How could 212,000 of the 220,000 Jews in Lithuania have been slaughtered during the Holocaust when only 1,000 German troops and SS were stationed in the country?
Why does Latvia honor as “the pride of the Latvian people” men who swore allegiance to Hitler, fought in the Latvian SS and participated in the killing of three-quarters of the Jews in their country?
What motivated the Polish government to criminalize the work of historians revealing that ordinary Polish citizens raped, decapitated and burned Jews alive?
The answers are obvious: Those countries had large numbers of Nazi collaborators all too willing to turn in, round up and even murder their Jewish neighbors — and then steal their possessions and move into their homes.
It’s a history that Lithuania, Latvia and Poland — as well as numerous post-Communist countries where Jewish populations were exterminated — have been eager to ignore, deny or dismiss out of hand, one they are not passing on to their children, one both the government and the people have been intent on suppressing.
Exposing that truth to force national reckonings is at the heart of the work of Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi hunter, and bestselling author Naomi Ragen’s new novel, The Enemy Beside Me.
At a moment when Holocaust distortion is rampant across all of Eastern Europe, The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Cultural Center will also screen brief clips from the documentary J’Accuse, which focuses on the threat to Holocaust memory, research and commemoration. Following the screening, there will be a conversation between Dr. Zuroff and Naomi Ragen, both authors of remarkable new books exposing these little-known facts.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, a historian leading the efforts against Holocaust distortion, is the chief Nazi hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Center’s Director for Eastern European Affairs and its Israel Office in Jerusalem.
American-born novelist, playwright and journalist living in Israel, Naomi Ragen is the author of the play Women’s Minyan, currently being performed at Israel’s National Theatre, and thirteen novels, including a number of international bestsellers. Her novel Jephte’s Daughter was listed among the 100 Essential Books for Jewish Readers. She is a feminist Orthodox Jew and women’s rights activist.
Moderated by Melvin Jules Bukiet, editor of the “Second Generation” Holocaust anthology Nothing Makes You Free.
Thursday, November 29, 2023 | 6:30 PM Eastern