Appelbaum, Ralph:  Holocaust Remembrance and the Responsibility of Bystanders


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 UnderCurrents Radio, who was our guest in 2013.

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Komar, Stefan — Concentration Death Camps

You may remember the Radio Curious interview with Bernard Offen, recorded in May 2005, and re-broadcast 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 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, 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,” and a discussion about Polish history, including how the Nazi occupation of Poland may be characterized.  

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.  

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Baker, Carolyn Ph.D.: Hospice and Near Term Human Extinction (Archive)

This is the third conversation in our series on near-term human extinction, which Barry has called the most disturbing group of interviews he’s had in the history of Radio Curious. On today’s program, we’ll consider how we can each personally deal with this impossible problem, and how an understanding of hospice can help guide the way we interact with our communities and our planet.

Our guest is Dr. Carolyn Baker, co-author with Dr. Guy R. McPherson of Extinction Dialogues: How to Live with Death in Mind. She’s also the author of Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse: Cultivating the Relationships We Need to Thrive. As an author and psychotherapist, Dr. Baker discusses the importance of emotional and spiritual preparedness for the cataclysmic changes that abrupt climate change will bring.

As you listen to this interview, consider how you could incorporate Dr. Baker’s advice into your own life, and how the hospice concept—taking time to interact with loved ones, enjoy nature, and be mindful—can give meaning to your time on earth, in the face of human extinction.

Extinction Dialogs presents credible scientific evidence that global warming is pushing our planet to a swift apocalyptic end– more rapidly that we comprehend. Dr. Guy McPherson discusses the scientific evidence that suggests a looming extinction of the human species in parts one and two of this series. In the second half of Extinction Dialogs, Carolyn Baker encourages and recommends a hospice approach, which we present to you as part three in this series.

This interview was recorded on September 20, 2015. You can listen to the full interview here.

The book Carolyn Baker recommends is Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, by Stephen Jenkinson.

Offen, Bernard: Surviving the Holocaust (Archive)

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.

You can listen to the full interview here.

Werdinger, Roberta: Barbed Wire and Flowers

Barb Wire and Flowers: A daughter’s story of her perception and relationship with her father.  He, a survivor of the holocaust, and she, his adult child describes the strength of his life incumbent on her youth, and their visit to one of the two concentration camps where he was interned by the Nazis in World War Two.

Roberta Werdinger, a storyteller, writer, publicist, editor, is our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.  Raised as a non-secular Jew and ordained as a Buddhist Monk, plans to include Barbed Wire and Flowers in the memoir she is currently writing.  I heard her public reading of Barbed Wire and Flowers here in Ukiah in June, 2016 I invited her to visit Radio Curious.  She did on November 21, 2016.  Our visit begins with her reading, and I invite you listen for the next 17 minutes. Our conversation follows.

This program was recorded on November 21, 2016.

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Mello, Mark — The Underground Railroad in New Bedford, Massachusetts

New Bedford, Massachusetts, a sea port located in the southeast corner of Massachusetts, at the base of Cape Cod, is the locale of our program.  Early in New Bedford’s history a group of Quakers from Boston moved there and the town became a safe haven for formerly enslaved African-Americans, who escaped bondage. 

The stories of those who safely arrived in New Bedford on the Underground Railroad are presented at the 34 acre New Bedford National Historical Park in the Old Town section of New Bedford. 

This two part series on the New Bedford Underground Railroad with National Park Ranger Mark Mello was recorded on September 2, 2016, with the sound of wind and street traffic in the background.  Part one begins with a historical perspective of the Underground Railroad and the way in which New Bedford, Massachusetts was a safe haven for former slaves.  

The books Mark Mello recommends are “Fugitive’s Gibraltar: Escaping Slaves and Abolitionism in New Bedford, Massachusetts,” by Kathryn Grover;  “Whale Hunt,” by Nelson Cole Haley; and “Leviathan,” by Philip Hoare. 

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

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Griffin, Paul Dr. — Seeds of Racism

Racism, as a part of the American religious culture, can be traced to the religious concepts of some of the earliest European settlers in North America. Professor Paul R. Griffin explores these roots in his book, “Seeds of Racism in the Soul of America,” linking the concepts in the Puritan belief system to long lasting racist effects. He argues that racism is itself a religion in the United States and is closely related to America Christianity. He claims that efforts to erase racism have failed because they have concentrated on its visible manifestations rather than its ideological character.

The book Dr. Paul Griffin recommends is “The Rage of A Privileged Class,” by Ellis Cose.

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The Work of Death Midwives

Death is of the subject of this program. We all will experience it, hopefully without pain and with loved ones and friends near.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Robin Cottrell and Margy Henderson, of Ukiah, California, who describe their work as death midwives. This is part of their efforts with the Death Cafe, an international group whose aim is to increase awareness of death and to help people make the most of their (finite) lives.

As death midwives, Robin and Margy of sing quiet A Capella to people in the end stages of life. When these two women visited the studios of Radio Curious on June 26, 2016, we began with a song.

The books Margy Henderson recommends are The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have, by Mark Napo, and The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery. The book Robin Cottrell recommends is West With the Night, by Beryl Markham.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

 

Clancy, Susan Ph.D. — Sexual Abuse of Children and the Catholic Church

 This conversation discusses the myth of when and how trauma from child sexual abuse occurs. Our guest, Susan A. Clancy, Ph.D., and author of “The Trauma Myth:  The Truth About the Sexual Abuse of Children – and Its Aftermath” discusses how childhood sexual abuse abuse is perceived by the victim; the effects of denial, minimization and blame; and how this issue within the Catholic Church is not being resolved.

 Dr. Susan A. Clancy is the Research Director of the Center for Women’s Advancement, Development and Leadership at the Central American Institute for Business Administration in Nicaragua.  This interview with Susan A. Clancy was recorded on April 12, 2010, from her home in Managua, Nicaragua.

 The books Dr. Susan A. Clancy recommends are “Happiness: A History” by Darrin M. McMahon and “In The Woods,” by Tana French.

 Click here to listen or on the media player below.

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Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner: Survival Is Indigenous

The consequences of the control of reproduction and the reproduction of daily life that began about the time of the creation of the moveable type printing press, in approximately the year 1440 is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Our guest is Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, the Founding Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation in Fayetteville, New York and member of the Adjunct Faculty at Syracuse University, in Syracuse, New York.   Sally Roesch Wagner was one of the first two women to receive a doctorate for work in women’s studies, with a Ph.D. awarded to her in 1978 from the history of consciousness program by the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Wagner, a Radio Curious veteran guest is the author of “Survival Is Indigenous,” a book that describes the consequences of the societal control shortly after the development of the printing press, fomented by western religions, which she argues exists to the present time.

Sally Roesch Wagner and I visited in the Radio Curious studios on January 6, 2016, to discuss “Survival Is Indigenous,”  and began our conversation when I asked her what is indigenous about survival.

The books Dr. Wagner recommends are “Braiding Sweetgrass:  Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants,” by Robin Will Kimmerer; and “My Life on The Road,” by Gloria Stienem.

 Click here to begin listening.