Past Events

With Pen and Pistol: Heroines of the Holocaust

Monday, March 15

Trapped in Nazi-occupied Europe, thousands of women fought with defiance and dignity to save themselves and others. Be inspired by the courageous choices and words of female leaders in rescue and resistance movements. Our speaker, Dr. Lori Weintrob, is Professor of History and Director of the Wagner College Holocaust Center in Staten Island, NY.

Thank you to our Community Partners: the University of Detroit Mercy Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the National Council of Jewish Women, Michigan.

Pen and Pistol Program

A Call To Spy – Discussion and Q&A

MOnday, March 1

A virtual program featuring Sarah Megan Thomas, the film’s screenwriter, actor and producer; Craig Gralley, author of Hall of Mirrors – Virginia Hall: America’s Greatest Spy of WWII; and Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer in partnership with IFC Films and Tamar Simon from Mean Streets Management.

Synopsis of A Call to Spy: In the beginning of WWII, with Britain becoming desperate, Churchill orders his new spy agency to recruit and train an army of female spies to infiltrate Europe and help build the French Resistance against the Nazi regime. Inspired by true events and the stories of Virginia Hall, Vera Atkins and Noor Inayat Khan. Vera Atkins, was Jewish and faced anti-Semitism in London while working for the SOE, British intelligence.

A special thank you to our Community Partners: Detroit Jewish Film Festival and Greater Farmington Film Festival.


Learning From the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil

sunday, febRUARY 21 at 2:00 pm (est)

As an increasingly polarized America fights over the legacy of racism and slavery, what can we learn from the Germans about confronting the evils of the past? Philosopher and author Susan Neiman and National Public Radio (NPR) 1A host Jenn White will discuss Germany’s effort to atone for the Holocaust and the work that contemporary Americans are doing to try to make amends for our country’s historical wrongdoings.

Thank you to our Community Partners: the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Coalition for Black and Jewish Unity, and Detroit Public Television.

Genocide Today: The Uyghurs in China

Thursday, febRUARY 11, 2021

The Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim ethnic group in western China, are being persecuted by the Chinese government with incarceration in concentration camps, forced sterilization, mass disappearances, and the destruction of their culture. Dr. Ellen J. KennedyExecutive Director of World Without Genocide, discusses the efforts to hold the Chinese government accountable.

Thank you to our community partners: the Uyghur Human Rights Project, the Lori E. Talsky Center for Human Rights of Women and Children and the Jewish Community Relations Council/American Jewish Committee (JCRC/AJC)

How Healers Became Killers: Nazi Medical Professionals

Exclusive Exhibit Opening and Holocaust Remembrance Day Program

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021

Medical professionals played an integral role in the planning and implementation of Nazi racial policy. Dr. Patricia Heberer-Rice, senior historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will discuss how medical professionals enforced policies of compulsory sterilization, as well as the “Euthanasia” program. Through these legalized programs, the Nazis murdered 650,000 people and set an important precedent for the Holocaust.

Thank you to our community partner the Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive.

The Soap Myth Play & Discussion (Sunday, Jan. 10)

The Soap Myth Play

Did Nazis turn murdered Jewish victims into soap? An elderly Holocaust survivor is desperate for historians and museums to recognize his eyewitness account as historical fact. He enlists the help of a young investigative journalist. Together the two explore the validity of memory and how the evils of antisemitism are reborn today in the form of Holocaust denial. Award-winning Actors Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh star in this gripping and poignant drama.
Play Runtime (Available on-demand): 1h 26m 50s

The Soap Myth virtual discussion

Watch a virtual discussion led by playwright Jeff Cohen and Detroit News Film Critic Adam Graham.

Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz (Sunday, Dec. 13)

This is the fascinating story of Ben Ferencz—the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor and lifelong advocate of  “law not war.” After witnessing Nazi concentration camps shortly after liberation, Ferencz became lead prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen case at Nuremberg, which has been called the biggest murder trial in history. He was 27 years old and it was his first trial. Ferencz went on to advocate for restitution for Jewish victims of the Holocaust and later for the establishment of the International Criminal Court. His fight for justice for victims of atrocity crimes continues today. Runtime: 1h 22m

Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America (Tuesday, Nov. 10)

The Holocaust Memorial Center and the Detroit Jewish Book Fair present Debbie Cenziper, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and Northwestern University professor. Her book uncovers the epic quest by the men and women of the Office of Special Investigations to rid the United States of Nazi mass murderers hiding in plain sight.
To order the book Citizen 865, please click here.

Remembering Kristallnacht: An interview with Henry and Rosie Baum (Monday, Nov. 9)

Inside Krakow: Past, Present & Future (Thursday, Oct. 15)

Krakow, one of the largest and most vibrant Jewish communities in Poland before WWII, is rich in Jewish history. In spite of a resurgence of antisemitism throughout Europe, Krakow’s Jewish community continues to grow and thrive.

Panelists were Rabbi Aaron Bergman of Adat Shalom Synagogue; Gail Offen, a child of a Shoah survivor from Krakow; and Jessica Katz, 2019 Ralph I. Goldman Fellow for the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).

Franci’s War (Monday, Sep. 14)

Author and journalist Helen Epstein discussed her mother’s powerful memoir, the testimony of an incredibly strong young woman who endured the horrors of the Holocaust and survived. Franci Rabinek was a Prague dress designer when the war began. She lied to Dr. Mengele at her Auschwitz selection, saying she was an electrician, an occupation that both endangered and saved her life. Her memoir gives an intense, candid, and sometimes funny account of those dark years, with the women prisoners in her tight-knit circle of friends.

Fighting Back Against Hate (Wednesday, Sep. 2)

An online Film and Conversation with Alexandra Kauffman Horowitz and Rabbi Rachel Schmelkin

Three years ago white supremacists came to Charlottesville chanting neo-Nazi slogans and rallying just outside the city’s only synagogue. Since then, members of Charlottesville’s Jewish community have been on a journey against hate. At times, the journey required self-reflection. At times, it required communal action. But no matter what form it took, Charlottesville’s Jews found that standing up for themselves meant standing up for justice in the broader community.

Documentary short Reawakening recounts their journey. Through interviews with rabbis and congregants, the film explores how the white supremacy they experienced transformed their understanding of themselves and their city — and how it intensified their commitment to racial justice.

Rabbi Rachel Schmelkin served as associate rabbi for Charlottesville’s Congregation Beth Israel from 2016-2020. During her time in Charlottesville she was active in Charlottesville’s interfaith and social justice community. Alexandra Kauffman Horowitz is a former Senior Producer at CNN International covering business and economics. She now works as a writer, director, and producer of documentary shorts for non-profits, often on subjects related to Judaism.

A very special thank you to our program supporters:

A Virtual Celebration of Dr. Guy Stern and his New Memoir, Invisible Ink (Wednesday, Aug. 19)

World-renowned Holocaust scholar Dr. Michael Berenbaum interviewed Dr. Guy Stern in an online Zoom webinar about Guy’s remarkable life and his new memoir. Born in Germany, Guy was the only one in his family to escape from the Holocaust. He landed in Normandy 3 days after D-Day as a member of a special military intelligence unit and earned a Bronze Star Medal for his work interrogating German prisoners of war. Today, Guy is the HMC’s Director of the Harry and Wanda Zekelman International Institute of the Righteous and a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Wayne State University.

  • To purchase Invisible Ink, email

Dr. Stern’s memoir Invisible Ink is published by Wayne State University Press (Wayne State University Press).

Interview With Miriam Ferber

A hidden child during the Holocaust, Miriam was smuggled as an infant out of the Srodula ghetto by a righteous gentile couple who adopted her. Her immediate family perished in the Holocaust and Miriam learned that she was Jewish when she was 16 years old.

The Holocaust in Yiddish Literature with Dr. Anita Norich (June 16, 2020)

Yiddish literature grappled with the questions the Holocaust raised for the Jews and the wider world. How did they understand what was happening? What did it mean to be “the chosen people?” Were the promises of the Enlightenment—liberty, equality, fraternity—now at an end for Jews? In this lecture, Dr. Anita Norich discusses a range of Yiddish literary responses to these questions in an online Zoom Webinar.

Thank you to our program supporters: Robin & Leo Eisenberg, Gerald & Betsy (z”l) Loomus, Denise & Peter Rodgers, Shelley & Joel Tauber and the PNC Foundation.

Heroes of Holocaust Justice: The True Story of the Band of Spies who Hunted Down Adolf Eichmann (May 11, 2020)

On the 60th anniversary of the the Israeli secret mission to capture the architect of the Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, the Holocaust Memorial Center hosted our first Facebook Live event featuring New York Times Best-Selling Author Neal Bascomb and moderated by Multimedia Journalist and former WXYZ TV 7 anchor Stephen Clark.

Click here to view the recording of the event.


Yom HaShoah Commemoration Broadcast (April 26, 2020)

The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus hosted its annual community-wide Yom HaShoah commemoration on Sun. April 26 at 2 pm. For the first time, the Holocaust Memorial Center’s Yom HaShoah commemoration was hosted online while the museum is closed to the public in accordance with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order.

Board member Steven R. Weisberg offered opening remarks, while Rabbi Yonatan Dahlen and Hazzan David Propis of Shaarey Zedek led the commemoration.

Unto Every Person There Is A Name (April 23, 2020)

As part of this year’s Yom HaShoah commemoration, the Holocaust Memorial Center continues our tradition of participating in “Unto Every Person There Is A Name” in a new, innovative way. Volunteers sent videos of themselves reading the names of Holocaust victims from their homes. Thank you to all of our volunteers for working together with us to ensure the victims of the Holocaust are never forgotten.

Click here to see a list of everyone who sent in videos for this special project to perpetuate the memory of the Six Million, and see below to watch the entire program.

Creating Operation Finale (Jan. 26, 2020)

The Grand Opening of Our Current Special Exhibit

Avner Avraham, Shula Bahat and Patrick Gallagher join the Holocaust Memorial Center to kick off the “Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann” exhibit’s last stop in the United States.