Faith In Brooklyn for Feb. 8
Holocaust Remembrance Program Emphasizes Need to Fight Injustice
The observance of Kristallnacht commemorations, or International Holocaust Remembrance Day, may take place on just a couple of calendar dates, but the urgent lessons learned on these occasions reach into everyday life.
That is the message that Dr. Eugene Marlow voiced during a presentation of his video, “Zikkaron/Kristallnacht (Remembrance of Kristallnacht)” on Jan. 27 during International Remembrance Day, as observed at Congregation Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights.
Marlow — an educator, composer, bandleader and videographer — spoke about the ultimate survival of the maternal side of his family as a victory over the Nazis’ Final Solution, as well as their success in the U.S. and the importance of speaking out against injustice even when one is not personally or directly affected.
While Kristallnacht has its own commemoration on Nov. 9, International Holocaust Remembrance Day was set on Jan. 27 to mark the liberation by Soviet troops of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. The liberation took place 71 years ago, on Jan. 27, 1945.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day memorializes the genocide victims — an estimated 6 million Jews, 1 million Roma people, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people and 9,000 homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
The United Nations General Assembly designated this observance on Nov. 1, 2005, during the 42nd plenary session. The resolution came after a special session was held earlier that year on Jan. 24, during which the UN General Assembly marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust.
Dr. James Goldman, the curator of Kristallnacht anniversary programs at New York City College of Technology for 27 years, said this year marked the 10th anniversary of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
He wrote, “Kristallnacht, though 77 years ago, still haunts our historical memory and its anniversary is not limited to November observances. Its legacy is still seen, sadly, in the current anti-Semitism reappearing around the world, especially in Europe, and too many other countries.”
Marlow presented his video as an introduction to a talk about his family’s story, during and especially after the Kristallnacht tragedy. The central concept of the story is that, despite the Nazis’ intentions, his maternal family who escaped to England grew and prospered.
“What is to be learned from this?” Marlow asked in his concluding remarks. “What is to be dealt with is the need for constant vigilance from extremist views, for instances of extreme economic imbalance as we now have in the world today, for simmering, under-the-surface individual violence about to explode, for instances of groups and individuals who tend to want isolate themselves from mainstream society, for individuals who are too quiet.”
Marlow continued, “While it is comforting in the short term to retreat to our homes and close our eyes and ears to what is happening around us, this remedy will only work for a short while and will ultimately come back to haunt us. This is true on a global level, a regional level, a local level and a personal level.”
Marlow closed with a saying from prominent 20th-century Protestant Pastor Martin Niemöller, who opposed the Nazi regime. The first stanza begins, “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist.”
Marlow emphasized the importance of standing up for other persons facing oppression, even if one is not personally affected and even if doing so means personal sacrifice.
* * *
Exhibit Reveals Personal Stories of Refugees
As was the case with many in Eugene Marlow’s family (see top story), some victims do succeed in escaping from totalitarian regimes, resettling as refugees and starting new lives in a different nation.
Refugees are the theme of an exhibit opening later this month as part of the Forum @ St. Ann’s. The Forum is a regular series at the Church of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity.
The Forum’s first commissioned work, which opens on Feb. 10, is photographer Hidemi Tagaki’s “Facing America: Portraits of Refugees Resettling in the U.S.” The exhibition will be on view in the sanctuary through March 25.
Unprecedented numbers of refugees have risked their lives in recent years to escape political instability and violence in their homelands. Images of people in flight, including some of the millions displaced by the crisis in Syria, are now embedded in the global consciousness. One hears all kinds of heated exchanges in the news, on social media and within political arenas concerning how many, which ones and whether refugees should be welcomed at all. Meanwhile, the refugees are rarely seen as individuals with personal stories of struggle and survival.
“Facing America” attempts to fill the gap between what people know and what they see of refugees in the media. The Forum selected Takagi to photograph refugees from around the globe who have been resettled in New Haven, Connecticut, by Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, a local affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries and the Immigration and Refugee Program of Church World Service.
