April 14, 2010

Holocaust Survivor Charlene Schiff Will Discuss Her Experiences April 19

A free community dinner will be held before the lecture

Holocaust survivor Charlene Schiff will give a lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 19 in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104. The free talk will be presented by Lafayette Hillel Society in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

A free community dinner will be held before the lecture at 5:30 p.m. in Hillel House, 524 Clinton Terrace, Easton, Pa.

Schiff, the grandmother of Perry Schiff ’13 (Barrington, R.I.), was born in Horochow, a small town in Eastern Poland. In 1941, after the Germans invaded Poland, her father, a philosophy professor at the nearby University of Lvov, was taken away. During an attempted escape in 1942 along the banks of the local river, her mother and sister also vanished. Schiff managed to escape to the forest, subsisting alone for two years on a diet of rainwater, dew, wild fruit, and insects. After Schiff spent three years in displaced persons camps, the teenager was able to go live with an aunt in Columbus, Ohio.

Schiff is an active member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Speakers Bureau. She has spoken on the subject of the Holocaust for numerous TV programs and newspapers. In 1998, Schiff was selected as a candle-lighter for the national Days of Remembrance ceremony held in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol. In January 2010, President Obama chose Schiff to represent the U.S. at the commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Schiff lectures extensively to high school and college students and at government agencies and synagogues. She feels she has a mandate to bear witness and to relate the Holocaust to contemporary instances of intolerance and genocide.

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