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Annual Holocaust Commemoration on May 1st

Gerd Korman in a Kindertransport Group from Poland

On May 1st, the Ithaca community will get the chance to hear a firsthand account of one of the most tragic episodes in world history, the Holocaust, from a man who survived it. Gerd Korman’s family was separated during the war in various camps across Europe. They were finally reunited in the United States in 1946.

Gerd, and his brother, Manfred were fortunate to be saved by the “Kindertransport,” and spent the war years in a small English village. His father was on the legendary ship, the St.Louis, which traveled the world, unsuccessfully looking for a port willing to take in Jewish refugees. His mother was the first in the family to make it to the United States and then struggled to bring the others here as well.

Gerd Korman is professor emeritus of American history at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Several of his works established him as a student of the Holocaust, including the anthology, Hunter and Hunted. His is author of the memoir, Nightmare’s Fairy Tale: A Young Refugee’s Home Fronts, 1938 – 1948.

Korman will be the featured speaker at a Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1st, at Temple Beth-El, 402 N. Tioga St., in Ithaca. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the presentation. In past years, people of all ages and backgrounds have attended. The presentation is appropriate for ages ten and above. School and scout groups are welcome.

There are quite a number of Holocaust survivors and their descendents living in the Ithaca area. At the commemoration, several of them will be honored in a special candle-lighting ceremony. The Ithaca Children’s and Youth Choir will also perform.

The event is sponsored by the Ithaca Area United Jewish Community, a non-profit organization that supports Jewish communities locally and around the world. The IAUJC website can be found at

Funding has been provided by the Jacob and Jeannette Geldwert Holocaust Memorial Lecture Fund of IAUJC, Tompkins Trust Company; Wegmans; The William Henry Miller Inn, Area Congregations Together; Temple Beth-El; and Congregation Tikkun v’Or.

Gerd Korman

Time and Place
May 1, 2019, 7:00 pm
Temple Beth El 402 N. Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850
Free and open to the public. Reception will follow.