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With Ukraine making headlines, museum events take a historical view

October 11th, 2022

Ina Navazelskis of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

With Ukraine at the top of today’s news headlines, Kauffman Museum will offer a long view of the region’s conflicts in an event Sunday afternoon, Oct. 23, at 4 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium.

The next program in the regular Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum series will will feature journalist and historian Ina Navazelskis from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Please note the different time and location than most Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum programs.

Navazelskis will speak on “Voices from the Bloodlands: Oral History Testimonies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.”

Using interviews collected in the USHMM’s David M. Rubenstein National Institute of Holocaust Documentation, Navazelskis will detail how people in “the bloodlands” – a region from central Poland to western Russia, through Ukraine, Belarus, Bessarabia and the Baltic States – experienced World War II in ways different from Western Europe.

Living under occupation by both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia during WWII, people in this region saw violence and terror on an unprecedented scale, with far more murders of civilians than elsewhere in Europe.

Excerpts from oral history testimonies will highlight the diversity of the individual destinies of those caught between two totalitarian powers.

Navazelskis will explore how the Holocaust in this part of Europe played out, and how the fate of the Jews was linked to the wider context of events.

Navazelskis' program is free and open to the public. 

Immediately following, Kauffman Museum hosts its 36th annual Living Endowment Dinner fundraiser, inside the museum after a two-year pandemic hiatus.

Immediately following is the museum’s annual Living Endowment Dinner fundraiser.

The speakers at the dinner are Justina Neufeld of North Newton and social anthropologist Janine Wedel, Arlington, Va.

Wedel will guide Neufeld in “The Past in the Present,” a personal conversation exploring the 20th-century forces that shaped Neufeld’s birthplace in what is now Ukraine.

Neufeld is the author of A Family Torn Apart, published in 2003, and Justa’s Escape: A Journey from WWII Ukraine, published earlier this year.

Her story illustrates how a person who experienced terrible loss, trauma and displacement rebuilt a life, providing relevance for how we handle the crises of today.

Reservations are required for the Living Endowment Dinner and must be made by Oct. 18. Reserve online at or contact Andi Schmidt Andres at or 316-283-1612.

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are Tues.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 1:30-4:30 p.m., closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to special exhibits and the permanent exhibits – “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture” – is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. The museum store is open during the museum’s regular hours. See or the museum Facebook page for more information.

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