We bring HISTORY to LIFE!
TRACES First Year in the Landmark Center:
A year ago, in September 2005, TRACES took possession of our new,
2,300-square foot (700-square meter) home in downtown Saint Paul/Minnesota’s
historic Landmark Center,
the former Federal Courts
1896-1902. Of the several dozen other cultural, non-profit organizations based
in this six-story edifice, there are four other exhibit-focused projects—all
free. See www.landmarkcenter.org/museums.html for details.
New Staff Members:
We could not realize our diverse
project without the contributions of our many volunteers (see http://traces.org/Personnel/volunteers.html),
board members (see www.traces.org/Personnel/Board_of_Directors_Advisors.html#Stephen%20Feinstein)
or staff, including:
Eric Brandt: A California
native, Eric Brandt grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has always
maintained strong Midwest roots, however, as both sides
of his family hail from Minnesota
and Iowa. Eric attended Macalester College
in St. Paul and has lived and
studied in Berlin during 2003, as
well as traveled extensively throughout Europe. After
graduating from Macalester in 2005 with a BA in
history, Eric lived in San Francisco.
He returned to St. Paul in 2006 and
joined TRACES in July as Executive
Assistant to TRACES Director Michael Luick-Thrams. Eric has
always had a strong interest in WWII and German history and is excited to
explore these interests further as a member of the TRACES team. His new skills include grant-writing, publicity, etc.
Fall-2006 BUS Tour:
1 exhibit Behind Barbed Wire: Midwest
POWs in Nazi Germany visited 405 Upper Midwest
communities between March 2004 and early summer 2005; more than 37,500 people
toured our mobile exhibit in a retrofitted school bus. The BUS-eum
2 hit the highways and byways of Wisconsin
and Southern Minnesota in March 2006 with the exhibit VANISHED: German-American Civilian
Internment, 1941-48. It visited about 75 libraries, museums, schools, etc.
and was seen by some 7,500 individuals. From Labor Day weekend to 1 November
2006, our new BUS visited some 10
communities in North Minnesota, both Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, western
Missouri and Iowa, before returning to winter in a Saint Paul storage unit—and
enjoy a well-deserved rest! More than 11,000 people saw the exhibit in the BUS, from Labor Day to 10 November 2006.
Having gone from “zero to 100”
since our founding in September 2001 (first housed in the converted loading
dock of a former bakery in Mason City/Iowa!), as TRACES grows and matures, it offers a rich variety of programs to
realize our mission of preserving and presenting stories of encounters between
Midwesterners and Germans or Austrians between 1933 and 1948, as case studies
about the nature and effects of war and peace.
2006 Education Minnesota Professional Conference, 19 October 2006: Over
10,000 Minnesota teachers had an opportunity to stop by TRACES’ booth at Saint Paul’s River Centre to learn about our
museum, programs, publications and courses. We encouraged Metro-Area as well as
Out-State educators to bring their students to tour our museum, as well as use
our virtual museum, related books, guest speakers, etc.
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Genocide Conference, 9 November
2006: As part of its
special conference on genocide and human rights, about 30 participants toured TRACES exhibits, with an emphasis on Midwest
responses to the Holocaust.
concert series, 12-19 November 2006: Co-sponsored by Saint Paul’s Schubert Club, four performances on
three days both entertained and enlightened about 250 concert goers regarding
the music of groups (Gypsies) or composers (Ernst Krenek,
Hanns Eisler and Friedrich Hollaender) forbidden and, in many cases, persecuted by the
Nazi regime. The concerts took place at various times and dates, at
Gallery 205 and Cortile, the six-story central atrium around which the Landmark
Center was built.
Destination Landmark, 19 November 2006: This
inaugural event highlighted the resources and talents that Landmark
Center houses, from Stepping Stone Theatre to COMPAS, Young
Audiences and more. About 500 visitors joined a Landmark Scavenger Hunt,
visited the building’s five museums, watched woodturning courtesy of the American
Association of Woodturners, enjoyed historical
programs from TRACES Center for
History and Culture*, listened to a special gypsy music program from the
Clearwater Hot Club (courtesy the Schubert Club), made masks, and more! [*TRACES Board of Directors Chair Pro Tem
Stephen Feinstein’s assistant, Vicky Knickerbocker,
spoke about Minnesota’s Holocaust legacy. A long-time supporter, Stephen directs
the U of M Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies; Vicky is a past TRACES sponsor.]
brown-bag lunch series: Co-sponsored by the Ramsey
County Historical Society, “Fighting the ‘Good War’: Minnesota and World
War II” lectures have been treating history buffs as well as nearby
office-workers-on-break to the expertise of four speakers from
noon-1PM Wednesdays at the Landmark Center’s Galleria (2nd floor,
immediately in front of museum), from 19 Nov. to -20 Dec. 2006. The speakers
29th—Dave Kenney, author of Minnesota Goes to War, spoke about the Minnesota home front, with special emphasis on “forgotten chapters”
of that legacy.
