In this week's episode I am honored to be joined by my colleague in English, Dr. Melinda Menzer. We begin with a discussion of stories and the power of storytelling for communicating identity and values. This leads into an extended and extremely moving account of her Jewish family's murder in Lithuania in 1941. Melinda shares the research she has done in learning the story of her family, and of other Jews killed by Nazis and by their Lithuanian Christian neighbors.
We then discuss how the Holocaust is a modern story that is still alive and relevant to our world, and which constantly challenges us to learn its lessons and make sure that such hateful policies and practices never happen again. What is the role of storytelling in this task, of controlling the narrative and resisting falsehoods as well as apathy and ignorance? What is the power of public monuments and memorials that tell truths and inspire us to action?
Melinda and I finish with a discussion of her work in corpus linguistics, specifically as it applies to our shared interest in Bible translation.
One final important note: Melinda will be swimming a 9.2 mile race on June 4th in Chattanooga, TN as a fundraiser for HIAS, an organization that provides relief assistance to the world's most vulnerable refugees. She has posted a support page at http://support.hias.org/goto/mmenzer, and I would be thrilled if any of my listeners offered contributions to this inspiring and worthy cause. 9.2 miles! Go Melinda!
Theme music, Gillicudy, "A Garden and a Library" CC