Holocaust survivor to speak in Ithaca on May 1

Gerd Korman will be the featured speaker at the Ithaca Area United Jewish Community’s Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture on Wednesday, May 1, at 7 pm, at Temple Beth-El, 402 N. Tioga St., Ithaca. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the presentation. The presentation is appropriate for ages 10 and above. School and Scout groups are welcome.
“On May 1, the Ithaca community will get the chance to hear a first-hand account of one of the most tragic episodes in world history, the Holocaust, from a man who survived it,” said organizers of the event. “Gerd Korman’s family was separated during the war in various camps across Europe. They were finally reunited in the United States in 1946. Gerd and his brother, Manfred, were fortunate to be saved by the Kindertransport, and spent the war years in a small English village. His father was on the legendary ship, the St. Louis, which traveled the world, unsuccessfully looking for a port willing to take in Jewish refugees. His mother was the first in the family to make it to the United States and then struggled to bring the others here, as well.”
Korman is professor emeritus of American history at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Several of his works established him as a student of the Holocaust, including the anthology “Hunter and Hunted.” He is author of the memoir “Nightmare’s Fairy Tale: A Young Refugee’s Home Fronts, 1938-1948.”
There are a number of Holocaust survivors and their descendants living in the Ithaca area. At the commemoration, several of them will be honored in a candle-lighting ceremony. The Ithaca Children’s and Youth Choir will also perform.
The event is sponsored by the Ithaca Area United Jewish Community, a non-profit organization that supports Jewish communities locally and around the world. The IAUJC website can be found at www.iaujc.org.
Funding has been provided by the Jacob and Jeannette Geldwert Holocaust Memorial Lecture Fund of IAUJC, Tompkins Trust Company, Wegmans, The William Henry Miller Inn, Area Congregations Together, Temple Beth-El and Congregation Tikkun v’Or.