Toby Kirsch

 

Brief History

Toby Kirsh was born in 1911 in Warsaw, Poland. Not long after she was born, however, her family moved to Belgium. In 1933, German Jews began to flee to the country, following Hitler's rise to power. On May 10th, 1940, the German Army marched into Belgium, and after only seventeen days of fighting, conquered the country. Mrs. Kirsh's husband, David Kirsh, had been forced to give up his schooling after the German invasion, and soon after, he joined a Belgian resistance group (Mouvment National Belge). Mrs. Kirsh and her husband fought and hid from the Nazis until they were able to move - with the support of the resistance group - to the Ardennes region of Belgium in 1941. Here, Mrs. Kirsh took on the responsibility of transporting children out of danger in Brussels to safe shelters and houses elsewhere. During the next four years, Mrs. Kirsh and her husband saw very little of one another. Mr. Kirsh moved constantly, fighting with the resistance, and Mrs. Kirsh spent many of her days transporting children to safety. During her time helping the resistance, Mrs. Kirsh saved about 60 children. After liberation by US troops in 1945, Mrs. Kirsh and her husband moved back to an apartment in Brussels. Mrs. Kirsh gave birth to her first daughter, Estelle, two years later. Not long after, they obtained visas and moved to the United States, where Mrs. Kirsh and her husband had their second daughter, Regina, in 1950.

 

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Calendar of Events

Azeem Ibrahim's compelling lecture delves into the root causes and motivations of the harrowing Rohingya genocide, shedding light on the historical context, human rights violations, and geopolitical complexities surrounding this tragic crisis.

Azeem Ibrahim, Ph.D., is a research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, and a director at the Center for Global Policy in Washington, D.C. Over the years, he has advised numerous world leaders on strategy and policy development. Ibrahim is also the author of the seminal books Rohingya: Inside Myanmar's Genocide (Hurst, 2016) and Radical Origins: Why We are Losing the Battle against Islamic Extremism (Pegasus, 2017). He is a columnist at Foreign Policy magazine and his writing has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Times (UK), Chicago Tribune, Newsweek and many others. Outside academia, Ibrahim has been a reservist in the IV Battalion Parachute Regiment and an award-winning entrepreneur. He was ranked as a Top 100 Global Thinker by the European Social Think Tank and named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, after which he completed fellowships at Oxford and Harvard. In 2019, he received the International Association of Genocide Scholars Engaged Scholar Prize for his research on the Rohingya genocide. In 2022, Ibrahim was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I, on the recommendation of the prime minister, for his services to foreign policy.

Wolf Gruner, Ph.D., discusses the subject of his book Resisters: How Ordinary Jews Fought Persecution in Hitler's Germany (Yale University Press, 2023), which features the life stories of five Jewish men and women who resisted in different ways against persecution in Nazi Germany. By discussing their courageous acts, the book demonstrates the wide range of Jewish resistance in Nazi Germany, challenges the myth of Jewish passivity and illuminates individual Jewish agency during the Holocaust.

Wolf Gruner, Ph.D., holds the Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies and is a professor of history at the University of Southern California and founding director of the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research. He received his Ph.D. in History from the Technical University Berlin and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, Yad Vashem Jerusalem, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Women's Christian University Tokyo, among others. Gruner is the author of o books on the Holocaust, including Jewish Forced Labor under the Nazis: Economic Needs and Nazi Racial Aims. His 2016 prizewinning German book was published in English as The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia: Czech Initiatives, German Policies, Jewish Responses. He co-edited four books, including Resisting Persecution: Jews and Their Petitions during the Holocaust and New Perspectives on Kristallnacht: After 80 Years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison. He is an appointed member of the Academic Committee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the International Advisory Board of the Journal of Genocide Research, among others.

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