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Culture

Read Related Article #1: U.S. was a mecca

Read Related Article #3: Survivor Profile: Inge Auerbacher

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Out of the Holocaust came a whole other world of culture, as its tragic events and stories became subject matter for artwork, films, plays, books, poetry and music as those affected by it tried to find a creative outlet for what happened.
Although there are survivors who prefer to keep their experiences to themselves, many felt compelled to share their experiences and wrote books about what they went through.
Flushing resident Werner Kleeman had a long-held desire to write down his story, which included spending six weeks in Dachau, moving to the United States and later returning with the army to fight on D-Day. Through the encouragement of his children and grandchildren, Kleeman published his story in the book “From Dachau to D-Day” last year.
“I consider this an accomplishment to be able to put into writing…important things that happened in my lifetime,” Kleeman said. “My life was very different. When you live from Dachau to D-Day and beyond, you have a hard life behind you.”
In 1987, Yala Korwin, a survivor from Poland, published a book of poems entitled “To Tell the Story: Poems of the Holocaust.”
“This is my story in poems,” she said.
The Holocaust has also moved and inspired non-survivors. Poet Charles Fishman has written many poems focusing on the Holocaust. He first became inspired to do so in 1966 when visiting Dachau during a trip to Europe.
As time has gone on, Fishman said that he has seen the amount of Holocaust poetry being written increase. He said that it is able to touch people in a way that other mediums are not able to.
“It gets to the core of who we are as human beings to questions of ethics and courage and understanding and empathy and compassion, struggle,” Fishman said. “It takes an enormous amount of strength to bring yourself to write on this subject, to continue to write on this subject.”
In 1981 Inge Auerbacher attended a world gathering of survivors in Jerusalem. There, a poem that she had written was set to music and performed. She later wrote two books about her experiences, “I Am a Star” and “Beyond the Yellow Star to America.” “I Am a Star” came out in 1987 and has since been translated into eight languages.
The stories of the Holocaust have also inspired many films and documentaries. They began in the 1940s, and are still prevalent today.

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