Beyond Imagining is the journal of Hungarian Holocaust survivor Dr Andor Kämpfner, written shortly after his liberation and recently translated into English by Susan Kadar. A key contribution to written records of the horrific events at Auschwitz, Beyond Imagining takes readers on Andor’s journey from his childhood home to a ghetto, a wagon, Auschwitz, a death march, Buchenwald and, finally, liberation. This event will include dramatic readings from Beyond Imagining and memories shared by Andor’s wife, Avril Symon.
Susan Kadar (Australian)
Susan Kadar is a consultant and a fully engaged volunteer with the Curatorial Department at the Sydney Jewish Museum. A daughter of Holocaust survivors herself, she is passionate about keeping the memory alive and she has been translating Holocaust diaries, journals and others documents from Hungarian for several years. Susan was recently awarded Senior Volunteer of the Year North Shore and overall winner for Volunteer of the Year, Northern Region for her expertise in translating Hungarian documents and in particular the diary. She will now go the forward to the State Finals.
Avril Symon (Australian)
Avril Symon was previously a teacher at Jewish Free School in London. It was here that she met Dr Andor Kӓmpfner, who had come from Israel to establish a Hebrew language department at the school. They married in 1964. She discovered his journal after his death in 1978 but as it was in Hungarian, she was unable to read it until it was translated last year. Avril has since remarried another Holocaust survivor and has been volunteering as a guide at the Sydney Jewish Museum for more than nine years. She volunteers many hours of her time to guide both students and adults through the museum’s Holocaust exhibition.
Konrad Kwiet (Australian)
Emeritus Professor Konrad Kwiet was born in Germany in 1941, and is one of the best-known Holocaust scholars. He studied History and Political Sciences in Berlin and Amsterdam. Moving to Australia in 1976, as a historian at the German Dept at the UNSW. In 1992 he was appointed Professor in German and European Studies at Macquarie University. He served as chief historian of the Australian War Crimes Commission, Visiting Professor in Jewish Studies at St Antony College, Oxford, the Jewish University in Heidelberg, the Universities in Frankfurt/Main and Berlin and Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. Professor Kwiet continues to work as Resident Historian at the Sydney Jewish Museum, a position he took up 28 years ago.