Presentations by Auschwitz Survivor Michael Bornstein

Join the Iowa Jewish Historical Society for two exciting and memorable free events featuring Auschwitz Survivor Michael Bornstein and his daughter Debbie Bornstein Holinstat. FREE ADMISSION. First come, first seated. Book signings will follow both events.   Download Flyer
Sunday, September 15 – 2 p.m. Staplin Performing Arts Center, Valley High School
(3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines, IA 50266)

Monday, September 16 – 7 p.m. – Ames Middle School (3915 Mortenson Road, Ames, IA 50014)

Michael Bornstein is one of the youngest survivors of the Auschwitz death camp. At the age of four, he managed to stay hidden and evade murder in the most notorious death camp in world history. Photos of Michael being liberated by Soviet soldiers at the camp have been seen on museum walls, book covers, and film clips around the world but he waited more than seventy years to step forward and share his story.

Michael wrote the New York Times bestseller Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz with his daughter Debbie, who is a broadcast news journalist and writer. Along the way, he and his family were stunned to uncover shocking new details about his survival that included a bribery scheme, untold acts of kindness by a German leader, and one perfectly-timed brush with illness.

Come hear Michael and Debbie describe how Michael was hidden in Auschwitz for seven months before being carried out of the death camp in his grandmother’s arms. Learn how a father’s courageous wit, his mother’s love, and a perfectly-timed illness saved his life. Hear, too, how other members of his family from Zarki, Poland escaped death time and time again.

Michael earned his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics and Analytical Chemistry from the University of Iowa and working for more than four decades as a scientist and researcher helping to develop life-saving antibiotics, growth hormone and cancer treatments.

Platinum Sponsor: Lou and Marilyn Hurwitz
Silver Sponsors: Don and Margo Blumenthal Marty and Shelley Brody Larry and Suzanne Engman; Stan and Mary Seidler Randi and John Stern Tim and Toni Urban; Alan Zuckert
Benefactors: Bud and Dorothy Hockenberg
Ames Co-Sponsors: Ames Jewish Congregation Ames Historical Society Hillel at ISU Chabad of Ames

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Dealing with the Past in the Present: World War II and the Holocaust in Sweden

Lecture series on WWII and the Holocaust in Sweden will be held at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois on Saturday, October 26 with a pre-screening of documentary film Harbor of Hope on Thursday, Oct. 24.

Thursday, October 24 at Olin Auditorium: 4:00 PM Screening of documentary film Harbor of Hope

Saturday, October 26, 2019 at Olin Auditorium: Lecture series:

Session 1: 10:00 AM –12:15 PM
Lecture 1. Sweden and World War II—An Overview by Lars M. Andersson, Uppsala University
Lecture 2. Sweden and the Question of Jewish Refugees by Karin Kvist Geverts, National Library of Sweden
Lecture 3. Remembering WWII and the Holocaust today by Ulf Zander, Lund University

Session 2: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Presentation by Göran Rosenberg, well-known author/journalist/public intellectual focusing on his award winning book Ett kort uppehåll på vägen från Auschwitz (A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz). The book deals with his family’s story after his parents came from the camps to Sweden after the war. For an interview in English with Rosenberg about his book, see

Session 3: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Panel Discussion: Andersson, Kvist Geverts, Zander, Rosenberg, and a representative of the Swedish Embassy in Washington D.C. Topics: 1. Can/Should historians be moral judges of the past?  2. The contemporary situation in Sweden and Europe with regard to racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

Concluding Words: 4:30 PM – Dr. Thomas Tredway, President Emeritus, Augustana College

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Author Noah Lederman

Noah Lederman, author of A World Erased: A Grandson’s Search for his Family’s Holocaust Secrets, will present at Bettendorf Public Library (2950 Learning Campus Dr, Bettendorf, IA) on Sep. 30 (7 PM) and Moline Public Library (3210 41st Street, Moline, IL) on Oct. 1 (6:30 PM). For details regarding Moline Public Library speaking engagement: Download Flyer

There will be a book sale and author signing during both speaking engagements.
Author website  Lederman Book Flyer

