Events and Activities



Holocaust Survivor and Scholar Dr. William Samelson to Speak at Yom Ha Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Event on Sunday May 1

On Sunday, May 1, 2011, the Jewish Federation of Huntsville and North Alabama will sponsor Yom Ha Shoah - the day for Holocaust remembrance. The event will be held at Temple B'nai Shalom (Clinton and Lincoln Streets), beginning at 3:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

The purpose of Yom Ha Shoah is to assure that the world never forgets the Holocaust. Like all memory of World War II, there are fewer and fewer actual witnesses to actual events of the era. In the case of the Holocaust there are those voices who continue to deny that six million persons were its victims.

The JFHNA event will feature Holocaust survivor and scholar Dr. William Samelson. Dr. Samelson was born in Poland. He lived there until the age of 11 when he was interned in various Nazi labor and concentration camps throughout Poland and Germany. He became a member of the partisans at the age of thirteen. Captured by the Nazis, he was taken to Buchenwald Concentration Camp where he spent three and a half years. He was liberated by the US Army in 1945, and emigrated to the US in 1948.

Dr Samelson holds a PhD from the University of Texas, Austin, and has taught at Kent State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana, and the University of Texas in Austin. He is Visiting Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Texas in San Antonio and Trinity University. Dr Samelson has written extensively about the Holocaust and lectured widely on a variety of topics relating to it. Among his many publications are: “All Lie in Wait”, “One Bridge to Life”, “Warning and Hope” and a series of six volumes of English as a Second Language texts, which have undergone numerous editions.

In addition to Dr. Samelson's talk, six candles will be lit in a ceremony similar to one followed at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial museum in Israel. Music composed by Modecai Gebirtig will be performed by Gonca Huff and Frank Contreras. Some of the music will be sung in Yiddish, the language spoken during the era.

A reception will follow the program and Dr. Samelson will be available for further discussion.

With questions, please contact Ed Gollop at 256 881 2477.