Holocaust

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Michèle Sarde

After receiving advanced degrees in French literature in France (Agrégée de l’Université), Michèle Sarde went to the USA in 1968 where she spent most of her teaching career (1970–2001) at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Her publications are in three genres: biographies, novels and essays.

Margherita Sarfatti

Margherita Sarfatti was born in Venice on April 8, 1880, into the wealthy and cultured Jewish Grassini family. Sarfatti was educated by private tutors, among them Antonio Fradeletto (1858–1930), the founding director of the Venice Biennale. During her childhood, she began to be interested in art and poetry, influenced by Fradeletto, who introduced her to the theories of John Ruskin.

Bouena Sarfatty Garfinkle

Bouena (Tova) Sarfatty Garfinkle is remembered as a master of needlepoint and a feisty survivor-partisan-heroine of the decimated but once vibrant Salonikan Jewry.

Nathalie Sarraute

A Russian Jew by birth, French by education and European by culture, Nathalie Sarraute was always intensely aware of and resistant to the reductive powers of categorizing language: she refused to be described as a “woman writer,” and would equally refuse the label “Jewish writer.” Growing up in Paris in the highly cultured milieu of her free-thinking father, Sarraute never felt any sense of difference in status between men and women, and Jewishness was never an issue.

Else Rahel Samulon-Guttmann

Else Samulon, a feminist active in the German women’s movement, was born on September 20, 1898, in Graudenz, Germany (now Grudziadz, Poland), which is located on the banks of the Vistula, some fifty miles south of Gdansk (Danzig).

Charlotte Salomon

Charlotte Salomon was living as a refugee from Nazism in Villefranche on the French Riviera when she made a startling discovery: that eight members of her family, one by one, over the years, had committed suicide. With this traumatic revelation in mind, she arrived at what she called “The question: whether to take her own life or to undertake something eccentric and mad.” Something “eccentric and mad” turned out to be an artwork in over seven hundred scenes, painted during one year (1941–1942), enriched by dialogues, soliloquies and musical references, arranged into acts and scenes, and titled “Life? Or Theater? An Operetta.”

Rachel Salamander

Rachel Salamander is a well-known personality in Munich, where she established a prominent bookshop, the Literaturhandlung, in 1982. This bookshop specializes in Jewish literature and has one of the largest collections of books in Germany about Judaism.

Nelly Leonie Sachs

In 1966, Nelly Sachs was recognized as the only German-speaking woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, an honor she shared with the Galician-born Israeli novelist Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888–1970).

Chava Rosenfarb

Chava Rosenfarb, a major Yiddish novelist of the second half of the twentieth century, is one of the few Holocaust survivors who transmuted their experiences into fiction rather than memoirs or reminiscences.

Käte Rosenheim

As the head of the Department of Children’s Emigration in the Reich Association of Jews in Germany (Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland) between 1934 and 1940, Käte Rosenheim rescued thousands of children. Because she was successful in her work, she and her staff enabled a total of over 7,250 Jewish children to escape from Nazi Germany.

Hadassah Rosensaft

Dr. Hadassah Bimko Rosensaft embodied the Jewish essence of the Holocaust in both its tragic and heroic dimensions. Despite being subjected to tremendous physical suffering, she dedicated herself to helping her fellow concentration camp inmates, first at Auschwitz-Birkenau and then at Bergen-Belsen, and she is credited with having saved hundreds of lives in both camps.

Norma Rosen

Compelled, as a Jewish writer, by the injunction to remember, “Zakhor,” Norma Rosen’s fiction and essays examine ethics, motherhood, and faith after the Holocaust, as well as Jewish identity, feminism, texts, and practices.

Romanian Yiddish Theater

One facet of the rich Jewish cultural scene that developed in Romania in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries consisted of theatrical activity in its various forms.

Roza Robota

A member of the Jewish underground in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, Roza Robota was one of the organizers of an operation to smuggle explosives for use by members of the Sonderkommando (Jewish forced-labor unit of concentration camp prisoners) in the October 7, 1944 revolt at the camp.

Elise Richter

One of the first women to earn a doctorate from the University of Vienna, Elise Richter was the only woman to hold an academic appointment at an Austrian university before World War I. As an instructor and later an associate professor of Romance languages at her alma mater until 1938, she made important scholarly contributions to the field of historical and comparative linguistics.

Resistance, Jewish Organizations in France: 1940-1944

In terms of numbers, the proportion of Jewish women active in Jewish underground organizations in occupied France is impressive.

Havivah Reik

Driving along one of Israel’s inner roads in the upper Shomron plain, one passes two settlements with similar names—Givat Havivah and Lahavot Havivah. Both are named after Havivah Reik, one of the seven members of the “Parachutists’ Mission” who lost their lives during World War II while attempting to aid European Jewry under the Nazis.

Eva Gabriele Reichmann

Judaism and the social history of German Jewry are the major topics of Eva Gabriele Reichmann's scholarly work and publications, as evidenced by the numerous essays and lectures she devoted to those subjects. She was a member and co-worker in various organizations dedicated to Christian and Jewish relations and in other Jewish organizations, as well as a board member and research fellow of the Leo Baeck Institute.

Ravensbruck Women's Concentration Camp

Ravensbrück, the concentration camp that the Nazis created to incarcerate women, received its first transport of prisoners in the spring of 1939. While not created as a camp specifically for Jewish women, they were among the camp’s inmate population for nearly all of its six-year existence.

Antonietta Raphaël

The celebrated painter and sculptor Antoinetta Raphael, whose artistic works vividly portray both the imaginary and the familiar.

Erna Proskauer

At the age of sixty-five, Erna Proskauer took over her former husband’s general law office after his death in 1968. In this office she once again went into joint practice, working until the age of eighty-four.

Olga Benário Prestes

Although Olga Benário Prestes is famous in Brazil and was considered a great heroine in the German Democratic Republic, her name is not well known in the United States.

Lucie Porges

Lucie Porges continued to design, while also imparting her immense knowledge in the Fashion Department of the New School for Social Research.

Poland: Women Leaders in the Jewish Underground During the Holocaust

The presence of so many young women in the Jewish Underground leadership and their unique role within this leadership are unusual phenomena, not only against the background of a pre-feminist era, but even in comparison with social and political organizations today.

Poland: Interwar

Like every other historical analysis of interwar Polish Jewry, the story of Jewish women is a story interrupted tragically by the destruction of Polish Jewry in the Holocaust. Many of the trends discussed above had just begun to make their mark on the nature of that three million strong community. Nevertheless, they are still deserving of scholarly attention. Unless and until the missing fifty-two percent of Polish Jews are factored into the historical narrative, that story will remain incomplete.

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