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  1. From Individual to Collectve Memory Rena Drexler Elliot Asarch, Kennan Cronen, and Chris Eldredge
  2. How preserve memory of Holocaust?  Chris  Rena’s experiences before and during the war  Kennan  Keeping the memory alive: How Rena remembers the Holocaust afer the war  Elliot  Collectve memory of the genocide
  3. Polish neighborhood  Was ant-Semitsm in small towns  But Rena “did not experience a lot”  Had to wear a star  Forced into Gheto for several months  Arrived in Auschwitz in 1941  14 years old  Separated from family upon arrival  All but one sister died
  4. Auschwitz-Birkenau  Age 14 to 19  Sorted possessions of incoming Jews  Money, jewelry  Barracks Barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau, circa 1945  Dirty water  Thyroid problems later
  5. Survived by being a hard worker  One of fastest Nazis could fnd  Took clothes, bread  Traded with other prisoners  Snuck showers  Rubbed blood on cheeks  Before SS ofcers came by for selecton  Faith and hope  “Maybe tomorrow will be a beter day.”  “Every day you were so scared. Would I survive tomorrow?”
  6. Weighed 95 lbs.  Russians invaded May 8, 1945  Revisited old neighborhood afer war Drexler at camp afer liberaton, circa 1945
  7. Life Afer the Holocaust  May 8, 1945 Liberaton  No assistance or care  Return to Poland  Travel to Munich, Germany  Finding a brother and a husband Prisoners liberated at Dachau
  8. Memories of the Holocaust •Return to Auschwitz •Stayed quiet for years because Rena didn’t want her children to “grow up feeling sorry” for her. •52057 •“I was tired of waking up and feeling like a prisoner again” •Will only discuss her personal memories of the Holocaust for Three Months out of every year.
  9. Never Forget •Now Rena makes a habit of traveling as extensively as possible in order to speak and spread the memory and the first-hand facts. •Rena will go anywhere, anytime - speak to any group - to keep the Holocaust from becoming just another footnote in the history books for future generations. •Articles •Schools •Churches •programs such as this one •Swimming in Auschwitz
  10. The American Dream Three years afer arrival, in 1954, Rena and her husband opened up a successful kosher delicatessen. Has managed to provide her children with an education. One child has attended John Hopkins University and another one graduated from UCLA and successfully practicing law “Because I have been to hell and back, more than ever I appreciate the freedom and greatness of the United States” – Daily News in 1993
  11. A term coined by Maurice Halbwachs  Collectve Memory is the aggregate of many individual memories  These memories are passed from generaton to generaton  Includes:  What a society teaches their children  What a society chooses to memorialize in museums
  12. -Survivors telling their individual memories to younger generatons as in Bearing Witness  -Memoirs such as Elie Wiesel’s Night  -Poetry writen and Diaries kept throughout the War  -The Shoah Educaton Project  -Museums or Memorials such as Yad Vashem
  13. Steven Spielberg founded the Shoah Foundaton in 1994 to record video testmonies of survivors and frst-hand witnesses of the Holocaust  The individual memories of thousands of witnesses has been recorded and added to our aggregate memory  The Shoah Foundaton has created lesson plans incorporatng these testmonies to further teach the new generaton about the Holocaust A screenshot taken from the USC Shoah Foundaton website
  14. -A major part of the collectve memory of a group of people is the memorials they construct to remember the past  -Unites States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)  -Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story  -An exhibiton at the USHMM that tells the story of Daniel, a fcttous child based on the collecton of the individual stories  -This exhibiton symbolizes the collectve memory of the children who died in the Railcar on display in the permanent Holocaust exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.
  15. "Bearing Witness." Personal interview. 24 Feb. 2008.  "DELI OWNER RECALLS HOLOCAUST BECAUSE SHE MUST." Daily News of Los Angeles (CA) 16 Mar. 1993, Valley, News: N3. NewsBank. Web. 28 Feb. 2010.  "KEEPING MEMORY ALIVE - AUSCHWITZ SURVIVOR WON'T FORGET HORRORS." Daily News of Los Angeles (CA) 28 Jan. 2005, Valley rop, News: N3. NewsBank. Web. 28 Feb. 2010.  Mashian, Natalie. "Rena's Story." Bearing Witness. Hillel at UCLA. Web. 28 Feb. 2010. <htp: //>.  SHARON MOESER. "Celebratng Life; 3 Holocaust Survivors Reunite and Remember :Valley Editon. " Los Angeles Times 30 Dec. 1996,Los Angeles Times, ProQuest. Web. 28 Feb. 2010.  Halbwachs, Maurice. On collectve Memory. The University of Chicago Free Press. 1992  Global Directory of Holocaust Museums  htp://  Archives and Recordkeeping glossary  htp://  The Uses of Memory: An Introducton David Paul Nord . The Journal of American History, Vol. 85, No. 2 (Sep., 1998), pp. 409-410 Published by: Organizaton of American Historians  Stable URL: htp://
  16. From Individual Memory to Collectve Memory Rena Drexler Elliot Asarch, Kennan Cronen, and Chris Eldredge