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SU Presents Commemorative Kristallnacht Program

October 26, 2007

SELINSGROVE, (Pa.) – Susquehanna University will mark the 69th anniversary of Kristallnacht with a Nov. 8 performance of “For Tomorrow: The Story of German-born Holocaust survivor Hilda Stern Cohen.” Also known as the Night of Broken Glass, Kristallnacht was the start of the brutal and destructive Nazi offensive against German Jews. This infamous night in history, Nov. 9-10, 1938, foreshadowed the larger genocide to come.

Sponsored by Susquehanna's Jewish Studies Program and Jewish student organization, Hillel, “For Tomorrow” dramatizes the life of German-born poet and Holocaust survivor Hilda Stern Cohen (1924-1997). This free, public performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in Isaacs Auditorium of Seibert Hall.

Part theatre, part storytelling, part music, prayers and chant, the program is divided into a series of vignettes based on episodes in Cohen's life as recounted to Rosen, a professional storyteller. Cohen's poems – some spoken, some set to music by Bill Gilcher and sung in German by Bolton, a trained opera singer – poignantly evoke her experience. The result is a uniquely moving program that reaches into the hearts and minds of audiences.

Cohen's poetry deals with the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and her time in an Austrian camp for displaced persons, where she lived before immigrating to the United States. As her husband, Dr. Werner V. Cohen, recently noted, “Hilda created a voice out of the inferno that illuminated the position of those who were victims and what they stood for, and the position of the oppressors and what they stood for. Who were the victims that Hilda was speaking for? They were people of common decency and common aspirations for achieving some good as they saw it. They were good people. Who were the adversaries? They were representatives of people whose highest ideal was the attainment of absolute power, totally outside of morality.”

Contact: Victoria Kidd



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