Most programs are free with Museum admission or membership. Reservations are required for all programs. (Exceptions noted.)
Interactive Survivor Experience
Every Saturday | 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Ask the life-size video projection of Holocaust Survivor Pinchas Gutter any question, and natural language technology allows him to respond to you as if he were in the room!
Pinchas will not be available August 27, or September 24, October 29, November 28, and December 26.
Museum Architecture Tour: Symbolic By Design
August 27, September 11 & 24 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
See how renowned architect Stanley Tigerman infused each space in the Museum with historical and emotional symbolism.
Survivor Talk: In Our Voices
August 27, September 11 & 24| 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Take advantage of these unique opportunities to hear Holocaust Survivors tell their stories in person and answer audience questions.
August 27 | 12:30-1:30 pm
Yvonne Aronson was born in Brussels, Belgium. Beginning at age 2, she spent 2 ½ years in hiding with a non-Jewish family in Belgium. Yvonne’s father, mother, and grandmother perished in Auschwitz. Yvonne immigrated to the U.S. in March 1947.
September 11 | 12:30-1:30 pm
Frank Stern was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1928. After the events of Kristallnacht, Frank and his family left Germany in April 1939 for Switzerland, where they remained for a few months before proceeding to England. In February 1940, Frank and his family left for the United States on an armed merchant ship from Southampton, England to New York.
September 24 | 12:30-1:30 pm
Ben Goldwater was born in December 1938, in Brussels, Belgium. Following the Nazi occupation of Belgium in May 1940, Ben’s father joined the Belgian underground. The Goldwater family lived under constant fear of denunciation as Jews and fled their home twice as they escaped the local Gestapo. Ben’s parents soon decided that they needed to protect him and his sister, and through his father’s underground contacts were able to secure a hiding place with a local family. Conditions with the family were terrible, and Ben’s parents took their children back. They lived under false identities until the end of the war.
U.S. Film Premiere: Heaven in Auschwitz
Sunday, August 28 | 2:00 pm
In collaboration with the Mexican Consulate in Chicago, Benito Juarez Academy, and Instituto Cervantes in Chicago
Heaven in Auschwitz is a documentary film that tells the fascinating and incredible story of 13 Jewish Holocaust Survivors in former Czechoslovakia, during World War II. When they were children, these men and women found a legendary Jewish-German character named Fredy Hirsch, who changed their lives forever.
The film illustrates the terrible living conditions in the Terezin Ghetto and; on the other hand, the approach to culture and art behind the walls of the concentration camp. Up to this moment, everything develops as a known story, but by the end of 1943 there is an unexpected turn when these children are deported together with their families to the extermination camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau. And there, in the middle of hell, they lived on.
Documentary by Aaron and Esther Cohen and script by Sabina Berman.
Supporting Sponsor: La Raza
Free to the public.
This program is at capacity. We are no longer accepting reservations.
Film Sneak Preview
Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War
Tuesday, September 6 | 6:30-8:30 pm
Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War tells the previously untold story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, an American minister and his wife from Wellesley, Massachusetts, who left their children behind in the care of their parish and boldly committed to a life-threatening mission in Europe. Over two dangerous years they helped to save scores of imperiled Jews and refugees fleeing Nazi occupation across Europe.
Preview this Ken Burns’ film, narrated by Tom Hanks, before its release and hear from a Survivor saved by the Sharps and the Sharps’ grandson, filmmaker Artemis Joukowsky.
Book signing with Artemis Joukowsky will take place before the program (5:30-6:30 pm).
Holocaust Reparations and Restitution 1996 to the Present: An Attorney Reflects
Thursday, September 8 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm
William R. Marks, Esq., founding partner and principal of The Marks Law Firm, P.C., a New Jersey-based law office, began specializing twenty years ago in Holocaust-related compensation claims against Germany, after his historic success in the case of American Holocaust Survivor Hugo Princz.
In the past two decades, Mr. Marks’ firm, in cooperation with various attorneys in Germany, has represented over 20,000 Survivors worldwide in individual Wiedergutmachung and German Social Security/Ghetto pension claims. In fact, since 1997, he and his partners have led every legal and political fight to expand Survivor eligibility for these Ghetto pensions. He has also been involved in the landmark Nazi-era litigation against Swiss and Austrian Banks and German companies using slave labor.
