Generations After

Events - October 25th, 2010

On Monday October 25 Generation After group hosted a meeting at the Jewish Federation of Sarasota- Manatee. Our Guest speaker was Dr.Helen Fagin who conducted a stimulated discussion on the book "Man's Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl.

According to Frankl, the book intends to answer the question "How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?"

Pictured from left: David Grace, Susan Swartz, Helen N. Fagin and Bob Aronson.

Helen N. Fagin

This was a great and very inspirational evening to hear once again Dr. Helen Fagin.  Thirty-two years after being one of her students as a senior at the University of Miami in one of her Holocaust courses, I learned that my college professor was residing here in Sarasota, Florida and still teaching at a reduced schedule of her invaluable knowledge in regard to the holocaust.   I was asked to give my account of how it was to sit with Dr. Fagin in her seminar and again listen to her teachings after so many years.  Truly not much has changed; she is the same wonderful person, teaches in the very same direct fashion and quoting many different literary works. Dr. Fagin tells it how it was and how it is. That is what makes her so special and such a pure inspiration to me; her student back in the late seventies and even continuing to the present for thousands of past students and now us as adults.   Dr Fagin’s message from what I can remember is to learn and never forget what had happened and that it  truly happened. The knowledge and wisdom she has is very special, like nobody else, BUT her message is to learn from this and how it relates to humanity, humility, and morality.  ”You have to keep your moral compass” she teaches.... “Make it valid for yourself to have lived” ”Give meaning to whatever you do, if you have the why, you will find the how”.  She is full of hope for the younger generation’s future to make something of their lives.  She tirelessly over so many years has not only shared her personal experience at times as to what really had happened , but more so has taught us what can be learned from this horrific ordeal. Her message and method stays the same.  I was honored to be her student back then and even more honored now that she is part of the Sarasota Jewish community.  We are so fortunate that she is right here in our community.  She is such a significantly positive force for us all.  If you have not yet joined one of her lectures or study groups you are missing out on a very moving and very inspirational experience.  This is something not to miss even after thirty-two years.

Bob Aronson

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