News & Events
Irene shares story with Perrysburg, MI students
Perrysburg, OH (Mar 13, 2019) - Irene Butter told 400 students to never be a bystander. “That means that we can't turn our backs when things happen that are unjust, mean, evil,” she said. “All human beings are cut from the same cloth and it doesn't matter what color, ethnicity, religion, or gender [we are]. If we open ourselves to meet the other, we'll find out that the differences between us are far smaller than what we have in common.” Read more in the Toledo Blade.
Irene is a person of d-day
Toledo, OH (March 6, 2019) - With the 75th anniversary of D-Day in June, Irene has been identified as a person of D-Day, representing those who suffered in the concentration camps. Her story is being promoted in education programs Read more here.
San Francisco (February 7, 2019) - “Irene Butter endured her share of trauma as a Jewish girl growing up in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s — including a few years in the same Amsterdam neighborhood as Anne Frank and a stint in Bergen-Belsen, the concentration camp where Anne died.”
Talking Peace and the power of one person at Suffield
Suffield, CT (December 3, 2018) - Irene spent the day at Suffield Academy talking with classes and giving a keynote address. She focused on the power of one person’s actions.
Irene said, “I didn't ask to go through the Holocaust, but I was saved through the miracles of luck and the love and determination of my Pappi (father). I owe it to him and everybody who suffered to talk about what I learned because suffering never ends, so our work must continue.”Asked what she would say to her younger self if she had the chance, Irene paused, and said “I would tell myself to try and save my Pappi,” who died on their train to liberation.
Washington, DC welcomes Irene
Washington, DC (November 13-14, 2018) - Irene presented at Washington Hebrew Congregation, and at the Library of Congress with co-authors Kris and John as part of a an annual event cosponsored with George Washington University in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass). See video of presentation.
Preserving stories of holocaust survivors
Washington, DC (November 8, 2018) - National Public Radio’s Joshua Johnson/1A interviews Irene as part of the segment commemorating the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht and the importance of never forgetting.
“Shores beyond shores” named 2018 great group read
New York, NY (October 4, 2018) - The National Reading Group Month Great Group Reads Committee has selected 20 books for their 2018 Great Group Reads, including Irene’s “Shores Beyond Shores.”
The titles were selected on the basis of their appeal to reading groups, which seek books that open up lively conversations about a myriad of timely and provocative and diverse topics, from the intimate dynamics of family and personal relationships to major cultural and world issues.
Photos from Irene’s presentation at Emerson School
Ann Arbor, MI (October 1, 2018) - Irene was just delightful, as I expected, and the students and faculty were equally enthralled. I was SO impressed with how quiet the students were - and during the Q&A you could have heard a pin drop as they asked question after question. Irene received a standing ovation. The best part was the rush of kids who came forward afterwards to talk to Irene, to thank her, to ask her to sign something of theirs if they didn’t have a book already, and even to take a selfie with her! It brought tears to my eyes! And, of utmost importance, my dad was thrilled to have inspired this event. He claims it was the best birthday present he could ever have received. I don’t know how I’ll top it for his 90th! ;-) — Abbie Lawrence-Jacobson
“Never again doesn’t happen unless we fight for it,” says Michigan Holocaust survivor
Ann Arbor, MI (September 19, 2018) - Michigan Radio interviews Irene (link/listen here).
story circle book reviews praises Shores Beyond Shores
(August 29, 2018) - "This book was definitely not light escapist reading, but necessary. This should be required reading in high school history classes." Read more!
Irene speaks against Trump's separation of immigrant families
Ann Arbor, MI (June 30, 2018) - Irene speaks against Trump's immigrant family policy at a large Families Belong Together rally, saying that the fact that "hundreds of vulnerable children are subjected to this extreme trauma is totally devastating and heartbreaking for me. We are here today because we all have a social conscience and recognize that all of us are responsible for each other. We cannot be bystanders."
