Manski, Singer retraced family flight from Poland

BAR HARBOR — David Manski and Shira Singer will talk about how they retraced Manski’s family’s flight from Poland in 1939 at the Jesup Memorial Library on Friday, April 27, at 7 p.m.

After leaving Poland, the family, including Manski’s father, Saul, who was 11 at the time, found refuge with family members in Lithuania. While the family was there, they learned about a Japanese diplomat who was issuing transit visas to the Jewish refugees from the consulate in Kaunus. The family, which included Manski’s grandmother and her three children, were recipients of these visas, which allowed them to travel through Russia to safety in Japan in early 1941. Japan was a safe harbor for Jewish refugees during the period just prior to Pearl Harbor.

To trace the same path that his father followed, Manski and Singer started in Poland and took the Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia before traveling to Japan. In Japan, they visited museums honoring the Japanese diplomat who issued the visas, Chiune Sugihara.

Manski and Singer moved to Bar Harbor in 1994 when Manski took a job as chief of natural and cultural resource management at Acadia National Park. Over the last 20 years, he also has consulted internationally on conservation and national park issues. He retired from a 35-year career with the National Park Service in 2014. Singer worked for 15 years as the art teacher on Swans and Little Cranberry islands. She is a textile and fabric artist and art therapist.

Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected].

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