Diversity Forum: Holocaust commemoration

On Tuesday, April 19, Dunwoody College of Technology hosted its 78th Diversity Forum, commemorating the Holocaust. Around 30 students, faculty and staff gathered in the College’s Holden Center to hear from artist, writer and genealogist Susan Weinberg and Holocaust survivor Dora Zaidenweber.

Weinberg spoke about her experience researching her family history and learning about family members who survived the Holocaust. Then, Weinberg presented a few paintings and spoke about the meaning behind them.

An instant connection

Dora Zaidenweber and Susan Weinberg talk about their experiences at Diversity Forum: Holocaust commemoration.

From left to right: Dora Zaidenweber and Susan Weinberg

Weinberg and Zaidenweber claim they met through beshert – or fate – when Weinberg discovered Zaidenweber during her research in Poland.

They became instant friends when Zaidenweber showed Weinberg her old photographs from before the Holocaust. Zaidenweber’s relatives carried these photographs in their shoes throughout the Holocaust and later, they came into Zaidenweber’s possession.

These photographs became part of an art exhibit Weinberg was working on at the time. Since then, the two have been great friends since.

Sky Tinged Red

Dora Zaidenweber speaks about her experience in the Holocaust.

Dora Zaidenweber speaks about her experience in the Holocaust.

During the presentation, Zaidenweber shared her experiences during her time in the Radom ghetto, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen. She was imprisoned for six years before being liberated from the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp on April 15, 1945, at the age of 21. She was one of only four survivors in her entire family, including her father.

After being separated from her father on the evening of April 28, 1942, she was sure he did not survive. Years later, when Zaidenweber was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the two were reunited. Her father had been selected to work as an intake scribe at the Camp.

Shortly after his imprisonment, Zaidenweber’s father wrote a chronicle of his two and half years as a prisoner in Birkenau entitled Sky Tinged Red. Decades later, Zaidenweber translated his work from Yiddish to English and it was published 2013.

Diversity at Dunwoody

Dunwoody holds a Diversity Forum each month centered on a new cultural topic. All Forums are open to community members.

Don’t miss the next Diversity Forum celebrating Asian American heritage from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., May 5, in the College’s McNamara Center. This event will feature Nirmala Rajasekar, a world-renowned musician known for her collaboration projects exploring South Indian Classical with other musical traditions including Western, Classical and Jazz.

Following the performance, Japan America Society of Minnesota program manager Rio Saito and cultural anthropologist David Zandor will hold a discussion on Asian American Heritage.

Refreshments will be provided. For more information or to RSVP, contact Dr. Leo Parvis at lparvis@dunwoody.edu.