chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
January 30, 2024

Louisville’s Trager Family JCC hosts ABA Holocaust exhibit with Feb. 1 program

CHICAGO, Jan. 30, 2024 — The American Bar Association’s traveling exhibit, “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich,” will be on display in Louisville, Kentucky, through Feb. 6, with a special program on Thursday, Feb. 1 featuring prominent public interest lawyer and Holocaust survivor John Rosenberg.

What:              
Exhibit and discussion with John Rosenberg

When:             
Feb. 1, 5:30-7 p.m. (ET)

Where:            
Trager Family JCC
3600 Dutchmans Lane
Louisville, Kentucky

The 92-year-old Rosenberg, who lives in eastern Kentucky, was a first-hand witness at the age of 7 to the violence and destruction of Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” when on Nov. 9-10, 1938, Nazi officials attacked German Jews and ransacked their homes, synagogues, businesses and other institutions.

Rosenberg, who has received numerous ABA awards, later settled in the Carolinas with his family and earned an undergraduate degree from Duke University and a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During the 1960s, he worked on civil rights matters in the U.S.

Department of Justice. In 1970, he founded the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund in eastern Kentucky and is still active there today.

For the first time, the “Lawyers Without Rights” exhibit will overlap in the same city as the ABA Midyear Meeting, which will be in Louisville Jan. 31-Feb. 5.

The exhibit, a joint effort of the ABA and the German Federal Bar, known as BRAK, depicts the fate of Jewish lawyers and jurists in Nazi Germany. It has traveled to more than 70 venues in North America since 2012, including Mexico City and Toronto.

From 1919 to 1933 during the democratic Weimer Republic, Jews made up less than one percent of Germany’s population, but the proportion of Jewish lawyers in Germany hovered between 25% and 30%. In Berlin, Germany’s capital city, almost half the lawyers were Jewish. The purge of Jewish lawyers and jurists starting in 1933 by the Nazis was met with silence from most non-Jewish German lawyers and marks one of the first steps in the campaign by Adolf Hitler to undermine the rule of law and to systematically rid Germany of Jews. The effort led to the Holocaust and the murder of six million Jews across Europe.

Other speakers during the program include German Federal Bar President Ulrich Wessels; David Kaplan,  chief of staff and general counsel for Louisville Metro Government; and Beth Salamon, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Jewish Women.

Media are invited to view the exhibit as well as attend the Feb. 1 program but must register in advance. Please email [email protected].

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.

 

The Jewish Community Center in Louisville (www.jcclouisville.org) was founded in 1890 as the YMHA, the Young Men’s Hebrew Association. Today, it includes the Trager Family JCC, which opened its doors in April 2022 and is a 107,000-square foot facility providing fitness activities and other programs; and the Jewish Federation of Louisville, which protects and enhances the well-being of Jews and Jewish life in Louisville and provides funding to support agencies, families and individuals as well as to answer the call of special circumstances and Jewish needs globally.