Holocaust survivor Magda Herzberger will speak at Bucknell University Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in Rooke Lecture Hall (Room 116) of the Rooke Chemistry Building. The talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the university's annual commemoration of Kristallnacht. It is sponsored by Campus Jewish Life with funds provided by the Langone Fund for Jewish Life and Learning: Human Tolerance and Understanding.
Born in Romania in 1926, Herzberger survived three concentration camps – Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bremen and Bergen-Belsen – before moving back to Romania and Palestine and then to the United States, where she became a U.S. citizen in 1965. She and her family lived in Wisconsin before retiring to Arizona in 1994.
Herzberger has spent the last 33 years writing and speaking about how the Nazis almost murdered her entire family and finally left her to die in a pile of dead bodies at Bergen-Belsen. She credits her physical stamina, combined with her tenacious spirit and faith in God with helping her to survive. At age 86, she is one of the few remaining survivors of the Holocaust.
A poet, lecturer and composer, Herzberger is the author of several books including Survival, an autobiography of her childhood; The Waltz of the Shadows, an autobiography in the form of poetry and musical compositions; Tales of the Magic Forest a children’s book that reflects the lessons and messages she learned; and Dream World, stories inspired by her nightmares.
In a related event, Herzberger will give a reading of her poetry Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 4:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell bookstore in Lewisburg. A book signing will follow.
'Night of Broken Glass'
Kristallnacht marks the beginning of the Holocaust in Germany when organized gangs of Nazi youth roamed through Jewish neighborhoods on Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, breaking windows of Jewish businesses and homes, burning synagogues and looting.
"As time moves us further away from World War II and the Holocaust, it becomes that much more important to bring speakers to campus to help us to never forget that horrific time, for not only the Jewish people, but for the world," said Rabbi Serena Fujita, Jewish chaplain at Bucknell.