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History

Remembering Hebrew Union College's role in Holocaust rescue

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Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who was rescued from Nazi Germany by Hebrew Union College, pictured here with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

  

Last week we discussed the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, this afternoon we’ll hear about another episode during that terrible time. During the Holocaust, Hebrew Union College played a key role in the rescue of college professors and students from Nazi-occupied Europe. From his office on the Clifton campus, then-HUC President Julian Morgenstern orchestrated the rescue, saving 16 people from likely death in Nazi camps and ghettos. One of those saved was Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who became a leading American Jewish theologian and a close ally of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement. Here to tell us about the rescue are Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Ph.D. students Eva Mwanika and Kurt Backlund, who have done extensive research on the event.

To learn more about the Holocaust, go to the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education website. And a new exhibition, Unlocking the Gates of Auschwitz 70 Years Later, opens January 30 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.