A nationally-recognized expert in the field of German reparations and restitution, Mr. Marks will discuss various case studies and also reflect upon the profound impact this work has had for him professionally and personally.
Community Partners | Holocaust Community Services/CJE SeniorLIfe – HIAS Chicago
Museum Exclusive: Secrets of the Collection
Sunday, September 11 | 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Did you know that our Museum has over 27,000 items in its collection? But only a fraction of these treasures can be displayed at any given time. Meet the Museum’s Chief Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Arielle Weininger; Curatorial Assistant, Jacob Slutsky; and collection donor Linda Heimann; and view items from the Elias and Heimann families that illuminate family life in Western Germany prior to World War I. On view will be wimpels, notgeld notes, World War I postcards, and Bavarian Army photographs, as well as materials documenting the the Heimann’s history after they moved to Chicago’s South Side.
Donald & Sue Pritzker Voices of Conscience Lecture Series: Father Patrick Desbois
Sunday, September 18 | 2:00 – 3:30 PM
Event Location: Niles North Auditorium, Skokie, IL, 9800 Lawler Road, Skokie, IL.
“The assassins never imagined that 70 years later, men and women motivated by a quest for the truth would interview eyewitnesses to the killings of Jews and Roma. To all those who commit genocide we say: sooner or later, wherever the mass murder of humans has taken place, someone will return.” –Rev. Patrick Desbois
Since 2001, Father Patrick Desbois, a French-Catholic priest, has led a truly historic undertaking of identifying and locating undiscovered mass graves of Jews killed during the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. In 2004, he began to research the story of the Jews, Roma, and other victims murdered in Eastern Europe during WWII by the Nazi mobile killing units, the Einsatzgruppen. Learn about Father Desbois, featured twice on “60 Minutes” and author of Holocaust by Bullets, and hear him recount his personal journey to preserve the memory of entire communities that were murdered. Father Desbois’ work seeks to advance understanding of crimes committed during the Holocaust by gathering historical, anthropological, psychological, and legal evidence, and through interviews with witnesses before they are gone.
$20 General; $10 Members. Reservations Required
The Voices of Conscience Lecture Series is dedicated in memory of Donald and Sue Pritzker, whose legacy of human decency and integrity continues in the promotion of civil and human rights. Its purpose is to educate the public and serve as a catalyst for intergroup dialogue about the Holocaust, genocide and human rights issues.
Community Partners: Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education – Loyola University of Chicago; AJC Chicago; Aurora University; College of Arts and Science – Northeastern Illinois University; Holocaust Community Services; CJE SeniorLife; Illinois Holocaust & Genocide Commission; L ’Chaim Center; Niles North High School; Office of Catholic Schools – Archdiocese of Chicago; Office of Human Dignity – Archdiocese of Joliet; Russian Jewish Division of the Jewish United Fund; Sheil Catholic Center – Northwestern University
Opening Event: Women Hold Up Half the Sky
September 25, 2016 | 2:00 – 3:30 pm
This special opening program will feature Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan who will reflect on the challenges women face in Illinois and how those challenges can be overcome.
Community Partners: Women’s Center, Northwestern University; Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.- Delta Chi Omega chapter; Evanston Community Foundation; EverThrive Illinois; Healing Hands of Joy; Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago; Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago; National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Chicago North Shore Section; North Shore (IL) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated; SHALVA
Co-Presented with YWCA Northshore/Evanston
Presenting Sponsor: The Allstate Foundation
Supporting Sponsors; Women’s Leadership Committee of Illinois Holocaust Museum; Lance & Brenda Feis
Teen Program: Be-YOU-tiful Strength
October 9, 2016 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Presented in Partnership with GirlForward
Girls around the world face social, cultural, and societal challenges that include issues of health, violence, and inequity. Teen girls are invited to explore how together they can use their voices to lead, think, inspire, and create change. Mothers and guardians are also invited to attend with their daughters.
Community Partners: U.S. Fund for UNICEF; Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.- Delta Chi Omega chapter; Evanston Community Foundation; EverThrive Illinois; Healing Hands of Joy; Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago; Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago; National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Chicago North Shore Section; North Shore (IL) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated; SHALVA
Babiy Yar Commemoration
Sunday, October 9 |2:00 – 5:00 pm
On the 75th Anniversary of the Babiy Yar Massacre, we commemorate the Holocaust in the former Soviet Union.
