Holocaust Survivor Will Speak at Davidson Sept. 19

Davidson College invites the public on Monday, September 19, to hear a talk by Holocaust survivor Susan Cernyak-Spatz of Charlotte.

Cernyak-Spatz, a Professor Emerita of German literature at UNC Charlotte, will speak about her suffering at the hands of the Nazi regime in a talk titled, “The Perpetrators of the Holocaust Through the Eyes of the Victims.” It will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Chambers Building room 2164, and there is no charge to attend. For more information, call 704-894-2284.

Cernyak-Spatz was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Vienna during the interwar period. In 1929, the family moved to Berlin, where they witnessed the Hitler movement’s rise to power. Along with her parents, Cernyak-Spatz fled to Prague in March 1938. While her father managed to escape to Belgium shortly before the German invasion of Poland, theNazis arrested and eventually deported Cernyak-Spatz and her mother.

Cernyak-Spatz survived Auschwitz-Birkenau, the women’s concentration camp of Ravensbrück, and a death march during the waning weeks of the war. Her mother died in Theresienstadt.

In July 1946, Cernyak-Spatz managed to leave Europe for the U.S. She completed a dissertation on German Holocaust literature in 1971, working under the direction of Ruth Klüger, another survivor. She has published work on various aspects of the Holocaust, and her memoirs appeared in 2005.


Buck Lawrimore