Wagner, Sally Roesch: Suffragist, Matilda Gage, Almost Jailed for Voting

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This program is about Matilda Joslyn Gage, who lived from 1826 to 1892 and was a vibrant and leading figure in the suffragist movement of that century.

Matilda Joslyn Gage, an outspoken leader for women’s rights, and an advocate to abolish slavery and religious bigotry, became historically invisible in pursuit of her liberty to think and speak as she thought proper. She was threatened with jail for voting in New York in 1871, and later was inducted into the Iroquois nation after publicly declaring Christian theology to be a primary source of the oppression of women.

Historian and chautauqua scholar Sally Roesch Wagner, who portrays Matilda Joslyn Gage, brought Gage into the limelight by creating the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, based in Fayetteville, New York. The Gage Foundation is dedicated to educating current and future generations about Gage’s work and the power of her work to drive contemporary social change.

I met with Sally Roesch Wagner in the studios of Radio Curious in December 1996. Our conversation began when I welcomed Matilda Joslyn Gage to Radio Curious.

The book Matilda Joslyn Gage recommends is “The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy,” by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

The book Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner recommends is “Women, Church and State,” by Matilda Joslyn Gage.

This program was recorded in December 1996.

Gallagher, Winifred: In Good Times and in Bad

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Working on God

Why are we the way we are? How should life be lived? When should we start living it that way and why? “Working on God” is a new book by Winifred Gallagher, a science writer who lives in New York City. When her early learning about Christianity was shaken by her college education, she asked, what if religion could be something else? After writing books on how heredity and experience create the individual, and how our surroundings shape our thoughts and emotions, she has chosen to work on God.

Winnifred Gallagher recommends “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time,” by Marcus Borg.

Originally Broadcast: March 30, 1999

Potok, Chaim: Escaping Communism

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Chaim Potok, the author of “The Chosen,” “The Gift of Asher Lev,”Davida’s Heart,” and many other novels, chronicled the life of a Russian Jewish family in the non-fictions story, “The Gates of November.” This true story of the Slapeck family, Solomon Slapek, his son Valodya, and daughter-in-law Masha, spans 100 years. Beginning with Solomon’s childhood at turn of the 20th century, his escape to America and return to Russia, it eventually describes Valodya and Masha’s life after they apply for an exit visa to leave Russia in 1968, in order to emigrate to Israel. Chaim Potok died July 23, 2002, at his suburban Philadelphia home of brain cancer at the age of 73.

The book Chaim Potok recommends is “The English Patient,” by Michael Ondaatje.

This program was Originally Broadcast: January 8, 1997

Lev, Daniel: A Story of Chanukah

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Every year on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which falls four days before the new moon closest to the winter solstice, the eight day holiday of Chanukah, celebrated worldwide, begins. Before the days of radio and television a person called a magid traveled from town to town, visiting Jewish people and Jewish families. Daniel Lev is a modern day magid who sometimes visits Ukiah and Willits to teach and pass along Jewish tradition through stories, songs, and spiritual practice. This program was originally broadcast in December 1996, and joined these archives the day Daniel Lev became a rabbi in 2005.

Daniel Lev recommends the Torah.

Originally Broadcast: December 14, 1996

Brodsk, Joseph: A Book of Poems Next to Every Bible

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A Part of Speech, Less Than One, To Urania, Marbles, & Watermark

Joseph Brodsky, a winner of the Noble Prize, was the United States National Poet Laureate in 1991. Born in what was then Leningrad, Soviet Union, he grew up in a communal apartment, and was very active in language and literary pursuits. In 1963, a Leningrad newspaper denounced Brodsky, calling his poetry pornographic and anti-Soviet. He was interrogated and twice put in mental institutions. His papers were seized. He was arrested and indicted on the charge of parasitism. In a secret trial, he was called a “pseudo-poet in velveteen trousers,” who failed to fulfill his “constitutional duty to work honestly for the good of the motherland.” Yet no fault was found in the content of his poetry. One of the more interesting comments Joseph Brodsky made as a guest was that there should be a book of poetry in every hotel room, right next to the Bible. He said that he didn’t think that the telephone book would mind. Joseph Brodsky died on January 28th of 1996, a world-class poet.

Originally Broadcast: November 18, 1991

Rozenman, Elana: Jewish, Muslim & Christian Understanding

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In June, 2002 I overheard an American woman now living in Israel passionately describe her belief that teaching children to be suicide bombers is the worst form of child abuse imaginable. I invited Elana Radley Rosenman, an organizer of the Women’s Interfaith Encounter, a group of Muslim, Christian and Jewish women who meet regularly in Jerusalem, to be our guest on this edition of Radio Curious.

Elana Rozenman recommends “Yet a Stranger: Why Black Americans Still Don’t Feel at Home,” Debra Mathis.

Originally Broadcast: July 23, 2002

Bartholomew, Therese: Asian Art Museum — The Dragon’s Gift – Sacred Arts of Bhutan

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In this edition of Radio Curious we would like to take you to the country of Bhutan, East of Mount Everest and bordered by India and Tibet. Bhutan is a mystical kingdom considered by many as The Last Shangri-La. We visit “The Dragon’s Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan,” an exhibit which was displayed at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California, in the spring of 2009.