6th—Dick Klobuchar lectured on the experiences and impact of the USS Ward in WW II, stressing the contributions of its many St. Paul crewmen, especially during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
13th—Michael Luick-Thrams spoke about
German POW camps in the U.S. during WWII, with emphasis on the 10,000 German POWs at
the Algona/Iowa base camp and its 35 branch camps across Iowa, Minnesota and the two Dakotas.
20th—Lionel Greenberg was born in
Grafton/North Dakota and during WWII was shot down by the Germans. A Jew, he
did not find the Nazi regime summarily separated him and other
co-confessionals, and shot them. He tells why not.
Holocaust and Heartland Series for Educators, 1/8/15 March 2007: The Holocaust and the events
surrounding it can seem far removed from the American Midwest, especially for
young people born in a post-war world that—on the surface at least—scarcely
resembles the world of the 1930s and ‘40s. TRACES' three-part
series is intended to “bring the Holocaust home,” to localize global events
that took place more than half a century ago, and to make an abstraction
literally tangible by familiarizing teachers (and thereby their students) with
Midwest connections to Nazi Germany: individual case studies involving
refugees, Midwest “rescuers,” the Frank sisters’ Iowa pen pals, Jewish Midwest
POWs in the Third Reich, Jewish civilian internees in the U.S., and the
experiences of Minnesota or other Midwest soldiers present at Nazi camps. For
information or to register for this unique series, call 651.646.0400 or contact
programs@TRACES.org. To attend one
session costs $50, two cost $75 and all three $115; fees include 1 exhibit book
and (while supplies last) TPT documentary on DVD/VHS. CEU certificates will be
provided for all seeking re-certification/-licensure.
Spring and Fall 2007 BUS-eum Tours: Already we are scheduling our next two BUS-eum tours, with BUS-eum 2 traversing
Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan with the
exhibit VANISHED: German-American
Civilian Internment, 1941-48 next spring, and BUS-eum 1 visiting both Dakotas, Nebraska,
Kansas, Missouri and Iowa in the fall, featuring Behind Barbed Wire: Midwest POWs in Nazi Germany.
We anticipate drawing
considerable attention and interest during up-coming conferences:
Friends General Conference, July 2007: This national gathering of U.S.
and other Quakers will take place in River Falls/Wisconsin. We expect that many
visiting Friends will tour our three Quaker-related exhibits (Scattergood
Hostel, Quaker Hill, etc.).
National Trust for Historical Preservation, October 2007: Some
2,000 individuals from across the United States will converge on the Landmark
Center, for a week of meetings, presentations and tours, networking, seminars
and other enriching offerings.
Recent Grant Awards:
In early 2006 the Otto Bremer
Foundation awarded TRACES a $35,000
grant to take the BUS-eum 2 to over 100 communities in Wisconsin,
Minnesota and North
Dakota in 2006. More recently, the Kansas Humanities
Council supported our fall BUS tour
with a $3,500 grant—as did the North Dakota State Historical Society ($3,500),
the North Dakota Humanities Council ($2,600), the South Dakota Community
Foundation ($2,000), the South Dakota State Librarian ($750) and other bodies. Thank you so much!
New Panels Coming:
Inver Hills Community College
instructor Connie Larson’s students began working on “second-generation” didactic
panels last winter; this school year she and some of them have resumed drafting
and revising panel designs they created, with installation in 2007. The
panels—to be hung in the Midwest Main Street
and Berlin Opernplatz (Opera
Square”) will illustrate how Midwesterners were
affected by the rise and fall of Nazism.
TRACES Web Site:
Our board member/web Meister extraordinaire, Leighton Siegel,
had done an exceptional and dedicated job of up-dating and significantly
expanding www.TRACES.org since taking over from
the previous web master, Nick Cooper, of Ames/Iowa. Send queries, problems,
praise or materials to Leighton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Memoriam and Dedication
Former TRACES Board of Directors President (and Michael Luick-Thrams’ Clear
High School English and journalism teacher) Pat Schultz recently lost her
husband Tom, after a short struggle with cancer. Pat was one of the most
important sources of support in our first years, and we treasure our dear friend: “You are in our thoughts,
Michael Luick-Thrams’ father, Bud
Luick, constructed much of the structures in the Behind Barbed Wire: Midwest POWs in Nazi
Germany and Scattergood Hostel exhibits, largely in his garage or driveway
in Mason City/Iowa, before re-assembling them on-site, first in Des
Moines, later in St. Paul
after his son’s museum moved. Gifted at improvising and doing the job(s) “just
right”, his work has enriched the museum experience of thousands of exhibit
visitors. On 13 December 2006
he died unexpectedly: his very personal contribution to TRACES will be enjoyed by many more, for years to come.