Concert Series Set

Plans have been announced for the next installments in the new Stained Glass Concert Series at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in downtown Wheeling.

Dr. David Rudari, director of music at the cathedral, said the next event will be a program by Ohio Valley guitarist Aaron Carey at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 27.

Organist Steven D. Uhl of Syracuse, N.Y., will present a recital of Lenten music at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 10. The series will continue with a program of spoken word and music featuring Msgr. Kevin M. Quirk, rector of the cathedral, and diocesan organist Luke Mayernik at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22.

Rudari said the initial series will conclude with a concert of handbell music, featuring the St. Francis de Sales Rose Ringers, at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 26.

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It was encouraging to see the amount of interest generated by Auschwitz survivor Thomas Buergenthal’s thoughtful presentations in the Ohio Valley earlier this month. (See related article and photograph on page D4.)

Sean Duffy, coordinator of adult programming at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling, said that 198 people attended Buergenthal’s presentation at a special Friday edition of the Lunch With Books series on March 4, matching the all-time attendance record for the program. “The huge crowd also pushed the average LWB attendance for the year to 81, another record,” Duffy said.

Meanwhile, about 250 people attended a program given by Buergenthal at Temple Shalom after Sabbath services later that day.

Buergenthal, who served as the American judge on the International Court of Justice from 2000 until 2010, demonstrated an extraordinarily deep commitment to the cause of human rights and social justice. Rather than being embittered by the horrific circumstances that he endured as a boy, the Holocaust survivor has devoted his life’s work to helping others, to righting injustices and seeking to prevent man’s inhumanity toward one another.

“I always felt no country has a monopoly on goodness and evil,” Buergenthal said in response to a question posed by a member of the library audience. “It (evil) can happen anywhere … If the conditions are right, things can happen in other countries as well,” he warned.

In a case of turning a horrid symbol into a useful tool, Buergenthal related that, for a time in recent years, he used the number assigned to him in the Nazi concentration camp as his computer password.

However, after the publication of his memoir, “A Lucky Child,” in which he listed that infamous number, he stopping using it as his password because the revelation potentially had breached his security in cyberspace.

Buergenthal said the most copies of his book are being purchased in Germany, where the memoir was on the bestseller list for a number of weeks and where 200 to 400 copies a month are sold.

“In Germany, they have a lot of grandchildren and great-grandchildren of perpetrators,” he observed, adding, “When I speak in Germany, young people want to know how it is possible.”

The author said that “interestingly enough,” the book sells almost as well in Sweden as in Germany. “The book is also doing very well in Spain,” he said. To date, “A Lucky Child” has been published in 12 languages.

Locally, Alan Lestini, owner of Words and Music bookshop at Stratford Springs, said he sold 210 copies of “A Lucky Child” after Buergenthal’s appearances in Wheeling. Also, Lestini said, the distinguished author signed all of those books. Additional copies of “A Lucky Child” can be purchased from Words and Music.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: