Holocaust Commission To Create Educational Programs

January 12, 2010

Ellen Cohen, the state representative for West University Place, was appointed this week to a new commission that will create educational programs to teach Texas students about the Holocaust and genocide.

Cohen is the lone legislative appointee to the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, which will create study programs for public and private organizations and elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools. Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, appointed Cohen and five other people to the commission, which was established by law in the last legislative session.

“I count it a great privilege and honor to be joining this incredibly talented group of people who have dedicated themselves to ensuring that we never forget where prejudice and bigotry can take us,” said Cohen in a statement.

The public members that Straus appointed are: Ian Hancock, an expert on Romani and genocide issues; Frank Kasman, a researcher and lecturer on the Holocaust destruction of Radin; Suzanne Ransleben, a teacher and creator of curriculum about the Holocaust; Stanley Rosenberg, an active member of the San Antonio Holocaust Museum; and Chaja Verveer of Houston, a child survivor of the Holocaust.

Cohen suggested that Verveer be appointed to the commission. Verveer was sent to Westerbork, a transit camp in northeastern Holland in February 1944. Her story is chronicled in the Holocaust Museum Houston. Verveer serves on the board of the museum and is president of Child Survivors of the Holocaust, Houston.

“In this era, creating greater awareness of how we treat our fellow human beings is not an abstract idea but instead is a practical step toward creating better communities, a better Texas and a better world,” Verveer said in the statement. “We can’t allow ourselves to forget that whoever the ‘them’ of the moment is, they are real people. The moment we say ‘them’ we are in trouble.”

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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