Alabama Holocaust Commission

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The Alabama Holocaust Commission (AHC) was established by the Alabama Legislature in order to foster understanding, through education and awareness, of the basic principles of human rights and equal protection under the law.

It is with great sadness to learn that Al Benn has passed. Al served for many years on the Alabama Holocaust Commission ...
12/10/2023

It is with great sadness to learn that Al Benn has passed. Al served for many years on the Alabama Holocaust Commission and was a fixture at the state Commemoration. He will be greatly missed.

In more than 50 years in journalism, Benn covered three major civil rights trials and secured a small footnote in the history of The Beatles.

Congratulations to Commissioner Richard Schellhammer on his retirement from the The University of West Alabama!
12/05/2023

Congratulations to Commissioner Richard Schellhammer on his retirement from the The University of West Alabama!

Retiring Schellhammer awarded title of Professor Emeritus at UWA Dr. Richard Schellhammer is chair of the Department of History and Social Sciences and interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts. After career of serious research and teaching, historian looking forward to peaceful pursuits  Story: ...

On Tuesday, April 18, Alabama commemorated Yom HaShoah in Montgomery. Governor Kay Ivey presented a proclamation and the...
21/04/2023

On Tuesday, April 18, Alabama commemorated Yom HaShoah in Montgomery. Governor Kay Ivey presented a proclamation and the Alabama Legislature passed a Resolution calling on all Alabamians to remember the victims of the Holocaust. Rabbi Steve Silberman of Ahavas Chesed in Mobile gave a powerful keynote, and the choir from Saint James School performed two moving pieces. This is the second year in which students from Saint James have participated in the Commemoration.
Representative Danny Garrett David Faulkner Representative Phillip Ensler

27/10/2022

: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting, an original documentary from Emmy-winning director Trish Adlesic and executive producers Michael Keaton, Billy Porter, and Mark Cuban, and featuring an original song by Idina Menzel, premieres tonight at 9:00 P.M. on .

08/09/2022

Ruth Scheuer Siegler and Ilse Scheuer Nathan, who said they helped each other survive N**i camp, are remembered for remaining inseparable throughout their lives

It is with great sadness that we share the news of Ruth's passing. She will be greatly missed.
05/09/2022

It is with great sadness that we share the news of Ruth's passing. She will be greatly missed.

Ruth Scheuer Siegler, one of a precious few Holocaust survivors in Alabama, died early Saturday morning at the age of 95.

https://www.facebook.com/216648031859015/posts/1963306383859829/
25/08/2022

https://www.facebook.com/216648031859015/posts/1963306383859829/

It is with profound sadness that we share that our dear and beloved survivor and friend, Ilse Scheuer Nathan, passed away on Tuesday of this week at the age of 98.

Ilse was one of the first Holocaust survivors in Birmingham to share her story of survival with students. After losing both of her parents as well as her older brother during the Holocaust, she and her devoted sister, Ruth Scheuer Siegler, remained inseparable throughout the war. Ilse-Ruth, as they were often known among their camp acquaintances, kept each other alive through five different concentration camps and their difficult post-liberation return to life.

Both Ilse and Ruth married Holocaust survivors, and after settling in Birmingham, they lived within walking distance of each other, continuing to support each other.

Ilse was also one of the first survivors to share her story with Becky Seitel and Mitzi J. Levin as they began to create what became their Darkness into Life exhibit. In 2011, Ilse said, "I can forgive, but I can never forget. It happened, and people need to always remember that."

The AHEC is honored to continue to tell Ilse’s story and the stories of all of the survivors who made their home in Alabama.

Read more about Ilse's life at ahecinfo.org/survivors/Nathan-ilse-scheuer/

We send our deepest condolences to Ilse's family and to the many who knew and loved her.

May her memory be for a blessing.

06/07/2022

✡️SAVE THE DATE!!✡️

L'Chaim 2022 will be held Sunday, September 18th at 3pm at . More details coming soon!

The STJ Choir performed beautifully. We are so happy that they could be a part of our program!
09/05/2022

The STJ Choir performed beautifully. We are so happy that they could be a part of our program!

The Saint James School choir, under the leadership of Dr. Sallye York, was invited to perform at the Annual Gathering of Remembrance. This event was held at the Alabama Department of Archives and History and was sponsored by the Alabama Holocaust Commission. Students performed a song written by Inge Auerbacher, a Holocaust survivor who was the keynote speaker at the service.

29/04/2022

"The Survivor" director Barry Levinson, star Ben Foster are expected to attend the Bidens' first official film screening in the White House theater.

