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Daily Planet staff, wire reports
Friday March 09, 2001

Disabled activist named  

to state board by Gov. Davis 


Former Berkeley disability compliance coordinator Anne L. Steiner was appointed by Gov. Gray Davis to the state Rehabilitation Appeals Board yesterday.  

The Rehabilitation Board helps Californians with disabilities live independently and obtain and keep jobs. 

Steiner was Berkeley’s disability compliance coordinator in the early ‘90s and helped form the Center for Independent Living on Telegraph Avenue, said Councilmember Dona Spring. 

Spring, herself disabled, said Steiner’s experience making sure that Berkeley’s buildings were in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1989 will make her a great activist in Sacramento.  

“[Berkeley] is the place on the cutting edge of disabled rights,” she said. “She’s been in the throws of that for a long time and she’ll be a good advocate especially because we don’t have a governor who’s that educated or that motivated. Hopefully she can light a fire for disabilities rights issues at the state level.” 


Music of Holocaust  

featured in Jewish Music Festival 

A survivor of the Nazi concentration camp where the best and brightest Jewish musicians were taken during World War II met with a musician in San Francisco tonight to discuss the long-ago tragedy.  

“When I was 11, Feb. 10, 1942, I came through the Theresienstadt, and I was there for 31/2 years,'' recalled Ela Weissberger. Weissberger met tonight with musician Sylvie Braitman – a mezzo-soprano who will be performing music from Theresienstadt in the upcoming Jewish Music Festival in Berkeley – to recall the remarkable setting where so much music came alive, however briefly. 

“After the last performance of Verdi's Requiem, the whole music world was put to gas,” Weissberger said. 

Located in northern Czechoslovakia, Theresienstadt served as a kind of way station, where the Third Reich could show international observers how well they were treating Jews, before shipping them off to the gas chambers of Auschwitz once the world looked away. The deception culminated in a Nazi propaganda film titled “The Fuerer Gives the Jews a Town,” which features happy-looking Jews engaged in normal activities, including a young Weissberger singing in a play. Braitman said the more famous Jews were taken to Theresienstadt, because the Nazis knew they couldn't kill them off right away without drawing too much attention. For this reason, she said, the camp “was populated with intellectuals, artists, people who were very well educated.” 

Directed by Braitman, the Theresienstadt performance will take place March 14, 7:30 p.m. at St. John's Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave., Berkeley. The 16th annual Jewish Music Festival runs from March 10 to 17.