Evening of Reflection Commemorates the Holocaust at the National World War II Museum

The National World War II Museum and the New Orleans Jewish Community Center will present “An Evening of Reflection,” the community Yom HaShoah program, on May 6 at 5:30 p.m.

The program will include a theatrical performance of “The Children of Willesden Lane,” featuring Mona Golabek.

Held at the US Freedom Pavilion, the event will start with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by a Yom HaShoah commemoration at 6:30 p.m., and the performance at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, registration is requested for the commemoration and required for the performance. The commemoration will be livestreamed on Vimeo, while the performance will not be livestreamed.

The event will also feature photography by John Menszer, of Holocaust survivors who made their post-war home in New Orleans.

An acclaimed concert pianist, Golabek wrote a book entitled “The Children of Willesden Lane,” the story of her mother, who was a 14-year-old pianist in Vienna just before World War II. She was saved through the Kindertransport, a project to save Jewish children in Germany and Austria by bringing them to England where they were sponsored by Jewish and non-Jewish families who helped them survive the Holocaust, while most of their parents did not. Over 10,000 children were saved from certain annihilation.

Willesden Lane was the location in London where she and 31 other children wound up at a boarding house.

Lisa Jura, whose parents were murdered at Auschwitz, used her music to help her survive and that music was passed down to her children, as well as telling her story through that passionate music. Golabek’s concerts are based on her mother’s music.

The concert is her true family story, chronicling hope, survival and how through the darkest times, music has the power to help people survive.

Golabek has since written three more books about Willesden Lane.