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Statement regarding Hamas's attack of Israel

The Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Committee grieves Hamas’s brutal attack on Israel on October 7, 2023. Hamas’s actions have caused heart-wrenching suffering in Israel and in Gaza and have frustrated the cause of peace. All hostages must be released immediately and the humanitarian tragedy precipitated by Hamas in Gaza must be stopped. Our prayers are with all the victims and their families.

Calendar of Events

Workshop for Educators “The Assignment: Being an Upstander"
      September 19, 5:00 - 8:00 PM, Purdue University

“Nobody is going to break us”: A History of Russian Aggression in Ukraine
      February 28, 5:00 PM, Purdue University

From Neighbors to Enemies: The Bosnia-Herzegovina War
      April 3, 6:00 PM, Maple & Elm Rooms, West Lafayette Public Library

The Struma: A documentary from 2002
      April 10, 6:30 PM, West Lafayette Public Library, Co-sponsored by WALLA

Holocaust Remembrance: Music from the Holocaust
      April 16, 4 PM, St. John’s Episcopal Church, The Tippecanoe Chamber Music Society

A Virtual Discussion and Q&A with Dr. Ilana Blum
      April 18, 12-1:30 PM

Stars without a Heaven: Children in the Holocaust
      April 18, 5-8 PM, Opening Reception, Yad Vashem Exhibit, West Lafayette Public Library

Hiding in the Open
      April 19, 7 PM, Dan Kinsey Auditorium, McCutcheon High School

A Virtual Discussion with Dr. Ilana Blum, Q&A with son Raphael
      April 24, 7-8:30 PM

All times are Eastern Daylight Savings Time (same time as New York)


A Virtual Discussion with Dr. Ilana Blum

Dr. Ilana Blum

Survivor, Physician, Professor of Medicine

Ilana Blum On December 11, 1941, the Struma set sail from Constanta, Romania, bound for Palestine with 778 Romanian refugees aboard. The ship was in poor repair to begin with, but when the engine gave out, it was towed to Istanbul. The passengers, fleeing persecution in their own country, became hostage to the forces of war and wartime politics in another. The British were restricting immigration to Palestine in deference to the Arabs, and the Turks, attempting neutrality, had pledged not to allow illegal immigrants into their country. The Turks would not allow Jews without valid visas to leave the ship. Instead, the boat sat in the Istanbul harbor for over two months, the passengers ill, starving, and increasingly in despair. Finally, the Turks towed the Struma out into the Black Sea and set it adrift. Soon after, it was torpedoed by a Russian submarine and sank. There was only one survivor. In 2000, divers discovered the approximate location of the wreck, and a memorial service was held at sea to honor the victims.

Dr. Ilana Blum is the daughter of the ship’s physician, Dr. Horia Lobel, who perished when the Struma was destroyed. Because she was pregnant, Dr. Blum’s mother had remained in Romania, expecting to join her husband in Palestine at a later date. Christian friends gave mother and daughter refuge. Ilana grew up in Communist Romania with a Catholic identity and did not discover she was Jewish until she was in her early teens.

Dr. Blum and her mother emigrated to Israel in 1958. Ilana attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She specialized in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and became Head of one of the departments of Internal Medicine at the Tel Aviv Medical Center and then Head of the Institute of Endocrinology at the Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva. She became associate professor in medicine at Tel Aviv University. Today, she is in private practice in Tel Aviv.

Speaking to us from her home in Tel Aviv, Dr. Blum will discuss her childhood in Romania, her decision to emigrate to Israel, her integration into Israeli society, and how waiting, hoping for her father to appear, dominated her childhood. She was 58 when she learned at last what had happened to the Struma and its passengers. She attended the memorial service on the Black Sea in September 2000.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 12:00-1:30 PM EDT
Monday, April 24, 2023, 7:00-8:30 PM EDT

Watch Presentation on YouTube
Watch Presentation with American Sign Language (ASL) on YouTube

There will be two sessions. Each session will consist of a pre-recorded presentation by Dr. Blum followed by a live Q&A. The April 18th presentation will feature Dr. Blum for the Q&A and the April 24th presentation will feature her son Raphael for the Q&A. The sessions will be facilitated by Rebekah Klein-Pejšová, Associate Professor of History at Purdue University.


From Neighbors to Enemies: The Bosnia-Herzegovina War

April 3, 2023 6:00 PM
Maple & Elm Rooms, West Lafayette Public Library

In a follow-up to Jordan Steven Sher’s GLHRC presentation on Bosnia in the Fall of 2021 (Never Again: Bosnia), Enisa Spahić and Hasena Begić of South Bend will discuss their experiences during the Bosnian War in the early 1990s and their refugee experiences in the United States.

Facilitated by Ms. Merisa Spahić, Senior at Purdue University, and Associate Professor of History at Purdue, Dr. Rebekah Klein-Pejšová.

Click Here for More Info

Also available via Facebook Live


Statement regarding Ukraine

The GLHRC fully supports the following statement issued by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), and we stand with the Ukrainian people in their defense of their sovereignity: The USHMM strongly condemns Russia’s outrageous attack on Ukraine and is deeply concerned about threats to civilians and loss of life. In justifying this attack, Vladimir Putin has misrepresented and misappropriated Holocaust history by claiming falsely that democratic Ukraine needs to be “denazified.” Equally groundless and egregious are his claims that Ukrainian authorities are committing “genocide” as a justification for the invasion of Ukraine.

Mission Statement

The goals of the Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Committee, initiated by Rabbi Gedalyah Engel and the Mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette in 1981, are to continue awareness of the Nazis' War against the Jews from 1933-1945, to honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, and to promote individual, community, and media responsibility for combating the forces of prejudice, hatred, and discrimination today.

Contact us: info@glhrc.org

© 2023 Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Conference Committee.
Archive: Past Conferences