Friday, March 29, 2013

Holocaust Memorial Day Event at Central Queens Y

Talk By Holocaust Survivor Who Risked Her Life Postwar As Civil Rights Activist

Holocaust Memorial Day will be marked in Forest Hills with a talk by a remarkable Holocaust survivor who went on after the war to risk her life working for social justice in the American South during the Civil Rights Era.  On Monday, April 8, at 1:30 p.m., writer, artist, and civil rights activist Marione Ingram will speak on her memoir on her experiences during the Holocaust at the Central Queens YM & YWHA in Forest Hills.  

Following the war, Ingram emigrated to the U.S. and set up a Freedom School in Mississippi during the 1960s.  The program will begin with a candle lighting ceremony for Holcaust Memorial Day.  

Marione Ingram’s talk is open to the public, with a $6 voluntary donation requested.  The Central Queens Y is at 67-09 108 Street in Forest Hills. 

Marione Ingram grew up in Germany during World War II, the daughter of a Jewish mother.  When neighbors reported them to the Gestapo, her mother received a deportation notice and attempted suicide.  In the midst of deportations, they also experienced the firestorm bombings of Hamburg, the deadliest aerial assault the world had ever seen.  Ironically she and her mother escaped the death camps only because, bombed out and denied access to air raid shelters, they were presumed dead in the firestorms. Marione and her mother were able to survive the last eighteen months of the war in hiding, living with constant fear and hunger.  

Immigrating to the U.S. in 1952, Ingram worked in NYC at the Museum of Modern Art.   For the first time in her life she felt safe, but she also observed that discrimination against African Americans was so prevalent that most people viewed it as normal, whereas she saw it as a variation of the racism she had experienced as a child. Impelled by her own experiences, she became a civil rights activist.  During the 1960s she worked on voter registration in the South and opened a Freedom School in Mississippi.  There she faced harassment  and threats and the school was eventually torched by the Klu Klux Klan.  Today she is a writer and a fiber artist, whose writing has been published in Best American Essays and whose artwork is exhibited on both sides of the Atlantic. 

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