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October 18, 2004

Symposium: DovenSHOAH - DeafSHOAH

From: haGalil onLine, Germany - Oct 18, 2004

Amsterdam, october 28th 2004

The Foundation for Welfare of the Deaf Amsterdam (SWDA) organises a symposium called "DeafSHOAH". SHOAH (calamity, disaster) is the Hebrew word for the "Holocaust" that came over the Jewish Community during the second World War. The symposium looks at the consquences for a smaller community, namely the Deaf Community. Most Jewish Deaf were a part of this community. As a consequence of the SHOAH, almost all the Jewish Deaf dissapeared from the Deaf Community. This, we call the "DeafSHOAH". Historically, very little is known about what happened during the DeafSHOAH and what is known, is under the threat of being forgotten. This must not happen.

It is very clear that this part of history had very great consequences for the Deaf Coimmunity as a whole. Because the Amsterdam Deaf Community was hit hardest, SWDA has taken upon itself the organisation of this symposium. Amsterdam has a realively great wealth of documentation on the history of the Deaf Community. From this the important part the Jewish Deaf have played for the national Deaf Community, has become apparent.

During the symposium we will look at the life of Deaf Jews before- and during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The unique character of this life was based on the phenomenon of 'Deaf Culture' and will be highlighted from different viewpoints. We sincerely hope to be able to retrieve this -almost lost- part of history before it sinks into oblivion. In addition to this we would like to culminate this activity in the shape of a National Memorial Monument of the DeafSHOAH. For this purpose SWDA has set up a special committee.

The symposium will be held on october 28 2004 in the SWDA building, located at Stadhouderskade 89 in Amsterdam. The hall will be open from 09:30. The program will commence at 10:00 and will close with drinks at about five o'clock in the afternoon.

The symposium is open to both deaf and hearing people. Interpreters will be present. Attendance fee for the symposium is set at Euro 50 per person, for students from relevant disciplines Euro 20 p.p. Lunch and liquid refreshment are included. It is also possible to order a kosher meal (please specify with  registration).

Please send the registration form with name, adress, email, organisation/institution to:

Stichting Welzijn Doven Amsterdam
c.o. symposium DovenSHOAH
Stadhouderskade 89
1073 AV Amsterdam
the Netherlands

Since the conference Hall at SWDA sets limits to the number of participants, we would suggest timely regsitration. Registration will take place in chronological order of arrival and will close on october 21st.

We would also like to remind you that parking space around the SWDA building is limited and not free. Public transportation is efficient and frequent: trams 16 or 24, exit at 1ste Jacob van Campenstraat, next to the Heineken Museum.

We hope to see you on the 28th!
Stefan Russel, General Manager, SWDA

Symposium DeafSHOAH

Word of Welcome, by Mr. G. Fles, chairman SWDA

Lecture "Deaf Culture in Amsterdam before 1940"
by Mr. T.Bloem, teacher at the Hogeschool Utrecht
Very little serious research has been done into the Dutch Deaf Culture before the WWII. Tony Bloem, teacher in Sign Language and Deaf Culture, outlines an image of Deaf Culture in those days.

Project "DovenSHOAH"
Mrs. E. Muller-Engelsman, chairwoman committee DovenSHOAH
Speaking from her own experiences of the waryears, she will tell us about the motivation and background of the committee DovenSHOAH.
Mr. J. Backer, committee member DovenSHOAH
A witness of the DeafSHOAH in the Amsterdam School for the deaf, he now works on a project that collects testimonials about those occurrences
Mr. E. Leuw, committee member DovenSHOAH
As an actor with the "Handtheater", he gave solo-performances "Petrified Grief", about his childhood recollections as a deaf child in hiding during WWII.


Lecture "Research into the Deaf and the Holocaust"
by Mark Zaurov, M.A., historian at the University of Hamburg, Germany.
He will inform us on the current state of historical research into Deaf and Holocaust.

Discussion, led by mrs. C.Tijsseling, M.Sc, member Dutch Deaf Historical Workgroup (NHDG)
General discussion on the topics touched during the symposium.

Extra item: "Anne Frank, translated in Dutch Sign Language"
by Ms. S. Muller, translator/storyteller
In addition to being translated in many spoken languages, the worldfamoust diary of Anne Frank will be translated into Dutch Sign Language. Sarah Muller is working on this translation, an initiative of Erika Zeegers,

Close and refreshments. 18-10-2004

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