– to Pavelhaus and our ST. ANNA REVISITED (English) website!
The Pavelhaus, as a culture association, views itself as a meeting center between Slovenian and Austrian people, as well as a house of culture for the multilingual and monolingual Styrian population. The Artikel-VII-Kulturverein has been fighting for the rights of the “forgotten minority” for many years and the “Styrian Slovenes” gained recognition in 2003, as they officially became an ethnic minority. Fighting against the lingering past resentment and crusading for broaden recognition.
In the spirit of that mission, we publish ST. ANNA REVISITED. This book’s fine narration tells the true story of a small community's quiet rebellion against tyranny and injustice. Even as a minority segment of the population was being persecuted, a large group of local villagers risked their own lives to maintain their moral high ground, defying Nazi barbarism by sharing what little they had to help the downtrodden. Sandor Vandor was one of the victims of that Nazi persecution, while at the same time receiving life-saving support from the residents of St. Anna, Austria. With help from these villagers, when the war ended, Sandor was still alive, if only barely.
Sixty years later, Sandor returns to the village to say "thank you" for saving his life. In ST. ANNA REVISITED, Sandor tells the remarkable story of his reunion with the woman who gave him life-saving nourishment. Sixty years after the holocaust, the people of ST. ANNA help Sandor rediscover his past, even as he shines a light on the righteousness’ of the villagers and their ancestors.
When World War II ended, Sandor regained his physical freedom, having been liberated from Nazi persecution. Now, sixty years later, he tells the moving story of how his return to ST. ANNA brings him psychological freedom. In ST. ANNA REVISITED, Sandor documents the establishment of a loving closeness between past victim and the present children of the righteous and he describes how their combined efforts culminate in the building of a magnificent MEMORIAL FOR PEACE monument.
Established Peacememorial Award "Friedensmahnmal – Preis”
"Friedensmahnmal – Preis” is a worldwide essay contest for students enrolled in grades 8 through 13. For the 2011-12 school year, the 3 best essays in English and 3 best essays in German each will be awarded a 100 Euro prize. Awards will be presented to the winners at the closing ceremony of the school year.
Essays created by students studying the Holocaust and inspired by reading the story of ST. ANNA REVISITED in English or RÜCKKEHR NACH ST. ANNA in German are eligible for the contest.
The essay should be between 500-800 words and submitted with the following information:
-- The name and email address of the student
-- The name of the student's school and class
-- The name of the student's teacher.
Students should submit essays to their teachers and ask them to forward it to the email address of firstname.lastname@example.org for further processing by the Friedensmahnmal – Preis Committee.
Submission deadline is 19 March 2012. Winners will be notified about two weeks prior the school year closing. The judge’s decisions are final.
By entering this contest, you give the right to the "Friedensmahnmal – Preis" Committee to publish your essay.
Winners for the 2010 -11 school year contest of the English essays are:
A Glimmer of Hope
by Sarah Stipanowich
Making the World a Better Place One Person At a Time
by Jacob Kagon
The Ultimate Form of Tzedaka
by Aaron Kagon
To view any chapter of ST. ANNA REVISITED online, click on the appropriate link in the sidebar on the right.
To download the full version of ST. ANNA REVISITED, click on the DOWNLOAD link in the sidebar on the right.
For eleven months between 1944 and 1945, I was in forced labor camps. The last 2 months were the hardest to endure. We were building fortifications for the German army in the vicinity of a small village in Austria: Sankt Anna am Aigen. In June 2005, I revisited St. Anna am Aigen, the first time since liberation on April 5, 1945.
I lived 57 precious years with my wife Anna. Mentioning the holocaust in our conversation was a daily occurrence for those 57 years. We talked about the bad things the Nazis inflicted upon us. We mentioned untold times the good deeds done for us by individuals during those times. But the wrongs committed against us were so overpowering that we hardly recognized the good deeds that benefited us. The wrongs dwarfed the good deeds. We couldn’t find adequate words to express the wrongs. Anna repeatedly reminisced, about the extra sweater that the “brutal female beast” (the SS camp commander) gave her while saying “you little angel.” I told innumerable times how the people of St. Anna am Aigen and the neighboring villages gave me food and that food sustained my life. I mentioned it endless times without registering deeply enough the need to acknowledge that they deserve a THANK YOU.
On another project I inserted in the text the following two short sentences:
“Sankt Anna am Aigen, a little village. Was my life spared there to be a life partner for Anna?"
Those two short sentences stared at me from the screen of the monitor. The black letters on white paper reflected back that acknowledgement was needed…