Today is August 15, 2020; the
On Thursday April 11th at 7:00 p.m., Holocaust survivor Sam Harris, a child survivor of the Holocaust, will speak at the Viterbo Fine Arts Center. His presentation is made possible by the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Leadership in Ethics. The program is open to the community and free-of-charge.
Mr. Harris will be in La Crosse to attend the seventh annual Holocaust Educators’ Workshop at Viterbo for Holocaust educators on April 11th-12th.
Sam was born Szlamek Rzeznik in Deblin, Poland and was only four years old in 1939, when World War II broke out. Upon Nazi occupation, a portion of Deblin was turned into a ghetto where Sammy and his family lived. Soon overcrowding and lack of food and medication caused men, women and children to die on the streets of Deblin from typhus, dysentery, and starvation. In 1942 Sam and his family were rounded up for deportation. During the chaos of the round-up, Sammy’s father pushed him out of line and told him to run and hide. Sammy watched his parents and four sisters and brothers march towards the railcars. That was the last time Sammy saw his family. Sammy was able to escape death; his survival was nothing short of a miracle. On January 6, 1945, he was liberated by the Russian army.
Today Sam is President Emeritus of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, Illinois. He continues to speak extensively on the local and state level about the lessons of the Holocaust and his experiences. His memoir Sammy: A Child Survivor of the Holocaust will be for sale at Viterbo and Sam will do a book signing after his presentation.
Please invite friends to join you, and do come early to get a seat.