May 23rd, 2021, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
For an evening of history, art, culture and curiosity, join us on a virtual trip to Quito, Ecuador to learn about the amazing Trude Sojka House Museum, its Holocaust Memorial, and the small Ecuadorian Jewish Community. This museum combines inspiring works of art created by the Holocaust survivor Trude Sojka (1909-2007) with an ongoing peace education program. Learn how Lucy Steinitz from the Washington, DC area “discovered” her distant cousins in Ecuador, 35 years ago, and hear a testimony by a Rwandan genocide survivor who visited the museum with Lucy five years ago. Anita, Miriam and Gaby Steinitz, daughters and granddaughter of the Jewish artist Trude Sojka, will take you through their museum. You will discover a house full of surprises. Among them, a ‘secret room’, original and powerful artworks that speak about freedom and resilience, and the encounter of European and Ecuadorian cultures.
Anita Steinitz’s parents, artist Trude Sojka and businessman Hans Steinitz, met in Ecuador, one of the very few countries that warmly welcomed Jews seeking refuge from Nazi persecution. Trude and Hans created a thriving business, a beautiful and varied art production, and a loving family but they also maintained a readiness to protect themselves against any potential anti-Jewish threats. Anita, her sister Miriam and her daughter Gabriella (Gaby), a talented artist like her grandmother, decided to convert their family home into an art museum and an international center for Holocaust education.
Lucy Steinitz is the former executive director of Jewish Family Services in Baltimore, and currently works for Catholic Relief Services on international peacebuilding projects.