Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Jack and Rochelle Sutin

Recently, while out at the University of Minnesota's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, I noticed a link in the narratives area for Jack and Rochelle Sutin. Larry, their son (pretty obvious in this picture), was my oftentimes professor and thesis advisor (I turned in a Master's thesis on dystopias with three of my own for good measure) for my writing degree in the Hamline MALS program. Larry wrote a memoir about his parents' lives: Jack and Rochelle : A Holocaust Story of Love and Resistance that's exceptional, and I was disappointed when I couldn't make the stage version which was playing at the beginning of the year at the Stages Theatre in Hopkins. The narrative at CHGS isn't very long, but there are numerous pictures (1,2,3) - so many more than were in the book - most from right after the war (Julius/Jack and Rochelle were partisans). I thought this "1947 New Year Card from Survivor" was particularly interesting.
"Jack and Rochelle Sutin survived in the Byelorussia forests as partisans, fighting through World War II and avoiding the fate of other Jews from their homeland, Poland. They fought in a detachment under General Zorin. After the war, they were repatriated to Poland but left Poland after pogroms (attacks) against Jews who had returned. The most infamous was the Kielce Program of July 4, 1946. Jews who left Poland sought to get into the American Occupation Zone of Germany, or the British Zone. The Sutins wound up in Neu-Freimann, a DP (Displaced Persons) Camp. While they awaited visas to the United States, Jack became a photographer for the camp newspaper. These photos are from his private collection and show life in the DP camp after the war. A larger collection of original works have been donated to the photography archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington."

There are many more pictures and narratives from others at the site in addition to the Sutins' - it's really worth a few hours digging around.

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