University of Illinois assistant professor Carol Tilley has always felt strongly about the fact that kids need comics. And she’s not the only one. We’ll talk with Tilley about how comics played a huge role in her childhood and why she thinks it’s so upsetting that they are less widely available and more expensive than they once were. Award-winning graphic novelist and nationally syndicated cartoonist Josh Elder also joins us. He’s creating a new series of graphic textbooks for elementary and middle school teachers. We’ll talk with him and Tilley about what sets comics apart and why they’re useful in the classroom.
Over the course of his 50-year career, filmmaker Marian Marzynski has occasionally turned his cameras on himself and his story of surviving the Holocaust, which claimed the life of his father and millions of other European Jews.
In his latest film, Marzynski returns to Poland and the Jewish ghettos of his childhood. But this time, he is not alone. In Never Forget to Lie, Marzynski chronicles the poignant, painful recollections of other child survivors. The film rescues haunting pieces of the past while exploring the conflicting feelings about national, cultural, and religious identity that mark many survivors.
“The Holocaust story has been told by others; this is our turn,” Marzynski says. “In our old bodies, we are still children.”
In Never Forget to Lie, Marzynski attends an annual Warsaw gathering of Holocaust survivors. He accompanies some of them to the Warsaw ghetto from which he and others escaped through the aid of sympathetic Christian friends. Their childhood memories bear the stain of Nazi oppression: Marzynski recalls playing a wartime version of hide and seek, whereby one Jewish child would shout “Germans!,” and the others would hide until told to come out.
“I remember boots—clean, beautiful, awesome, shiny boots,” a woman recalls of the Nazi soldiers who marched into Poland. “I was afraid of those boots.”
Lilian Boraks-Nemetz, a writer from Vancouver, relives the day her family was marched to the transportation for the death camps. “I am digging my nails into my mother’s flesh. We start marching, and we walk and we walk. I keep crying and asking my mother, ‘Where are we going?’”
At the last moment, Boraks-Nemetz and her mother were saved when they were shoved out of line and behind a gate by her father, who was working as a “Jewish policeman” charged with assisting in the deportations.
“He hated what he was doing, but he did it,” she says, “because to survive in that insane jungle, he told me, you have to become an animal yourself.”
Never Forget to Lie tells of parents who did anything possible to save their children, entrusting them to Christian friends, priests and orphanages. Many of the children were baptized as Catholics in order to provide them with the documents that could mean the difference between life and death. Some survivors recall the challenges of assuming their Jewish identities after the war.
Halina Kramarz fled her hometown with her mother to hide with Christian friends in Krakow during the war; her father died on an overcrowded train bound for a death camp. Yet she recalls being shocked after the war when her mother confessed that they were Jewish.
“I said, ‘I can’t be Jewish! I have nothing personally against the Jews, but I don’t want to be one!’”
Marzynski—who relished his role as an altar boy while hiding with a Catholic priest—also admits that his religious faith dissolved because of his wartime experiences.
“My mother used to say that during the Holocaust, God was taking a long nap—and I agreed,” he says. “So I call my religion ‘survival.’”
10 BUILDINGS THAT CHANGED AMERICA, a new PBS special about 10 influential American buildings that changed the way we live, work, and play, premieres on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 9 pm on WILL-TV. Written and produced by Dan Protess and hosted by Geoffrey Baer, the program was shot on location from Massachusetts to Los Angeles, and features rare archival images, distinctive animation, and interviews with some of the nation’s most insightful historians and architects, including Frank Gehry and Robert Venturi.
“You may not have heard of all of these ten buildings, but their influence is all around you,” says Baer. “There’s a good chance that these revolutionary works of architecture inspired your local city hall or library, the mall where you shop, the office building or factory where you work, and maybe even your own house,” he added.
10 BUILDINGS THAT CHANGED AMERICA is a journey that takes viewers inside these groundbreaking works of art and engineering and reveals the shocking, funny, and even sad stories of how these buildings came to be. From the glorious Trinity Church, designed as “an envelope” for the voice of Rector Phillips Brooks (best known today as the writer of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”) to the Highland Park Ford Plant, designed by Jewish architect Albert Kahn, whose partnership with Henry Ford flourished despite Ford’s anti-Semitic writings, the program explores how their construction had consequences — some unintended — on cities and communities across the country. Ultimately, the program is a journey inside the imaginations of a group of architects who dared to create these influential structures.
