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Special Lectures

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January 2019

Congregation Brith Shalom Adult Education Lecture & Book Signing - Penny Milbouer: Between Persecution and Participation

Willy Wiemokli had no idea he was Jewish. On the day after he was born, his Jewish father received baptism into the Lutheran religion. Willy grew up without any Jewish knowledge or education.

That all changed after Hitler took power. Under the Nuremberg Laws, Willy was now classified as a “half Jew”. He was even arrested during Kristallnacht and interned at Buchenwald. During the war, Willy was protected by his employer, Topf & Son, the company that produced crematoria for the Nazi concentration camps. Under the post-war Communist regime, he was persecuted once again for being Jewish.

Houstonian Penny Milbouer presents a lecture, “Between Persecution and Participation”, on January 24 at 7 PM at Congregation Brith Shalom. The program is sponsored by the Brith Shalom Adult Education Committee. Milbouer translated Willy’s story from German to English. Willy’s story raises questions about Jewish identity and the boundaries between victim, bystander and accomplice during the Holocaust.

Following the lecture, Milbouer will be available to sign copies of her book.