07/03/2022
08/02/2022

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"Vast numbers of Americans know in their guts what is wrong; some do fight; too many comfortably embrace the status quo ...
28/01/2022

"Vast numbers of Americans know in their guts what is wrong; some do fight; too many comfortably embrace the status quo and look away."

Vast numbers of Americans know in their guts what is wrong, but too many comfortably embrace the status quo and look away.

27/01/2022

The school board said its objection to Art Spiegelman's graphic novel was not over the subject material, but the decision sparked condemnation among those who said an atrocity like the Holocaust should not be sanitized.

22/01/2022

The resolution is only the second that Israel brought forwards and passed since its establishment. 

06/01/2022

The resolution will be brought to the GA on Jan. 20, 80 years after N**i officials gathered in Wannsee to discuss the Final Solution.

"Coffman is beginning to understand that history is an edit war. Truth, factual and moral, hangs in the balance."
24/12/2021

"Coffman is beginning to understand that history is an edit war. Truth, factual and moral, hangs in the balance."

Ksenia Coffman’s fellow editors have called her a vandal and a McCarthyist. She just wants them to stop glorifying fascists—and start citing better sources.

22/12/2021

Grandchildren of Holocaust survivors are offering to help teach lessons on the Holocaust at D.C. public schools after outrage erupted over a staff member at Watkins Elementary School allegedly having children reenact atrocities from the Holocaust.

22/12/2021

A school staffer member made students pretend to kill each other in mass graves during library class.

"Orbán’s government has shown a keen interest in nurturing historical narratives that serve its populist brand of patrio...
26/11/2021

"Orbán’s government has shown a keen interest in nurturing historical narratives that serve its populist brand of patriotism. This goal is scarcely served by exploring past complicity in genocide and institutionalized antisemitism that historians say is integral to the story of the Holocaust here."

Though completed in 2015, the grandiose building with its towering Star of David remains empty amid an ongoing stalemate between two arms of the Jewish community and the government

Congratulations to one of our Commissioners, Dr. Chris Shaffer, on the publication of his book.
16/11/2021

Congratulations to one of our Commissioners, Dr. Chris Shaffer, on the publication of his book.

Dr. Chris Shaffer, dean of library services at Troy University, has published a new book documenting his time teaching and traveling in post-communist Europe during the 1990s.

11/11/2021

It was the hope that these kinds of books reach people incarcerated all over the state.

11/11/2021

I am the grandson of Holocaust survivors. Heroic sacrifice made my life possible. We must never forget.

31/10/2021

Despite the closure of the BHEC's physical space, we have continued to fulfill our mission and have even reached new audiences in the digital space. We invite you to explore and share our online programming and content.

31/10/2021

From the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center:

October 30 , 2021

It is with profound sadness that we share that our dear and beloved survivor and friend, Max Herzel, passed away yesterday.

Max was dedicated to Holocaust education, serving as one of the founding board members of the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center and continuing that service until a few years ago. He also served on the Alabama Holocaust Commission since its inception in 1999.

As a young boy, Max fled from Belgium to France when the Germans invaded and the world suddenly became hostile to his family. After the family was interned as refugees, his brother went to fight for the French resistance and his father was caught by the Germans. Young Max was rescued and hidden by the OSE (Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants / a children's aid society) in various children's homes under an assumed name until he was ultimately placed on a farm until the end of the war. He was ultimately reunited with his mother and brother, but his father perished in Buchenwald.

Over the years, Max shared his story of survival with groups all over the state, wanting to make a difference in any way that he could. The BHEC is honored to continue to tell Max’s story and the stories of all of the survivors who made their home in Alabama.

We send our deepest condolences to his family and to the many who knew and loved Max.

May his memory be for a blessing.

31/10/2021

American Jewish Committee’s annual Antisemitism in America report includes the largest-ever surveys of American Jews and the U.S. general public on antisemitism in America. The report shows deep anxiety among American Jews and divergent views among the general public about the severity of antisemi...

28/10/2021

On the 80th anniversary of the Babi Yar massacre, hearing rare stories of survival from the Holocaust-era Soviet territories

Unbelievable.
14/10/2021

Unbelievable.

A top administrator with the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas, warned teachers about having one-sided books about the Holocaust in their classrooms.

29/09/2021

The country is still grappling with how to remember one of the worst massacres of World War Two.

29/09/2021

The Holocaust and World War II shaped the postwar world order. The enduring significance of this history makes a transatlantic commitment to remembrance and education vital for the future.

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Birmingham, AL

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