Southeast to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 26

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Nazi concentration-camp survivor Maria Szapszewicz will speak at Southeast Missouri State University on April 26 as part of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

A survivor of the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belson concentration camps, she will speak at noon in the University Center Ballroom.

Rudy Oppenheim, who also survived the Holocaust, will speak at 3:30 p.m. at the Honors House at 902 College Hill.

On May 1, Southeast political science professor Dr. Mitchell Gerber will present the showing of "Witness: Voices from the Holocaust" at the Cape Girardeau Public Library in recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the Hirsch Community Room.

The film consists of the videotaped testimonies of eye witnesses to Nazi atrocities during the Holocaust.

Holocaust survivor Szapszewicz endured near starvation and a typhus epidemic. She contracted tuberculosis double pneumonia in a cattle car with other Jews rounded up by the Nazis.

Her father was killed. She was selected to work in an ammunition factory.

When she was liberated in April 1945, she weighed only 55 pounds.

Oppenheim grew up in Germany. He was kicked out of school for being a Jew. His father was sent to a concentration camp for several weeks. The family subsequently emigrated to Shanghai, China, with 20,000 other German and Austrian Jews.

Oppenheim is a docent and speaker at the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center in St. Louis.

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