This program is co-sponsored in conjunction with ILHMEC partners: CJE SeniorLife Holocaust Community Services, JUF Russian Jewish Division, Reklama Media Group, and Chicago Connect.
Make a Difference! The Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition Relaunch Celebration
Sunday, October 16 | 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Join us for a day of family fun to explore Make A Difference! The Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition in its new home! Meet Olympic Gold Medalist Lenny Krayzelburg, take part in a performance by Imagination Theater, and enjoy hands-on activities and snacks.
Free with Museum admission. Reservations required.
Gallery Opening and Film Screening: Lost Stories, Found Images: Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam
Sunday, October 30 | 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Built upon a rare archival treasure, Lost Stories, Found Images features individual and family portraits of Jews in the Netherlands taken by German expatriate photographer Annemie Wolff in 1943.
During Hitler’s rise in Germany, thousands of German Jews, including Anne Frank and her family, fled to the Netherlands, joining the community of nearly 120,000 Dutch Jews. After the German invasion of the seaside country in 1940, Jews faced the systematic oppression that had slowly gripped Germany for years. Over 100,000 Jews were deported from the Netherlands to Auschwitz, Sobibor, and other death camps during the years of Nazi rule.
Amidst the program of dehumanization, life had to continue. Jews, wearing their legally imposed yellow stars, continued to take part in what activities were still available to them, including getting their portraits taken in Wolff’s studio. Surviving those years, Wolff destroyed much of her work.
Curator Simon B. Kool found the rolls of film containing over four hundred portraits in 2002, and the resulting exhibition captures the daily life of everyday people under Nazi oppression. For those who were killed, these images are the last traces of many victims of the Holocaust. The exhibit is part of a staggering project to identify the portrait subjects and, if possible, find any surviving relatives.
The opening will feature a screening of Last Portraits (Selfmade Films, Netherlands 2015), a Dutch film directed by Rudi Boon about Annemie Wolff and several of the stories behind the photos featured in the exhibit.
Following the screening, exhibition organizer Jaqueline Shelton, whose father’s portrait is among those displayed, will speak.
Free with museum admission. Reservations required.
In Dutch with English subtitles, 58 minutes.
Pfeffer Family Forum
November 2, 2016 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Explore the changing roles and unique challenges women faced during the Holocaust.
Dr. Rochelle Saidel, author, and Executive Director of Remember the Women Institute, and Research Fellow at the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem.
Community Partner: North Shore Hadassah, Women’s Center, Northwestern University; Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.- Delta Chi Omega chapter; Evanston Community Foundation; EverThrive Illinois; Healing Hands of Joy; Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago; Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago; National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Chicago North Shore Section; North Shore (IL) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated; SHALVA
FILM AND DISCUSSION: No Mas Bebes
November 6, 2016 | 2:00 – 4:00 pm
No Mas Bebes tells the shocking story of a landmark event in women’s health, when a small group of Mexican immigrant women sued county doctors, the state, and the U.S. government after they were forcibly sterilized while giving birth at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the late 1960s and early 1970s. This award-winning film explores women’s rights’ to oversee their maternal health and provides inspirational lessons for today.
Dr. Natalie Lira, University of Illinois’s Latino/Latina Studies Program.
Community Partners: Evanston Department of Health; Lutheran General Hospital, Women’s Center, Northwestern University; Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.- Delta Chi Omega chapter; Evanston Community Foundation; EverThrive Illinois; Healing Hands of Joy; Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago; Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago; National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Chicago North Shore Section; North Shore (IL) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated; SHALVA
In Conversation With…Hal Bergen, Nuremberg Trial Eyewitness
Sunday, November 13 | 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Chicago Tribune reporter Kathy Bergen will interview her father, retired public relations executive Hal Bergen, as he relates his experiences in the courtroom at Nuremberg. As a 19-year-old Army sound technician, Bergen was assigned to the Nuremberg trials, where part of his job was to ask Nazi defendants such as Rudolf Hess and Hermann Goering if their audio headsets were working. Bergen’s front row seat to history included interacting with legendary newsman Walter Cronkite, and observing ordinary Germans attempt to return to normal life in the immediate post-war period.
Programs partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency