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History

Sara Stone

Sara Stone helped New Orleans weather hard times from the Great Depression through Hurricane Katrina.

The Women of Rosenstrasse

After moving from Tel Aviv to Berlin about five years ago, I started noticing that the sheer number of commemorative objects scattered around the city is quite astounding. Berlin has seen more radical changes in the last 150 years then most cities have in the last 1,000. From the Prussians to the German Kaiser, from the Weimar republic to Nazi times and subsequently division and reunification, it is a city of many identities.

Recording History, Warts and All

So, when prompted with the question, “Which piece of culture would you like history to forget?” I truly couldn’t think of anything. To willingly want to erase a historical cultural record really shows no regard for history at all. The culture we create is a reflection of our values during that period. Books, movies, TV, music, are the most compelling historical records we have of the mood of a society, and this includes the ugly parts. 

Bertha Rayner Frank

Bertha Rayner Frank became the epicenter of a national debate on anti-Semitism when she forced an Atlantic City hotel to publicly apologize for refusing to serve Jews.

Hayuta Busel

As a widowed pioneer and young mother, Hayuta Busel fought to expand options for women in Palestine.

Ruth Bondy

Journalist Ruth Bondy made larger events more relatable for readers through her insightful human interest stories.

Adele Bloch-Bauer

A wealthy socialite and salon hostess in her day, Adele Bloch-Bauer became the center of an historic legal case when her niece demanded the return of her portrait, stolen by the Nazis.

How and Why We Remember

The people of a certain culture devote an entire week of each year to commemorating one of the worst parts of their history. They taste bitter things to appreciate the suffering of their ancestors. They consciously abstain from consuming bread to remind themselves what was eatenor rather, what was not eaten. They mourn the deaths of their ancient oppressors. They drink the metaphorical tears of their forefathers and foremothers. And year after year after year, they gather around tables to recount the suffering and the humiliation and the turmoil of their own people.

Propelled into the New Year

Early in the 20th century, Jewish New Year card manufacturers began embellishing their cards with airplanes. They did so for three interrelated reasons: to call attention to the thrilling, modern invention of the airplane, to draw an analogy between the New Year and this new means of travel, and to use the airplane to highlight the changing status of women. Airplane pictures mirrored the tremendous emigration from Eastern Europe to the West in the early part of the 20th century and were a symbol of progress and modernity.  

Elisabeth Bergner

Playfully titling her 1978 memoir Greatly Admired and Often Cursed, Elisabeth Bergner was famed both as the actress whom writers felt best captured their characters and as a former spy who helped other actors escape Nazi Germany.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "History." (Viewed on May 23, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/history>.

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