Thursday, March 31, 2011

April I: the swan prince arrives, caresses, and then . . .

the smallest brightest humblest flowers come into being, tended by a bee

April First: the element water

water replenishes, whatever its form

April Fool's Day, 1 April 2011 (1963)

Comedy, Tragedy, and the Ideal

spring contrasts: dead pod and red bud

an intense red bud supported by a surprisingly upright but gnarled branch

the pod is a skeleton now, but in its youth it was vibrant green, juice flowed, and seeds were protected within in its four interior chambers

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Professor Deborah Dwork delivers the George Rosen Memorial Lecture on March 25, 2011

The Beaumont Medical Club of Connecticut

george rosen


DworkDeborah Dwork

Flight from the Reich: Life as a Refuge

FRIDAY, March 25, 2011, 5:00—6:00 PM

Safe and, at the same time, beset by challenges, Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe sought valiantly to gain a foothold in their new homes. In this lecture, Holocaust historian and founding director of the renowned Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Clark University) Debórah Dwork will drill down on the precarious situation of refugee Jews, offering a fresh perspective on a history with which many, including the Rosen family, have a personal connection.

Debórah Dwork is the Rose Professor of Holocaust History and the Director of the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. Her now classic Children With A Star gave voice to the silenced children of the Holocaust; it was the first history of the daily lives of young people caught in the net of Nazism. Children With A Star received international critical acclaim and was translated into German, Italian, Dutch and Japanese. It was the subject of a documentary, also called “Children With A Star,” by the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

Auschwitz, co-authored with Robert Jan van Pelt, established the context in which historians now view that annihilation camp. Dwork and van Pelt argued that Germany sought to reconstruct Central Europe in its own image, and the Germans’ program at Auschwitz was key to that ambition. They drew the critically important connection between industrial killing and the daily functions of a society that believed it was involved in constructive activity. The BBC and PBS recognized Auschwitz as a remarkable project, and produced the Horizon/Nova television documentary “Blueprints of Genocide” (BBC) / “Nazi Designers of Death” (PBS) based upon it. Auschwitz also provided the core of a seven-part series “Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State,” which was aired in January 2005 in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the camp. Auschwitz received the National Jewish Book Award and the Spiro Kostof Award, given every other year to the best book on the physical environment. It has been translated into German, Dutch, and Czech, to much critical acclaim.

For more information see

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

triumphant spring: thorns and love, ironic isn't it?

spring in suburbia

natural nature

suburbia with its signs, often garish, but in this photograph, they are toned down by the misty weather; sadly the pond is not in a rural environ, but nonetheless its silence encourages meditation and is not lacking in beauty

spring lovers: a thing of the past


spring optics: rain drops and willow catkins

spring: nature's clock

look closely and the "skunk cabbages," if that is what they are, are piercing the leaf cover yearning for the sun

spring 2011: March 20

spring arrived drenching the ground in spears of snow and unseen shafts of cold

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Tangled up in Blue" : Bob Dylan

the first is too literal, the second is the "idea," perhaps

1975, "Blood on the Tracks"

Beate Caspari-Rosen: Happy Birthday, March 14, 2011

the plant that signaled spring; the plant my mother would always display at home in March; renewal

Beate Caspari-Rosen, MD: born 14 May 1910, Berlin

Remembering my mother, an opthamologist, whose degree was granted in Berlin, but whose practice of medicine was carried out in the United States. The only child of Flora Arnswalder Caspari ( the daughter of Bertha Bernstein and Louis Arnswalder) and Paul Caspari ( son of Jacob Caspari, born in Breslau), my mother was educated in schools in Berlin and obtained her medical degree there as well. During her medical studies, she met George Rosen, an American, also studying medicine in Berlin, and the two young people well on love and married. This union was fortuitous for my mother. Her studies were officially ended when the Nazi's came to power in Germany, but because she was married to an American, Beate was able to complete her degree, since she was considered by the authorities an "American" and thus no longer under German jurisdiction. Her very large diploma states these facts.
When I think how much my mother endured in her youth--WWI, post-war inflation, the Weimar Republic, and the seizure of the German government by the Nazis, I am astounded that she had so much pluck and bravery to begin a new life in the United States. This part of her life brought her joy, but with happiness, not surprisingly, much grief as well. But an indomitable spirit supported her until the day of her death in summer 1995. She had seen much, understood the way the world was, and never succumbed to an anodyne complacency. To the end her mind was clear; but she bemoaned the inevitable limitations that an ailing body imposed on her. Most of all she missed the companionship and love of her husband George Rosen, physician, historian, public health thinker and activist, editor, sociologist, teacher, scholar, and father.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Emma: in memoriam, died March 9, 2010

Emma in Maine, Mt Desert Island, the summer before she died (photograph by Harold Olejarz);Emma at Tallman State Park (she wears the red coat) passing the great rock where her older "sibling" Kate was photographed shortly before she died: Emma at home; Emma walking on the path at the Pond, Tenafly Commons; Emma meets a Bernaise-so muc bigger than she is, but nose to nose they make friends, but notice how alert Emma's ears are.
Emma is so proud; she is her own person.

For Emma: in memoriam, our spunky beautiful Scottie

Emma is Aesop's sister. Their mother is the same, but their dad's are not. She was about a year younger when she met her older brother, whom had settled down, after a brief " wild puppy stage," really playful and joyful. But his older "sister" was Kate and she was so much older and also mourned the loss of her "sibling" Fala. Though she accepted Aesop, she could not play with him as he would have wished, but they walked together and "talked" together about matters that only doggies understand. When Kate died, it was obvious that Aesop need friendship and love and so we returned to the Walters of Great Scot Kennels. That is how Emma became one of our family. Behaving as puppies do, she ran after Aesop, would leap on his back and then nip him with her baby teeth. Poor Aesop. He did not bite his little sister or harm her at all; he found that the best strategy was to run upstairs for refuge. There he sat on a couch and gazed out of a window. Of course Emma was too small to climb the steep staircase; thus the pursuit of Aesop ended. As she matured in the following months, Emma became more companionable she also began to manifest a certain reticence. Whereas Aesop loved to sit outside and had several favored places, Emma began to spend more and more time indoors. Only in the late afternoon did she venture forth into the garden; then she sat down on the wooden patio to gaze at the garden, even as twilight waned. Emma did not like to be held and and cuddled in her maturity, although she did enjoy sitting next to my desk at my computer. There she curled up or looked out of a window . But after half and hour she invariably wanted to get down and would find another resting place. She was a wonderful hiker and together with Aesop would climb Tallman Mountain from its very steepest trail entrance. Clever and resourceful, loving always, Emma was an amazing creature. The final years of her life were very difficult. She developed several cancers and had active diabetes, but even with these troubles she still kept up and showed bravery if one may call it that (I am uncertain that it is appropriate to attribute human behaviors to animals). As her doctor Howard Gittelman said (paraphrasing now), it will be so difficult at the end. And so it was when we had to have her injected. A friend, a dependent, a member of the family, a "child" despite her age, Emma was trusting to the end. She missed Aesop who had predeceased her and surely that loss weighed on her. Of course dogs have an emotional life; Emma's was rich and we were so very fortunate to have her. Now she is in dog heaven, a land of everlasting spring where she plays with her family and waits for our occasional visits, when we bring toys and goodies for all to share.
Emma was her own person.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

selbstmord: 7 march 1963

a gusty cold blue white day on 7 March 1963. words, terror, mortal pain. survival

for Yeshi Neumann, were it not for her . . .