The Holocaust Museum & Janet G. and Harvey D. Cohen Education Center presents its annual winter fundraising event, The Luncheon, on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, from 11:30am-2:00pm, at an exclusive private club in Naples.
The program will include a special appearance by actor/author Tom Dugan, who will perform excerpts of his award-winning one-man play, Wiesenthal, based on the life of well-known Holocaust Survivor, Simon Wiesenthal. Filled with hope, humanity, and humor, this original work shares Wiesenthal’s inspiring story. He escaped death at the hands of the Nazis, but sadly lost 89 family members in the Holocaust. Following World War II, Wiesenthal dedicated himself to pursuing Nazi war criminals and bringing them to justice. Through more than six decades of diligent work, he tracked down over 1,000 of these criminals, including the infamous architect of the “Final Solution,” Adolf Eichmann.
The play is set in Wiesenthal’s office, on the eve of his retirement. He’s meeting with a last group of students. As they discuss the impact of his life’s work, he reminds them that mankind must remain vigilant and continue to stand up against bigotry and hatred. Despite the seeming progress of civilization since World War II, people continue to be discriminated against, marginalized and persecuted on the basis of their religion, ethnic backgrounds, gender and political affiliations. As Mr. Wiesenthal said, “For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.”
The Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center’s mission is to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire action against bigotry, hatred and violence. The Museum’s Holocaust Education programs not only provide historical context, but also the personal stories of local residents who are Holocaust Survivors and Camp Liberators. Each year these programs impact thousands of Southwest Florida students and members of the public, encouraging them to become “Upstanders”—those who will act against bigotry and hatred whenever and wherever they encounter it. They learn why respect for one another is so important, and the terrible consequences when disrespect takes over. Sadly, genocide continues to happen around the world today. We all have the power to make a positive impact on our communities. By treating ourselves and others with respect and kindness, we can blunt the negative impact of hatred and improve the lives of those around us.
Following his performance, Mr. Dugan will participate in an audience Q&A. Copies of his book Wiesenthal will be available for sale, and Mr. Dugan would be happy to autograph all copies sold at the event. The book includes the complete play script, and a student study guide as well as a section with questions for book club use.
We all have the power to make a positive impact on our communities. By treating ourselves and others with respect and kindness, we can blunt the negative impact of hatred and improve the lives of those around us.
FEATURED PHOTO: Simon Wiesenthal, 1982