March 24, 2008

Sosúa (again)

Settlers on the beach

The staff continues to be delighted by the response from the Dominican community with regard to our exhibition, Sosúa: A Refuge for Jews in the Dominican Republic, on view through July 25. A wonderful article appeared in the Feb. 21, 2008 edition of The Riverdale Press, “A Haven from the Holocaust in an unlikely place” by N. Clark Judd. (¤t_edition=2008-02-21)

The article was the front cover of the second section of the paper and was illustrated with great photos from the exhibition, including the one you see on the webpage. After the article appeared, two letters to the editor arrived shortly thereafter. One praised the show and another gave an account of a true, only in New York moment. See that letter below:

Sosúa article caused quite a stir

To the editor:

We are new to the neighborhood, new advertisers as well as new readers. I had to take this opportunity to let you know what a hit your Feb. 21 Better Living article, "A haven from the Holocaust in an unlikely place," was with my customers, particularly my Dominican customers, at Super Sonic Suds Laundromat and Dry Cleaners. After reading The Riverdale Press each week, I promptly place the sections on display for customers to peruse as they wait for their laundry. Coincidentally, this past Saturday five of my customers were from the Dominican Republic. They were browsing through the paper when they came across the article.

Within a very short period of time, Super Sonic Suds became a hub of political conversation as Rafael Trujillo came under the limelight. Each and every Dominican customer knew the history of the Holocaust and Trujillo's part in accepting Jews fleeing Hitler. Many customers learned this history on their grandfathers' knee. The pride these people take in Sosúa and its Jewish population is incredible. Everyone wanted to take the Better Living section home with them to show their families. We had to call your office to request more copies.

Customers were excited and planned to visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage to see the Sosúa exhibit.

Thanks for a great article.

PAULl BREITSTEIN Owner, Super Sonic Suds Laundromat and Dry Cleaners

If you haven’t taken the time so see our first bi-lingual exhibition, please come down. Soon the flowers will be blooming in Battery Park, and the Garden of Stones already has its first buds. Take some time to read Sandee Brawarsky’s review of the exhibition and Marion Kaplan’s insightful accompanying book, Dominican Haven: The Jewish Refugee Settlement in Sosúa, 1940-1945. (

(Photograph: Dr. Herbert Kohn, collection of Ruth Arnoldi Kohn)

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