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Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die?: The High Holidays at Auschwitz 1944

During the high holidays in 1944, there was a selection of 2000 young boys at Auschwitz. The boys were subjected to a height test and only 600 “passed”. The other 1400 were condemned by the Nazis to be gassed. This story became well known in Orthodox circles due to a rabbinical responsa by Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Miesels in which a Jew asks permission to pay a ransom to a kapo guarding his son who is among those selected to be gassed. In this talk, Professor Helene Sinnreich will discuss this group of boys and the selection they endured.

Jewish Women during the Holocaust

Beginning with women’s lives before the Second World War, Dr. Sinnreich will explore the experiences of women during the Nazi invasion, in the ghettos, in hiding and in concentration camps. She can tailor the talk to discuss coping strategies like how women made food in ghetto conditions to more difficult topics like sexual abuse in hiding.

Beyond Schindler: The Jews of the Krakow Ghetto

What were the experiences and fates of the Jews in the Krakow Ghetto who were not saved by Oskar Schindler? This talk tells the story of the daily life of Jews in the Krakow ghetto including the unique attributes of the ghetto.

Helene Sinnreich

Ph.D, Associate Professor, Religious Studies

Location Mark




Professor Sinnreich, director of the Fern and Manfred Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies at the University of Tennessee, is a scholar of Jewish experience during the Holocaust and European Jewry. Dr. Sinnreich has been a fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. and at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. She served for 15 years as editor in chief of the Journal of Jewish Identities. Dr. Sinnreich’s has written on Holocaust ghettos, sexual abuse of Jewish women during the Holocaust and Polish-Jewish relations. Her forthcoming book is The Atrocity of Hunger: Starvation in the Warsaw, Lodz and Krakow Ghettos during World War II.

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