The ten buildings in chronological order are:
Virginia State Capitol, Richmond, VA (1788) – Designed by Thomas Jefferson, it marked the beginning of the American tradition of modeling government buildings on Roman and Greek temples.
Trinity Church, Boston, MA (1877) – Created by architect H.H. Richardson, Trinity was the first example of the/his Richardsonian Romanesque style, which was later used in churches, city halls and county courthouses across America.
Wainwright Building, St. Louis, MO (1891) – Louis Sullivan’s Wainwright Building was not the first skyscraper, but it gave the modern, steel-frame skyscraper its form. Historian Tim Samuelson said it “taught the skyscraper to soar.”
Robie House, Chicago, IL (1910) – Considered a masterpiece of Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie style, it transformed the American home and even inspired the ranch houses of the mid-20th century.
Highland Park Ford Plant, Highland Park, MI (1910) – The first home of Henry Ford’s revolutionary moving assembly line, Albert Kahn’s “daylight factory” design revolutionized industrial architecture.
Southdale Center, Edina, MN (1956) – America’s first fully enclosed, indoor regional shopping mall, it established the formula that all indoor malls followed for decades. Its architect, Victor Gruen, was a socialist who ironically thought shopping malls would cure suburban sprawl.
Seagram Building, New York, NY (1958) – Mies van der Rohe’s tower on Park Avenue was the model for modernist skyscrapers built across the country in the mid-20th century: a dark glass box, set back on an open plaza.
Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, VA (1962) – Designed by Eero Saarinen, this was the first airport in the world created expressly for jets.
Vanna Venturi House, Philadelphia, PA (1964) – Considered by many to be the first “postmodern” building. In an age of austere glass boxes, Robert Venturi dared to design a home that looked like a child’s typical drawing of a house.
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA (2003) – Frank Gehry’s swooping stainless steel design was a radical departure from the traditional, even stuffy, idea of a concert hall. It inspired other architects to set their imaginations free.
Accompanying the broadcast is a robust companion website, wttw.com/10buildings, a mobile-optimized online destination packed with rich media content including text, photos, video, animation and interactive features that bring the stories of American architecture to life. The site will feature the stories of the ten buildings covered in the program, ten more buildings exclusive to the web, and ten trends in architecture. Visitors to the site will also have the opportunity to share their own picks. Also included will be a curriculum designed for grades 6-12 which will include five lesson plans, focusing on five different subjects: art, English, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Tuesday at 7 pm on The Evening Concert, it's the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Guest conductor Michael Tilson Thomas conducts music of Beethoven and Brahms including Beethoven’s 3rd Piano Concerto with soloist Jeremy Denk. Also on the program Mathieu Dufour is the soloist in Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 1.
When you go away to camp, you’re automatically part of a new community. You sleep in an unfamiliar bed in a room with unfamiliar bunk mates; you eat food you aren’t used to or go hungry. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about how that “camp experience” can be good for kids. Michael Thompson is author of the book “Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow.” He joins host Jim Meadows to talk about the things camp can teach children, lessons he argues parents can’t.
Katie Nolan also joins us. She’s a camp director at Camp Tapawingo near Peoria and Camp Peairs outside Bloomington. She’s been spending her summers working with campers for almost a decade and will tell us from first-hand experience what kids go through at camp.
Deer are the most highly studied mammals in the world, but does the typical homeowner with deer in the yard know how long deer can live? When they sleep? How many babies a doe can have each year? Enter the hidden world of white-tailed deer outfitted with night-vision cameras and GPS tracking equipment to see them not as common backyard creatures, but as intelligent, affectionate family members.
Claudia Quigg founded Baby TALK in the late 1980s in Decatur after having children of her own and realizing that even though she had a supportive group of friends, she needed advice and access to resources. Today the organization has a presence in 36 states and Canada and has more than 100 programs in operation in Illinois communities. Host Jim Meadows talks with Claudia about why the earliest years of life, from birth to age 3, are so important and what resources her organization provides in East Central Illinois. We’ll also talk about the memories and lessons she’s taken away from working with families for more than three decades.
Breathing new life into the traditional civics lesson, Peter Sagal (host of NPR’s Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me) travels across the country on a Harley Davidson to find out where the U.S. Constitution lives, how it works and how it doesn’t; how it unites us as a nation and how it has nearly torn us apart. Sagal introduces some major constitutional debates today and talks with ordinary Americans and leading constitutional experts about what the Constitution actually says and what it means, the dramatic historical events and crises that have defined it, and why all this matters.