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.

Werdinger, Roberta: Barbed Wire and Flowers

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“Barbed 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 “Barbed Wire and Flowers,” and I invite you listen for the next 17 minutes. Our conversation follows.
This program was recorded on November 21, 2016.

Clancy, Dr. Susan: 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.

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.

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Peru: Ancient History and Today

Peru is a county about which I’ve been curious for over 60 years, beginning when I first learned of the Inca Empire.  Ten years later the Peace Corps sent me to Peru as volunteer for two years in 1964.

Peru’s current societies are windows into a world in which many Andean people live in the three adjoining countries of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.   The complex societies which flourished in this region, centuries before the Inca Empire was destroyed by the Spanish invaders in the 16th century are still very much a part of the lives of people whose homes and communities are located high in the Andes between 10,000 and 14,000 feet above sea level.  Many still enjoy and celebrate the traditions rooted in the ancient cultures of their land.

When Radio Curious visited Peru and Bolivia in the fall of 2015 we engaged in several conversations about ancient and current times in Peru. Edith Zapata, an independent licensed Peruvian tour guide, based in Cusco, Peru, is our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.

Edith Zapata and I visited in the court yard of a somewhat noisy guest hostal in Cusco, Peru, on November 10, 2015.  We began our conversation with her description of the geological history of the Cusco valley, and moved forward in time to how some of the current leaders of the Catholic Church and some of the people of the greater Cusco area related to each other.

Edith Zapata, a licensed independent Peruvian tour guide, based in Cusco, Peru.  You may contact her by email at ezv27@hotmail.com.  The movie she recommends is “In Search of Happyness,” starring Will Smith.

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Jespers, Jean-Jacques — Effects of Paris Attacks in Belgium

In this program we visit Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the effects of the November 13, 2015, Islamic extremist terrorist attacks in Paris, France. 

Our guest is Jean-Jacques Jespers, who recently retired as the anchor for the television news broadcast aired nightly in French on the Belgium National Television Network.  While the terrorist attacks occurred in Paris, France, investigations led authorities to neighboring Belgium in search for the suspects-causing a state of emergency in the country’s capital city, Brussels.

Currently Jean-Jacques Jespers is a journalism professor and a member of the Belgian Journalist’s Committee on Human Rights.  Jean-Jacques Jespers and I first met here in Mendocino County, California, in 1977, when he was the leader of a television news magazine team reporting on California. 

When Jean-Jacques Jespers and I visited by phone from his home in Brussels on November 28, 2015, we began when I asked him to describe what occurred and what the Belgian people’s reactions were to the November 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris and the lock-down in Brussels.

The books Jean-Jacques Jespers recommends are the three volume “Century Trilogy” by Ken Follette. Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Blincoe, Bob — Kurdish People:  Their Struggle to Keep Their Homeland

In this 1997 edition of Radio Curious, we visited with Bob Blincoe, a Presbyterian minister, who lived and worked among the Kurds in the Zagros Mountains from 1990 to 1996.  

The Kurdish people have long been aptly referred to as a “millet.”  This is a Turkish term that originated in the Ottoman Empire when it ruled parts of central Europe to the near east from 1430 to 1921.  It means “any ethnic group.” Until the 20th century millets, were able to control their way of life and effectively rule themselves.  Now approximately 25 million Kurdish people live in the Zagros Mountains, where the borders of eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, and northwestern Iran converge.  These Kurdish people live stateless and many homeless in their ancestral homeland.  Currently they have been able to successfully defend themselves from brutal ISIS attacks. 

When Bob Blincoe lived among the Kurds and worked as a community organizer in their ancestral homeland he first spoke Arabic, so he wouldn’t stand out.  He quickly learned Kurdish which he spoke only with great discretion. His stories of the Kurdish people are important to consider now in light of terrorism and other dangers inflicted against them.

When Bob Blincoe and I visited in the studios of Radio Curious in the spring of 1997, we began our conversation when I asked him to describe the Zagros Mountains where so many Kurdish people live.

The book Bob Blincoe recommends is “A Peace to End All Peace,” by David Fromkin.

This program was originally broadcast in May 1997.

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Ebershoff, David — How Many Wives are Enough?

Polygamy used to be a central aspect in Mormon beliefs.  However, it has not been for over 100 years now, due partly to considerable effort by Ann Eliza Young, one of Brigham Young’s many wives.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with David Ebershoff, author of “The 19th Wife,” the story of Ann Eliza Young, and her realization and then quest to let the world know that marriage should only pertain to two people, instead of one man and a plethora of wives who were referred to as “sister wives.”  We discuss what marriage is, how religion plays a large role in many people’s lives, and how the quest that Ann Eliza had effected her world and the world we live in today.

Our conversation, recorded on August 29, 2008, began when I asked David Ebershoff why Ann Eliza wanted to apostate (or leave without approval) from the Mormon Church in relationship to the politics then and now.

The book that David Ebershoff recommends is, “American Wife: A Novel” by Curtis Sittenfeld.

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