We start in conversation with Therese Bartholomew, the curator of the exhibit who helps us to understand what inspired the exhibit and the trials and tribulations of transporting such valuable religious objects from monasteries at the top of Bhutanese mountains to the city of San Francisco.

We will also visit the exhibit itself and hear some of the ceremonies, meet the monks who have traveled with the exhibit and tour the museum docent Henny Tanugjaja.

Therese Bartholomew is the Curator Emeritus of Himalayan Arts at the Asian Art Museum San Francisco the book she recommends is “My Life and Lives, The Story of a Tibetan Incarnation” by Rato Khyongla Nawang Losang. We visited with Therese Bartholomew from her home in San Francisco on the March 27, 2009 and began by asking her what makes Bhutan and Bhutanese arts so special?

Appelbaum, Ralph: Holocaust Remembrance and the Responsibility of Bystanders

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To create thought around Yom Hashoah, known in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day I offer you an archive interview with Ralph Appelbaum, the designer the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington D.C., which opened in April 1993, when this interview was recorded.

When Ralph Appelbaum and I were Peace Corp Volunteers in the mid 1960s, living in nearby towns in southern Peru, we often shared our future plans.  This interview shares the story of one of Ralph’s plans which he manifested on a material plane, about 30 years later.

Appelbaum says that a museum’s architecture should focus on the experience by creating time and space events. In the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Appelbuam’s design depicts the suffering, torture and death of millions of people during World War II in Europe, on land controlled by fascist Nazis.  He also directs attention to the responsibility of bystanders.

Please keep in mind that this interview was recorded in April 1993.  That was when Ralph Appelbaum and I visited by phone from his loft in New York City.  We began when I asked him to describe his vision of a museum designer.

The audio of this program was enhanced by Gregg McVicer of UnderCurrentsradio.net, who was our guest in 2013.

Komar, Stefan: Concentration Death Camps

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You may remember the Radio Curious interview with Bernard Offen, recorded in May 2005, and re-boradcast the end of May 2017.  In telling the story of his youth in Poland during World War II, being forced into four different concentration camps established and controlled by the Nazis, Bernard Offen characterized those camps as “Polish concentration camps.”

Soon after the 2017 re-broadcast, I received an email from Stefan Komar, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.  Komar pointed out that calling any German concentration camp in German occupied Poland “Polish,” or referring to a German concentration camp in occupied Poland as “in Poland”, “of Poland,” or “Poland’s,” is insensitive to the families of the millions of ethnic Poles who were killed, forced into slave labor, tortured, maimed, terrorized and starved during the brutal and inhuman German occupation of Poland in the name of “Deuthschland, Deutschland Uber Alles.”

Komar, who was born in Queens, New York, lived in Warsaw, Poland, for about 10 years beginning when he was 12 years old. Currently he’s a Captain in the New York Police Department, after serving with the NYPD for 37 years.

A few days before Stefan Komar, and I visited by phone from his home in Queens, New York, on January  28, 2018, many newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-israel-poland-nazis-20180128-story.html) reported a “bill passed by the lower house of Poland’s parliament”  would make it illegal to utter the phrase “Polish concentration camp” or to assign Poland culpability for Nazi crimes committed on its soil.  The Israeli government was Infuriated, as reported in Reuters, (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-poland/israel-and-poland-clash-over-proposed-holocaust-law-idUSKBN1FH0S3), among other news outlets, and called the Polish law revisionary history.
This is clearly a curious issue to follow.  In doing so Komar provided a link to “A Platform for Polish Jewish Dialogue,” (http://www.dialog.org/) which may be found at Dialog.org, and a youtube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SztV961KKhA&t=58s, on Polish history including a discussion on how the Nazi occupation of Poland may be characterized.  These links may be found on radiocurious.org.

Stefan Komar and I unfortunately did not directly discuss this new law or the Israeli reaction.  We did however put the topic in context from his point of view.  We began our visit when I asked him to discuss the characterization of these concentration camps.

The books Stefan Komar recommends are “Hollywood’s War with Poland, 1939-1945” by M.B.B. Biskupski; and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century,” by Paul Kengor.

Offen, Bernard: Surviving the Holocaust

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The internationally recognized date of Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar, a calendar based on the phases of the moon. That day also marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah.  In year 2017 of the Gregorian Calendar Yom Hashoah falls on April 24.

From the Radio Curious archives, in honor of Yom Hashoah this year, we re-visit our 2005 interview with Bernard Offen.  He survived five Nazi concentration camps in Poland, during his youth in World War II. Bernard Offen has led tours of these concentration camps and in doing says, “You don’t have to be a survivor or Jewish. It’s for all the wounded who want to understand the power of good and evil and want to create goodness in the world.”

When Bernard Offen visited the studios of Radio Curious in April 2005, we began our conversation when he described some of his early childhood experiences in Krakow, Poland in the years just prior to World War II.

The book Bernard Offen recommends “My Hometown Concentration Camp: A Survivor’s Account to Life in the Krakow Ghetto and Plaszow Concentration Camp,” which he wrote.