Athens, Ga. – Norbert Friedman, a Polish Jew who lived through 3 years of imprisonment in 11 different concentration camps during the Holocaust, will speak April 19 at 12:20 p.m. in Room 214 of the University of Georgia’s Miller Learning Center. The talk is free and open to the public.
Starting in 1942 at the age of 20, Friedman was interned at a labor camp along with his father, uncles and all the able-bodied men of Wielopole, his grandparents’ village. Four weeks later, 50 members of his family—including his mother, 10-year-old brother and grandparents—were killed in the Belzec extermination camp.
Friedman weighed just 80 pounds when American soldiers found him in 1945, emaciated and legs swollen, in a barn guarded by the SS, the combat arm of the Nazis’ most fanatical organization. He and other prisoners had been marched out of the Ganacker Concentration Camp in Bavaria as a final torment as American forces approached the camp.
Friedman is the author of the memoir “Sun Rays at Midnight” and a book of short stories “Sappy Tales and Silent Screams.”
“It is such a privilege to be able to hear from a survivor firsthand,” said Marjanne Goozé, an associate professor of German in the department of Germanic and Slavic studies.
Goozé invited Friedman to tell his story as part of her Franklin College interdisciplinary course “The Holocaust from the Victims’ Perspectives.” Her students have been studying survivor testimonies.
“This will mark the culmination of the students’ work this semester,” she said. “Although the students have studied written and video testimonies, nothing compares to hearing directly from a survivor.”
For more information on the UGA department of Germanic and Slavic studies, see www.gsstudies.uga.edu.