [10 a.m.-4 p.m.]

Opportunities to conduct Holocaust-era family research in the Museum’s extensive archive and to participate in the World Memory Project.


Building Blocks of Hope

 [10 a.m.–4 p.m.]

In this hands-on art project, children and their families are invited to create messages of remembrance, peace, hope, and freedom that will be collected and digitized alongside others from across the country. Make sure your voice is included in the Museum’s national campaign to keep memory alive as a constant reminder that the future is ours to shape.


Who Will Tell Their Stories?
Honoring Holocaust Survivors and World War II Veterans

[4 p.m.–5 p.m.]

Join us as we pay tribute to the men and women in your local community who survived Nazi persecution and those who fought to liberate Europe. Opening with the dramatic presentation of the flags of the US Army liberating divisions, this special ceremony will be the highlight of the day. Bring your entire family to share in this historic occasion as we gather the wartime generation and call on the next generation to carry Holocaust memory into the future.


joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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