Northampton Book launch
Northampton, MA (June 20, 2018) - Irene spoke about the dangers of history repeating itself on the Bill Newman Show on WHMP. A crowd of well over 300 listened to Irene's presentation at Hampshire Regional High School, braving a storm and power outage! Thanks to Chris Butler and Anne Howland for organizing.
Western MA Kick-off
Westhampton, MA (June 18, 2018) - A crowd of well over 300 listened to Irene's presentation at Hampshire Regional High School, braving a storm and power outage! Thanks to Chris Butler and Anne Howland for organizing.
Boston welcomes Irene
Boston and Newton, MA (June 11, 2018) - Irene spoke at Boston Latin High School, and Irene and Kris presented at the Newton Free Library to a large crowd. See the video here.
author Q & A
Washington, DC (May 28, 2018) - Deborah Kalb interviews Irene about why she wrote her book and her experiences.
Ann Arbor Book Launch
Arts Around Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI (May 3, 2018) - Patti Smith interviews Irene and her book.
Michigan Radio book interview
Ann Arbor, MI (April 30, 2018) - Irene talks about the importance of her book to keep the world from forgetting. Listen.
The diary of anne frank
Fountain, MI (March 18, 2018) - Irene speaks after the performance of "The Diary of Anne Frank." Read more here.
presidential Letter of thanks
Little Rock (Feb 13, 2018) - President Bill Clinton sends note to Irene thanking her for presentations.
Little Rock (Feb 10, 2018) - Irene shares her story, implores Americans to be vigilant against signs of authoritarianism (Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette).
Irene speaks to sold out crowds at clinton presidential center
Little Rock (Feb 1, 2018) - Irene was the keynote speaker to over 1,000 attendees at the Clinton Presidential Center on January 31-February 1, making it one of the Center’s most successful and popular events, according to Center staff. See THV 11 interview with Irene.
April 3, 2019 | Washington, DC | Details to come
April 16, 2019 | Seattle Town Hall | Details to come
March 4, 2018 | Conference on the Holocaust | Richardson, TX | The University of Texas at Dallas
March 15-17, 2018 | The Diary of Anne Frank Play | Post-play presentation | Fountain, MI
March 28, 2018 | Bowling Green Ballroom | Bowling Green, OH | Bowling Green University
April 3, 2018 | Northampton, MA | Writer's Night Out (co-authors John D. Bidwell & Kris Holloway only)
April 21, 2018 | With NYT-Bestselling author Jan Jarboe Russell | Temple Beth Emeth | Ann Arbor, MI
May 8, 2018 | Ann Arbor District Library, MI
June 3, 2018 | Farmington, MI | Southeast Michigan Holocaust Center
June 11, 2018 | Newton Free Library
June 18, 2018 | Hampshire Regional High School
June 20, 2018 | Book Launch: Reading | Northampton, MA | Broadside Books
Oct 1, 2018 | Emerson School | Ann Arbor, MI
October 18, 2018 | National Reading Group Month Authors Panel | Greater Lansing, MI
October 22-23, 2018 (Mon-Tue) | Keynote | University of Michigan Rackham Graduate Building
October 28, 2018 | Congregation Sinai | Milwaukee, WI
October 29, 2018 | Homestead High School | Milwaukee, WI
November 4, 2018 | Jewish Book & Arts Festival | Ann Arbor, MI
November 13, 2018 (Tue) | Washington Hebrew Congregation | Washington, DC
November 14, 2018 (Wed) | Library of Congress | Washington, DC
November 29, 2018 | Glendale Ridge Vineyard | Southampton, MA | Co-authors John & Kris only
December 3, 2018 | Suffield Academy key note | Suffield, CT
December 5, 2018 | Amherst Books | Amherst, MA | Co-authors John & Kris only
February 10, 2019 | Or Shalom Jewish Community | San Francisco, CA | Irene with Bay Area author and film-maker, Elizabeth Rynecki
February 27, 2019 | Ypsilanti District Library | Ypsilanti, MI
March 6, 2019 | Girls Scouts | Toledo, OH
March 15, 2019 | Milan Middle School community presentation | Milan, MI
April 13, 2019 | Perrysburg Junior High School | Perrysberg, OH