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Die österreichische Begegnungsgruppe:
The Austrian Encounter

Charles Samson Munn

Date and Place of Birth March 29, 1952 New York

Citizenship U. S. A. and Israel

Education B. A. University of California, Berkeley March 1973

M. D. Boston University May 1978

Postgraduate Training
Internal Medicine (PGY 1: categorical) - Boston City Hospital - Boston, Massachusetts
June 28, 1978 – June 30, 1979

Diagnostic Radiology (PGY 2–4: residency)

Tufts University/New England Medical Center/Boston V. A. Medical Center - Boston, Massachusetts
July 1, 1979 – June 30, 1982

Imaging (PGY 5: adult C.T. and ultrasound fellowship)

Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center

Boston, Massachusetts

July 1, 1982 – June 30, 1983

Present Positions Founder and Facilitator: The Austrian Encounter, from 1995 on. The Austrian Encounter is a non profit, non therapeutic group who meet to counter racism and to stem genocide by exploring and discussing personally and publicly their families’ histories, consequent ramifications, etc. TAE comprises thirteen people from Austria, the U.S., and Israel: daughters and sons of Austrian Holocaust victims who meet approximately each year in Vienna with sons and daughters of Austrian Nazi perpetrators.

U.S. Liaison and Corporate President: To Reflect and Trust, Inc., from 1993 on. TRT is a non profit, non therapeutic group who meet to counter racism and to stem genocide by exploring and discussing personally and publicly their families’ histories, consequent ramifications, etc. Samson Munn founded TRT’s charitable, Massachusetts corporation. TRT (founded and facilitated by Dan Bar-On, Ph.D., Ben Gurion University of the Negev) comprises eighteen people from Germany, the U.S., and Israel: sons and daughters of Holocaust survivors who meet approximately each year or year-and-a-half in those countries with daughters and sons of Nazi perpetrators.

Participant: The Goldner Symposium on Genocide, from 1996 on. The Goldner Symposium is an invited, international group of thirty-six primarily genocide and Holocaust scholars who meet every other year in Wroxton, near Oxford (England) in an effort to study and to intervene against racism and genocide based on lessons learned from the Holocaust. (Founded by Leonard Grob, Ph.D. (Fairliegh Dickinson University) and Henry Knight, Ph.D. (University of Oklahoma).)

Member, Executive Committee: Friends of the New England

Holocaust Memorial, from Autumn 1998 on.

P.O. Box 2161, Boston MA 02106-2161

Assistant Professor: School of Medicine, Tufts University, from ~ 1987 on.

Radiologist: Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, from 1997 on.

Department of Public Health, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Vice-President, Medical Staff: L.S.H., from April 1998 on.

Chief, Department of Radiology: L.S.H., from September 1998 on.

Radiologist: New England Medical Center Hospitals, from July 1997 on.

Past Invovlement Participant: Boston Jewish—German Dialogue, 1994–6.

Newton, Massachusetts

Part of a group of approximately 12–20 people of German and/or Jewish descent who met (and still meet) on a once-monthly, evening basis for discussion.

Film Appearances* Children of the Third Reich Timewatch, B.B.C. (London), © 1993; produced by Catrine Clay. Samson Munn was one of the four most highlighted participants in a group of eighteen daughters and sons of Holocaust survivors who meet for profound encounters with sons and daughters of German Nazis. This fifty-minute documentary has been broadcast nation-wide in the U.K. (several times on the B.B.C.), in the U.S. (several times on the Arts and Entertainment and The History Channel cable-TV channels), in Holland, in Australia, in Canada, in France, in Israel, in Turkey, and in other countries.

Eine unmögliche Freundschaft ["An Impossible Friendship"] Provobis (Berlin), © 1998; produced by Michael Richter. The film documented the friendship between Samson Munn (the son of two concentration camp survivors) and Dirk Kuhl (the son of the Gestapo commandant of Braunschweig). This forty-five-minute film has been broadcast several times in Germany and in Austria.

Out of the Ashes Timewatch, B.B.C. (London), © 1995; produced by Catrine Clay. This forty-eight minute film examined Samson Munn and two others and has been broadcast nation-wide in the U.K. (several times on the B.B.C.), in the U.S. (several times on the Arts and Entertainment and The History Channel cable-TV channels), in Israel, in Holland, and in other countries.

Radio Appearances Encounter between Children of Survivors and Children of Perpetrators [during a religious affairs program on] B.B.C. Radio 4, June 2, 1996. Samson Munn was one of two people interviewed (live) for about five minutes in this Sunday morning program broadcast throughout the U.K.

Second Generation Reconciliation Outlook, B.B.C. (London), November 10, 1993, © 1993; produced by Kate Howells. Samson Munn was one of two people interviewed in-depth (live) for seven minutes by John Waite in this radio, news magazine program, broadcast throughout the U.K.*

Children of the War Today at One, Blue Danube Radio, Österreichische Rundfunk (Austrian National Radio, Vienna), March 13, 1995, © 1995; produced by Jane Duke. Samson Munn was interviewed (live) for eleven minutes by Hal Rock about the creation of The Austrian Encounter, then merely incipient, in this Austrian, English language, radio program.*

The Austrian Encounter Deutsche Welle summer 1997; produced by Silvia Pfeifer. Samson Munn and a couple of the participants in The Austrian Encounter were interviewed in Vienna for an English language program on national German radio.