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The Gordon Ney Jewish Film Series

The Interpreter”
Sunday, September 15, 2019, 4:00PM, Figge Art Museum Auditorium (225 W. 2nd Street, Davenport, IA) – 113 minutes – German, Slovak, Russian with English subtitles – Drama– 2018 

80-year-old Ali Ungar comes across a book by a former SS officer describing his wartime activities in Slovakia. He realizes his parents were executed by him. He sets out to take revenge but finds instead his 70-year-old son, Georg, a retired teacher. Georg, who had avoided his father all his life, decides to find out more about him and offers Ali to be his interpreter. The two old men, in everything opposite, embark on a bittersweet journey to meet surviving witnesses of the wartime tragedy. They discover a country eager to forget its past. They realize their memories are fragments mixed with their imagination and interpretation. They connect in silence and manage to discover their own identity.

Sunday, September 22, 2019, 4:00PM, Figge Art Museum Auditorium (225 W. 2nd Street, Davenport, IA ) –  82 minutes –  English and Hebrew with English Subtitles – Documentary – 2018

From Schubert to Strauss, Bach to Brahms, Mozart to…Billy Joel, Itzhak Perlman’s violin playing transcends mere performance to evoke the celebrations and struggles of real life; “praying with the violin,” says renowned Tel Aviv violinmaker Amnon Weinstein. Alison Chernick’s enchanting documentary looks beyond the sublime musician to see the polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel, and the young man who struggled to be taken seriously as a music student when schools saw only his disability. Itzhak himself is funny, irreverent and self-deprecating, and here his life story unspools in conversations with masterful musicians, family and friends, and most endearingly his devoted wife of 50 years, Toby. Itzhak and Toby’s lives are dedicated to their large, loving, Jewish family in NYC and their continual support of young musicians.

“Fig Tree”
Sunday, October 6, 2019, 4:00 PM, Figge Art Museum Auditorium (225 W. 2nd Street, Davenport, IA) – 93 minutes –  Amharic and Hebrew with English Subtitles- Drama – 2018  

Mina is 16 years old. The Ethiopian Civil War has been underway her entire life. She lives with her brother and grandmother in a humble house with newsprint for wallpaper. The family is Jewish and is planning to flee Ethiopia for Israel, where Mina’s mother awaits their reunion. But this plan leaves out the person Mina loves most: Eli, her Christian boyfriend, who lives in the woods so as to evade being drafted into Mengistu Haile Mariam’s army. Mina hatches a scheme to save Eli, but everyone and everything seems set against her.

Sunday, October 20,2019, 4:00 PM, Figge Art Museum Auditorium  (225 W. 2nd Street, Davenport, IA) – 95 minutes -Spanish with English Subtitles – Drama- 2019

Leona” is an intimate, insightful, and moving film that tells the story of a young Jewish woman from Mexico City who finds herself torn between her family and her forbidden love. Ripe with all the drama and interpersonal conflicts of a Jane Austen novel, watching her negotiate the labyrinth of familial pressure, religious precedent, and her own burgeoning sentiment is both painful and beautiful — there are no easy choices to be made and the viewer travels back and forth with her as she struggles with her heart to take the best path.

Tickets available at the door. Adults $7; Seniors (60+) and Military $6; Students Free. For info call (309) 793-1300.

The Gordon Ney Jewish Film Series is part of the Jewish Cultural Series 2018, and is sponsored by: Jewel Oscos, Rauch Family Foundation II, Inc., Wheelan-Pressley Funeral Homes, The Joyce and Tony Singh Family Foundation, Quad City Bank & Trust, Randi and Gary Segal Family, Stanley and Bernice Harris Memorial Endowment Fund, Bernard and Irene Goldstein Memorial Endowment Fund, Louis and Ida Fox Rich Fund, and David and Marlyne Weiner Family.

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Modern Middle East: Today’s Challenges: Lecture Series by Dr. Art Pitz

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Lipstadt’s new book “Antisemitism: Here and Now”

Deborah E. Lipstadt’s new book Antisemitism: Here and Now: Podcast Link

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Swedish Experiences of WWII and the Holocaust

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