Holocaust survivors to visit during fall semester
University of Wisconsin-Parkside English Professor Carole Vopat has reason to be thankful again this semester, for "this is not the year that there are no survivors to be found," she said.
Professor Vopat has two survivors of the Holocaust scheduled to visit her Wednesday evening "Literature of the Holocaust" class: Aaron Elster and Raye David will speak with her students and anyone else who wishes to attend. They will tell their personal stories and answer questions from the audience.
"Everyone, regardless of age, is welcome to take advantage of an opportunity that very soon will be gone: to meet someone with direct experience of the Holocaust," she stated.
Students, faculty, members of the community, teachers and group leaders with their children or teens, are encouraged to attend.
Holocaust survivor Aaron Elster, whose story "wrings my heart," Professor Vopat said, speaks Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m. in room 103 of Greenquist Hall.
Born in 1933 at a small village in northeastern Poland, Elster lived in the Sokolow ghetto with his two sisters, mother, and father until the liquidation of the ghetto in September 1942. Escaping the liquidation, he hid in surrounding farms before taking refuge in the attic of a Polish family, where he hid for two years until the war's end, freezing in winter, stifling in summer, and never going outside.
Elster's experiences are recounted in his memoir "I Still See Her Haunting Eyes." The title refers to the last time he saw his tearful baby sister during the liquidation of his village. Copies of his book will be available for purchase ($10).
Raye David joins Professor Vopat's class Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. in room 131 of the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities. After her father was shot by the Nazis in a mass execution in the forest near her home in Vilna, Poland; David survived the liquidation of the Vilna ghetto and imprisonment at various concentration camps including Bergen-Belsen, the same camp where Anne Frank died.Liberated by the British on her 17th birthday, she and her mother came to America with David arriving in Milwaukee when she was 21.
The presentations are free and last about an hour; there are no reserved seats; the public is welcome. For more information, call (262) 595-2532.