Mon, Nov 27
07:00PM ET
Mon, Nov 27
07:00PM ET

panel discussion

Remembering Vilna: The Fortunoff Archive's New Podcast - In-person and Live on Zoom

Meet the people behind Remembering Vilna: The Jerusalem of Lithuania, the third installment of Those Who Were There: Voices from the Holocaust, a podcast from the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. This latest 10-episode season of the podcast, which is produced in partnership with YIVO, brings to life the story of the destruction of Vilna’s vibrant Jewish community through recorded survivor testimonies and Herman Kruk’s extensive diaries.

Beginning in the mid-1930s with recollections of growing antisemitism, Remembering Vilna shares the experiences of a handful of witnesses to trace the upheaval that descended on the city with the start of World War II and an invasion by the Soviet Union, subsequent German occupation, the formation of the city’s Jewish ghettos, the Nazi’s wholesale murder of tens of thousands of Vilna’s Jews, through to the conclusion of the war and its aftermath.

Join YIVO for a discussion of this podcast with co-producers Nahanni Rous and Eric Marcus, the podcast’s host, Eleanor Reissa, and historical consultant Samuel Kassow, during which they will share excerpts from the series. This talk will be led by Eddy Portnoy, YIVO’s Academic Advisor and Director of Exhibitions.

About the Speakers
As lead producer of the series Remembering Vilna: the Jerusalem of LithuaniaNahanni Rous listened to more than 60 testimonies of Vilna-born Holocaust survivors and wove together the stories that make up the tapestry of experiences in this ten-part audio documentary about Jewish life in Vilna leading up to, during and in the immediate aftermath of World War Two. Nahanni also hosts and produces “Can We Talk?,” the podcast of the Jewish Women’s Archive, which explores the intersection of gender and Jewish culture. She is a MacDowell fellow, an amateur cellist, and lives with her family in Washington, DC.

Journalist and author Eric Marcus is co-producer of Those Who Were There, a podcast drawn from Yale University’s Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, including this third season of the podcast, “Remembering Vilna.” Eric is also the founder and host of the award-winning Making Gay History podcast, which mines his decades-old audio archive of rare interviews to bring LGBTQ history to life through the voices of the people who lived it. Eric is the author and co-author of a dozen books, including, Making Gay HistoryIs It A Choice?Why Suicide?, and Breaking the Surface, the #1 New York Timesbestselling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis.

Eleanor Reissa, the host of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimony’s Those Who Were There, is a Tony Award nominated director; a Broadway actress (Indecent); a television and film actress (HBO’s Plot Against America, AMC’s Walking Dead, and the upcoming series Die Zwieflers, for German television.) She is an award-winning playwright, choreographer; and a critically acclaimed singer in English and Yiddish, performing in every major musical venue in New York City and in festivals around the world. Her book, The Letters Project: A Daughter’s Journey was recently published by Post Hill Press.

Samuel Kassow, the Charles H. Northam Professor of History at Trinity College, holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He has been a visiting professor at many institutions and was on the team of scholars that planned the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. Among his various publications is Who will Write our History: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Secret Ghetto Archive (Indiana, 2007), which received the Orbis Prize of the AAASS, the Damals Prize in Germany for the best monograph of the year, and which was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. It has been translated into eight languages. He is on the team of scholars chosen by Yad Vashem to write a one volume history of the Holocaust in Poland. Professor Kassow’s translation of Rachel Auerbach’s Warsaw ghetto memoirs will be published next year by the National Yiddish Book Center.

Eddy Portnoy is a specialist on Jewish popular culture. He currently serves as Academic Advisor for the Max Weinreich Center and Exhibition Curator at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The exhibitions he has created for YIVO have won plaudits from The New York TimesVICEThe Forward, and others. He is the author of Bad Rabbi and Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press (Stanford University Press, 2017).

Ticket Info: Free, registration is required.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. 

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panel discussion