Encounter between Children of Survivors and Children of Perpetrators The Stu Taylor Show, WSSH (Boston), Talk America Radio Network, broadcast December 24, 1993, © 1993. Samson Munn was the sole guest, interviewed in-depth (live) by Stu Taylor in this hour-long, call-in, talk-radio program, broadcast nationally.*

Print Appearances* L’impensable dialogue: Les mémoires de la Shoah – IV ["The Unthinkable Dialogue: The Memories of the Holocaust – IV"] Le Monde (Paris), April 28, 1995, page 16, by Annick Cojean. Samson Munn was one of five sources interviewed and quoted in this full-page article, the fourth in a series.

Anreden gegen die Schweigespirale: Wie Kinder von hohen Nazis und Nachkommen der Holocaust-Opfer in London versuchten, einander zu begegnen ["Arguing Against the Spiral of Silence: How Children of Major Nazis and Descendents of Holocaust Victims Sought to Encounter One Another in London."] Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich) June 4, 1996, page 3 (a favored, prestigious position in German newspapers), by Birgit Weidinger. Samson Munn was one of three quoted sources in this article, in one of Germany’s most respected and widely read newspapers.

Kinder des Holocaust: Reden gegen das Tabu ["Children of the Holocaust: Talking Contrary to the Tabu."] Passauer Neue Presse (Passau), August 21, 1995, page 3 (a favored, prestigious position in German newspapers), by Silvia Pfeifer. Samson Munn was the primary source for this 1/3- to 1/2-page article, which very favorably discussed The Austrian Encounter in depth in the (then) newly more liberal, main newspaper of a Bavarian city known for its right-wing views and anti-Semitism.

Brückenschlag der Kinder: Das Schweigen durchbrechen ["The Children Initiate Building of Bridges: Breaking Through the Silence."] Berliner Morgenpost (Berlin), August 26, 1995, by Jola Merten. Samson Munn and two daughters of Holocaust survivors are described and quoted in this article. The three were in Berlin for a meeting, and were interviewed because of their mere presence in Berlin and because of their involvements in encounters with sons and daughters of Nazi perpetrators.

Belastete Begegnung: "Es liegt nicht an uns, unsere Eltern zu versöhnen" ["Weighty Encounter: ‘It Isn’t Up to Us to Reconcile Our Parents’."] Neue illustrierte Welt (Vienna), August/September 1995, page 17, by Brigitte Halbmayr. Samson Munn was the primary source for this article, a thoughtful and very positive description of the first Austrian Encounter, which appeared in a Jewish, Viennese newspaper.

Younger Germany grapples with the sins of its fathers San Jose Mercury News (San Jose) April 1997, by Ken Garfield. Quoting and discussing Samson Munn among others, this article discussed a major meeting (entitled The Presence of the Holocaust in the Present) held in Berlin in January 1997, addressing post-Holocaust dialogue.

Public Presentations Twelve to fifteen: often as part of a panel, usually in the U.S., in Germany, or in Israel, but also in England, in Poland, and in Canada. Presentations have been made to public, general audiences interested in genocide, in the Holocaust, in Germany, and/or in Jews, and to professional, psychology audiences, ranging in size from 12 to 1200. They have spanned June 1992 to March 1999. For example:

Individually presented the film Eine unmögliche Freundschaft and discussed related projects to an audience of ~ 90 at the Goethe Institut, Boston, the evening of September 24th, 1998.

One of two who jointly presented Opposite Sides of a Shared History June 2nd, 1996, in London. It was a Sunday evening presentation of about 2 1/2 hours length, open to the public, produced by the Second Generation Trust (London) and the Institut für vergleichende Geschichtswissenschaften (Berlin), held at the Royal Geographic Society. It was attended by a broad audience of approximately 500, including much of the German population living in and near London, and was covered very positively by the British and German press.

One of two who were jointly invited to present Grand Rounds: Second Generation, Post-Holocaust Dialogue at the Department of Social Work, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, February 18th, 1998. The audience comprised about 40 professionals in social work and psychotherapy in a prestigious Boston hospital department.

Individually presented The Austrian Encounter at the 28th Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches February 1998 in Seattle (to an audience of ~ 40), at the 29th Conference March 1999 in New York (to an audience of ~ 30), and at the International Conference on Genocide October 1998 at California State University (Sacramento, to an audience of ~ 100).

Conference Organized International Conference of Jewish—German Intensive Dialogue Groups held in Boston, July 26–28, 1996. This was the first "council" of representatives of such groups, and was organized and chaired by Samson Munn. There were thirteen representatives present from twelve dialogues or dialogue types, functioning in eight countries (Germany, Israel, Austria, the U.S., England, France, Russia, and Canada).

References Catrine Clay Producer, Timewatch B.B.C. Documentaries

Annick Cojean Le Monde

Dan Bar-On, Ph.D. Professor of Behavioural Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Marc Skvirsky Facing History and Ourselves

Birgit Weidinger Süddeutsche Zeitung

Leonard Grob, Ph.D. Goldner Symposium

Publications* Einführung in die Arbeit der Nachkommen von Opfern und Tätern ["Introduction to the Work of Descendents of Survivors and Perpetrators"]
Wolff, Roswitha; Munn, Samson; "Scholz, Sabine"; Kuhl, Dirk; and Goschalk, Julie in Staffa, Christian and Klinger, Katherine, Die Gegenwart der Geschichte des Holocaust (Berlin: Institut für vergleichende Geschichtswissenschaften, 1998, ISBN 3-9805206-1-7) 59-70.

The Austrian Encounter Munn, Samson in Kimenyi, Alexandre, Anatomy of Genocide (New York: Edwin Mellen Press, in press).

* copies available upon request

Facsimile (617) 327.8259 Electronic Mail

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