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Exclusive! Stan Lee – Super Mensch of Holocaust Education through Comics – Beyond the Matrix [audio] 🎧

Rod Bryant and Jerry Gordon of Israel News Talk Radio – Beyond the Matrix bring back Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, to discuss the important educational impact of comic books by Stan Lee and other talented cartoonists and writers. That is the subject of “We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust”, co-authored by Neal Adams, Medoff and Craig Yoe. Stan Lee wrote the forward and afterword for “We Spoke Out”. Stan Lee, whom the Wall Street Journal called “the Superhero of Comics” passed away November 12, 2018. He left behind a storied history as creator of Marvel Comics super heroes such as Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four. Medoff reveals for the first time how he and cartoonist Neal Adams, with the backing of Stan Lee, rescued portraits of Roma Holocaust victims painted by a Czech Jewish survivor, Dina Babbit. Babbit, who post war became a Hollywood animator, was commissioned by the infamous Angel of Death, the notorious Dr. Rudolph Mengele to capture the skin tone of what were deemed ‘inferior’ people. The Marvel Comics X-Man strip about the Babbit holocaust episode was drawn by Adams and written by Medoff. It was later transformed by the Disney organization into an animated graphic video for holocaust education. The Disney project was the genesis of what became “We Spoke out”. Medoff discusses Lee’s emergence as the son of Romanian Jewish immigrants, who grew up in the Bronx and joined Timely Comics-the predecessor of Marvel at age 18 writing scripts for Nazi and anti-Semitism fighting character, “Captain America”, the alter ego of characters Steve Rogers shown punching Hitler in the nose. He explains that following the Holocaust Americans wanted to mute ethnic differences, and hence the subject of Hitler’s final solution – the murder of six million European Jewish men, women and children – didn’t begin to emerge until the 1960’s in several comic strips. It was during the 1960’s when ethnic pride began to flower, that comic books delved into the wanton persecution in the Nazi final solution, seeking destruction of Europe’s Jews. Lee’s creation and cartoonists drawing of the Fantastic Four Super Heroes delved in public issues like drug abuse, pollution and the Holocaust. Medoff recounted his experience of participating in a Comic-Convention in San Diego with over 175,000 attendees where Lee was introduced to thunderous applause and cheers by an audience of comic book fans many attired in Superhero costumes. The high point of comics as an educational tool for spreading awareness of the holocaust among Americans was Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel, “Maus” in 1993. It was the first graphic novel about the holocaust told through the metaphor of the destruction of Jews by the Nazis as mice- Maus in German. Spiegelman received a Pulitzer Prize for his ground-breaking graphic novel, the first of many that followed about the Nazi holocaust of Europe’s Jews. Medoff is also the co-author of “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust” that covers the works of political cartoonists in the 1930’s and 1940’. “We Spoke Out: Comic Books and The Holocaust” can be purchased on Amazon and other on-line book sites. “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust” is available with other books published by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies at its website: http://new.wymaninstitute.org/publications/

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