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Remembering Arthur Welsh 0 Comment(s)

This coming June will mark the centennial of Arthur Welsh's death in an airplane crash.

The story of Welsh, a Russian Jewish immigrant who settled in Washington, is one of our favorites. Likely after seeing an airplane demonstration at Fort Myer, Virginia, in 1908, he asked the Wright Brothers to hire him. After he persisted, they eventually agreed. He became one of their most trusted pilots and instructors, training several pilots (including "Hap" Arnold, head of the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II) and demonstrating the new technology of flight until his untimely death when his Wright Flyer C crashed at College Park airfield on June 11, 1912.

At the cemetery, from the left, Paul, Tiffany, me, and Lisa

To commemorate the centennial of his death, we are collaborating with the College Park Aviation Museum to create a small exhibition and hold a special program. As part of the prep, we recently met with Paul Glenshaw, the exhibition's researcher and designer, and Tiffany Davis, Collection Curator at the Museum. We ventured together to pay our respects to Welsh at Southeast Washington's Adas Israel Cemetery. 

Interested in learning more about this remarkable Jewish Washingtonian? Visit the online exhibition we created several years ago, and come join us at the program in June!

Exhibition Opening at French Embassy 0 Comment(s)

Last night, JHSGW board member Howard Morse (seen here) and I attended a special reception and exhibit opening at the Embassy of France for an exhibition about Hélène Berr, the French equivalent of Anne Frank. The exhibit Hélène Berr—A Stolen Life, created by the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris, is only on view for a few days at the embassy and then will travel to New York and eventually to the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, VA. This touching exhibit is based on Hélène's journal, a beautifully written account of her life in Nazi-occupied Paris. Her journal was saved by her cook and only published in 2008. Hélène, just like Anne Frank, still believed in the goodness of people, even through all of the indignities and horrors she experienced. I am moved by her overwhelming positive view of humanity at its darkest hour.

You can view the exhibition online (in French only)

JHSGW will commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day, Thursday, April 19th at 7pm at the Embassy of France. I hope you will join us and La Maison Française as we remember courageous acts of women resisters, who proved that people are indeed good and stand up to injustice.