Aftermath and Legacy UNESCO 2014 Exhibit

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Aftermath and Legacy

Betty Berz

Language: French

Betty Berz (née Sagal) was born on June 22, 1926 in Kyiv, USSR (today, Ukraine). The family—Betty, her mother Marie, her father Boris, and her younger sister Rachel—immigrated to Paris in 1929.

When war broke out in France in 1940, Betty was evacuated with other Parisian children, stayed briefly at a boarding school in Gers, then returned to Paris, where she was subjected to anti-Jewish measures, including wearing the yellow star. In June 1942, Betty and her family were warned about roundups and managed to avoid the Velodrome d’Hiver roundup. They took refuge in various places before settling in a room in the 11th arrondissement in Paris, where they stayed for two years with the Bastian family.

After the territory was liberated by U.S. armed forces and French resistance fighters in 1944, Betty’s parents engaged in a court battle to take back their apartment, which had been rented out, unbeknownst to them, during the war. In June 1991, the Bastian family was honored by Yad Vashem with the honorific Righteous Among the Nations for saving Jews, including Betty.

The interview was conducted on July 24, 1996 in La Garenne-Colombes, France; interviewer: Lucie Caries; videographer: Sylvain Rigollot.

  • Betty Berz

    Language: French

    Betty Berz (née Sagal) was born on June 22, 1926 in Kyiv, USSR (today, Ukraine). The family—Betty, her mother Marie, her father Boris, and her younger sister Rachel—immigrated to Paris in 1929.

    When war broke out in France in 1940, Betty was evacuated with other Parisian children, stayed briefly at a boarding school in Gers, then returned to Paris, where she was subjected to anti-Jewish measures, including wearing the yellow star. In June 1942, Betty and her family were warned about roundups and managed to avoid the Velodrome d’Hiver roundup. They took refuge in various places before settling in a room in the 11th arrondissement in Paris, where they stayed for two years with the Bastian family.

    After the territory was liberated by U.S. armed forces and French resistance fighters in 1944, Betty’s parents engaged in a court battle to take back their apartment, which had been rented out, unbeknownst to them, during the war. In June 1991, the Bastian family was honored by Yad Vashem with the honorific Righteous Among the Nations for saving Jews, including Betty.

    The interview was conducted on July 24, 1996 in La Garenne-Colombes, France; interviewer: Lucie Caries; videographer: Sylvain Rigollot.

  • Elizabeth Holtzman

    Language: English

    Elizabeth Holtzman was born on August 11, 1941 in New York, NY, United States. Her father, Sidney, was an attorney and her mother was a college professor. Elizabeth graduated from Brooklyn’s Abraham Lincoln High School in 1958 and Radcliffe College in 1962. During the summer of 1963, after her first year of law school at Harvard, Elizabeth travelled to Albany, GA, to assist civil rights lawyer C.B. King in fighting for justice. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1965 and entered public service.

    In 1972, at the age of 31, Elizabeth was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She was then, and continues to be, the youngest woman ever to serve in the U.S. Congress. She worked there for 19 years and gained a reputation for asking tough questions. Notably, Elizabeth helped pass legislation to deport Nazi war criminals who were living in the United States. She won national attention for her role on the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate. She also sat on the subcommittee hearing President Ford’s testimony about the Nixon pardon. After leaving Washington, Elizabeth served as the District Attorney for New York City as well as City Comptroller. She also set up her own law practice and published a memoir in 1996 entitled Who Said It Would Be Easy: One Woman’s Life in the Political Arena. Together with Cynthia Cooper, she co-authored Cheating Justice: How Bush and Cheney Attacked the Rule of Law and Plotted to Avoid Prosecution-and What We Can Do about It (Beacon Press, 2012).

    The interview was conducted on August 23, 2000 in New York, NY, United States; interviewer: Nancy Fisher; videographer: Yitzhak Gol.

  • Lajos Cśeri

    Language: Hungarian

    Lajos Cséri (name at birth Lajos Klein) was born on January 22, 1928 in Hajdúböszörmény, Hungary, in a secular Jewish family. Lajos had a brother, Gyula, and a sister, Anna. He attended a Protestant school in Sárrétudvari, where he spent most of his childhood.

    In 1940 his father, Viktor, was conscripted to forced labor and sent to Hajdúhadház, where he fell ill and died in 1942. In the meantime, Lajos moved to Szentes, in the county of Csongrád, to live with his aunt. When anti-Jewish measures were enacted in Hungary in 1942, Lajos had to perform forced labor for Levente—a paramilitary youth organization of teenagers serving in Hungarian auxiliary forces. On May 9, 1944 Hungarian authorities forced the Jews of Szentes into a ghetto established in the town. The ghetto was evacuated on June 16 to a brick factory in Szeged, from where Lajos was soon deported to the Auschwitz II-Birkenau death camp in Poland. From there, he was subsequently transferred to the Dachau, Kaufering, and München-Allach concentration camps in Germany. Lajos was liberated by the U.S. armed forces in München-Allach on April 30, 1945.

    Lajos and Gyula were the only survivors of the entire Cséri family. After liberation, interested in fine art, Lajos graduated from the College of Art in Budapest and became a renowned sculptor. His plaque of Dürer is exhibited in Nuremberg and the one of Van Gogh is in Amsterdam. Lajos taught technique of portraiture, small sculpture, and medal art at the State University of New York, Cortland. From 1959 to his retirement he worked, in significant positions, at the Adult Education Institute, the Arts Fund, and the Hungarian Ministry of Culture.

    The interview was conducted on December 7, 1998 in Budapest, Hungary; interviewer: Peter Aradi; videographer: Zoltan Tokaji.