Takagi’s large-scale color works on view humanize the refugee experience, while celebrating the spirit of those who have journeyed far and found a new home in the U.S. These affecting portraits also reflect Takagi’s strong engagement with her subjects and her success in working through language and cultural barriers to present connections between the subjects and the viewers.
Takagi is an accomplished artist who was born in Kyoto, Japan, and is now living in Brooklyn. She has exhibited in the U.S., London, Madrid, Tel Aviv and Paris. She has participated in several programs, including an Engaging Artist residency at More Art (2015) and a BRIC New Media Art Fellowship (2016). Her work has been reviewed in Time Out, The New York Times and the Village Voice. Her “Blender” project was selected for “Times Square Public Arts 2011” and her “Hello, it’s me” received a seed grant from More Art.
The Forum @ St. Ann’s seeks to engage the community in conversation about the arts, ideas and civic life.
“Facing America” will be on display for public viewing Tuesdays through Thursdays, noon to 3 p.m.; on Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; or by arrangement by contacting [email protected] or 819-875-6960.
In addition to the exhibition, the Forum is also offering the public an opportunity to meet Takagi at a reception on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 4 to 6 p.m.
* * *
‘Sandwich Sundays,’ in Third Year, Reaches 10,000 Neighbors in Need
St. Ann’s “Sandwich Sundays” program soon turns 3 years old, just after the 10,000th sandwich for hungry neighbors has been made.
The entire congregation is invited to celebrate reaching these milestones at the biggest “Sandwich Sundays” operation yet. This coming Sunday, Feb. 7, following the 9:30 a.m. early church service, all are encouraged to join an assembly line of sandwich makers in the Parish Hall.
Loaves of bread, sandwich meats and sliced cheese are needed. Lettuce donations are also welcome, although it is requested not to include tomatoes.
Coffee and light refreshments will be available. Mardi Gras mask-making for children and adults will take place during the festivities.
This outreach ministry will continue every Sunday.
* * *
Mass Features New Orleans R & B Music for ‘Mardi Gras Sunday’
St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church welcomes “Nick Balaban and the Krewe de Saints,” who will perform New Orleans R & B at the 11:15 am service for the Last Sunday of Epiphany, this weekend, on Feb. 7. In the Church year, the Last Sunday of Epiphany is often also called “Mardi Gras Sunday,” for a three-day period of revelry before the penitential season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
Balaban is a composer and actor known for his work on the Nickelodeon children’s TV program Blue’s Clues, supported musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina by hosting concert fundraisers with his family in their Brooklyn home.
* * *
Churches Announce Ash Wednesday Services
Churches in Brownstone Brooklyn and the business, legal and medical communities are offering services for Ash Wednesday, which starts the season of Lent, this year on Feb. 10.
• St. Charles Borromeo Church (19 Sidney Place, between Joralemon Street and Aitken Place) — 7:30 a.m. Mass and distribution of ashes; 12:10 p.m. Mass and distribution of ashes; 4 p.m. prayer service with distribution of ashes; 5:30 p.m. Mass and distribution of ashes; 7 p.m. Mass and distribution of ashes; daily Mass during Lent will held at 7:30 a.m. and 12:10 p.m.
• St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church (Clinton and Montague streets, Brooklyn Heights) — Imposition of Ashes from 8 to 10 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m.; Holy Eucharist will be celebrated with the Imposition of Ashes at 7 p.m.
• Grace Church-Brooklyn Heights (254 Hicks St., between Grace Court and Joralemon Street) — Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes (quiet, half hour service) at 7:30 a.m.; Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes (40-minute service with organ music and brief reflection) at noon; Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes (one-hour service with guest cellist, hymns and homily) at 7:30 p.m.
• All Saints Episcopal Church (Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street, across from New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope) — Holy Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes, spoken/low Mass at noon.; Eucharist with music at 7:30 p.m.
Leave a Comment
Leave a Comment