We have a very special Speaker next Monday, Holocaust survivor Henry Slucki.
was 8 years old in Vichy, France with his parents when the gendarmes came to his
door to take his family away. They were not taken and escaped over
several days sleeping by day and traveling by night making it to Spain
and eventually the US.
They were hidden by the landlady and secretly moved to the countryside where they were hidden by non-Jews in escaping the Nazis.
Hnery's is an emotional, compelling story. If it were not for non-Jews he would not
have been able to escape. The numbers of
Holocaust survivors are dwindling and it is a program that we will not
be able to do in the not so distant future.
Henry has been a professor at USC in behavioral science for over 50 years. He has degrees from UCLA (BA, PhD) and Columbia (MA, in between) in
Psychology. Postdoctorate work at UCLA's Brain Research Institute
and the National Academy of Sciences for research in
Budapest. He also has a weekly radio showon 90.7 FM on
is very difficult to understand the experience that these children had
where a normal childhood was transformed almost overnight. When
Kristalnacht occurred in Germany, or when the Nazis took over in
Poland, France, Hungry, and Holland, new and onerous and ominous regulations were issued for Jews. They were moved from their comfortable apartments or
homes to the Ghetto where they were jammed into one room with extended
families and strangers. In anticipation of this situation or in response
to it, where it was possible to do
so, many parents made a decision to send their children into hiding with non-Jewish families. In
most of the cases the parents could not be hidden with their children. The fate of the Jewish parents and most of the their families and friends was often death. While many
of the child survivors intellectually came to understand that the
decision to hide them allowed them to live, the full emotional
understanding of this generous act on the part of their parents did not
come to them until many years later. It was often not until their own
children, born in a safe environment and at the age at which they had
been put into hiding by their own parents, did they appreciate the
sacrifice that was made for them.