Playwright and scholar to present discussion, play about Holocaust survivors

Local Holocaust survivors will be featured in a discussion led by Holocaust scholar Henry Greenspan.  “Holocaust Survivors Rebuilding Their Lives in the United States” will be presented at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, at the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, 12 Millstone Campus Drive.

Greenspan, a psychologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, will introduce the program by discussing what Holocaust survivors faced psychologically, socially and practically as they tried to establish themselves in the postwar United States. He will moderate a discussion with Sara Moses and Rudy Oppenheim, who will recount how they and their families rebuilt their lives in St. Louis after escaping from Germany and surviving World War II. Moses and Oppenheim have spoken to thousands of students and visitors at the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, as well as other locations locally and nationally.

Greenspan has been writing and teaching about the Holocaust and working with Holocaust survivors for almost three decades. He is the author of “On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Recounting and Life History,” and co-wrote “Reflections: Auschwitz, Memory and Life Recreated.”  

Hosted by the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center and the Washington University Center for the Humanities, the program is free and open to the public. It is scheduled in conjunction with the Greater St. Louis Humanities Festival, which is sponsored by the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission.

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At 7 p.m. Thursday, April 3, Greenspan will present his play “Remnants” at the Village House Performance Room on the Washington University Danforth Campus. The 40-minute play is based on 20 years of the playwright’s conversations with Holocaust survivors. Each segment re-creates moments in which survivors reflect not only on the destruction, but also on their lives in the aftermath. The performance will be followed by a discussion and question-and-answer period.

“Remnants” was first produced for radio in 1992 and distributed to NPR stations across the United States. It has been presented on more than 200 stages in the United States and abroad.

For more information about the panel discussion or the performance, contact the Center for the Humanities at 314-935-5576 or [email protected] Light refreshments will follow the panel discussion.