Reinhold Chrystman

It was the fall of 1944.
My Aunt wrote their lives had been saved by Reinhold Chrystman, a Christian.
It was an unbelievable, unknown story.

“About that time my brother-in-law Zenio Gomberg came up with the idea that we should have a book with everyone’s name engraved in it, covered in a white leather binding, which the internees of Kara-Hortensja would present to the owner, Christman, for having saved our lives. He was, like Schindler, a Volksdeutsche who used slave labor in order to protect his son from being sent to the Russian front. The project began immediately. There were talented people among us and they created a beautiful masterpiece. It was a white leather book inscribed on the cover with gold lettering, stating that the inmates of Kara-Hortensja dedicate the book to Christman for saving the lives of about 700 Jews. Inside the long, narrow book the name of each person living and working in Kara-Hortensja was engraved in beautiful script in gold letters. Each individual signed his name also. This book was presented to the owner of the glass factory in the presence of those working inside the compound. The book saved the life of Christman and his family after the War. What better evidence could he have than the grateful acknowledgment of his slave laborers?”

Was the story true? No doubt my Aunt had been telling her truth about what happened. But was the story true? My academic background in historical research compelled me to investigate, to cynically confirm the story. My Aunt’s memoir became an academic, historical mystery, a search for the truth. I wanted to believe it. But..

A mystery can be fictional. A mystery could also be true.*

*”The Search for Reinhold Chrystman” by Jerry Klinger

Puchase Upstander Posters

In a set of five 20″ x 30″ posters, the Center features the “Spiral of Injustice” as a companion piece to our “Be an Upstander” program. We are educating each student to be an upstander and interrupt the spiral when he/she witnesses injustice in words or actions.