FOSTER TWP. —It’s the first half of the 1940s, and there is a war on.
Soldiers are on the other side of the world. The enemy is committing widespread atrocities.
Meanwhile, Americans at home support the war effort.
But it’s also the Big Band era, and the music helps define the 1940s.
All of that will come to life this weekend during Eckley Miners Village Museum’s “1940s Weekend” on Saturday and Sunday.
Visitors will see a depiction of life on both the home front and in Allied and Axis military encampments, with military equipment and skirmishes, as well as hear the real-life story of a Holocaust survivor. They can stroll through Eckley, as it was around 1944, and see what daily life and chores were like in the mining patch town.
This is the first year the museum is creating a 1940s depiction, though the village has hosted armed-forces weekends in the previous two years and World War II events in the past that focused on Allied troops, said Kristen Bogash, program coordinator.
“This is the first time we will focus on both Allied and Axis forces,” Bogash said.
“This event this year is supposed to encapsulate and look at all the aspects of the 1940s, what the home front was like in a 1940s home, life in the camps and different aspects, such as the Holocaust … and 1940s music,” she added.
Severin Fayerman of Reading, a survivor of five different concentration camps and author of “A Survivor’s Story,” will talk both days about his experiences of surviving the Nazi camps then coming to America and becoming a successful hardware business owner.
The Friar’s Point Band, the Vinatieri Sisters and the Hazleton Liberty Band will perform.
On Sunday, Eckley volunteer Regina Drasher will portray Alleta Sullivan, mother of the famous five Sullivan brothers from Waterloo, Iowa, who were all killed when the Japanese sunk their Navy ship in World War II.
Also on Saturday, from 6 to 10 p.m., a 1940s swing dance is scheduled for Freeland Public Park Pavilion on Front Street in Freeland. Admission to the dance in $10 regular admission and $8 for those in 1940s-era attire or uniform.
“It’ll be live music by the Hazleton Philharmonic (and their) Big Band sound and the Vinatieri Sisters,” Bogash said.
Bogash said a special ceremony at the swing dance will include a tribute to veterans past and present.