Holocaust Speaker Series: Mats Michaelsen
The Holocaust Speaker Series, hosted every Wednesday at 11 a.m., features Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors sharing stories of life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The series is sponsored by Margaret & Michael Valentine in partnership with the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Center and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. This week’s Speaker Series features Mats Michaelsen. Mats is from Ilsede, Germany where, one year ago, he finished high school and will start studying once he returns home this August. During his time in school, Mats tried to learn as much as possible about the processes that led to the Holocaust in his country and is still interested in improving his understanding of the time through different perspectives. He likes to share his experience in growing up in the society of the perpetrators but is also keen to exchange that with people coming from a different history. As a young German, he feels the responsibility to keep the memory of this horrific atrocity alive and make an effort to improve the world we all live in. This motivation led him to apply for an international volunteer program, Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP). This organization sends young people to different countries in Europe, Israel, and the U.S. to work with victims of the Holocaust, at educational facilities, or with marginalized people. Their work aims at creating dialogue between different people and reducing prejudices, thus building a society for everybody. In this special presentation of the Speaker Series, Mats will reflect on his year of volunteer work at the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center, where he’s been a valuable asset to our museum tour program and archive initiative.