News

Holocaust Survivor Magda Herzberger to Speak at Bryan

February 5, 2016

February 4, 2016 – Bryan College is deeply honored to host Magda Herzberger, an 89-year-old survivor of three different death camps in 1944-1945, who is coming to speak on campus in a variety of settings and events from Feb. 29 – March 3.

Magda HerzbergerThe chapel service at 10 A.M. on Monday, Feb. 29, will begin Herzberger’s visit, followed by another speaking session and Q&A time with book signing at 7 P.M. on the second floor of the college library. She will also have a poetry recital at 7 P.M. on March 2. The community is invited and encouraged to attend and learn from this woman’s incredible story of perseverance and hope.

She will also speak in several classes over the course of her stay in Dayton, Tenn., granting students what may very well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with a survivor of the atrocious Holocaust. Her books will be available for purchase for the duration of her stay.

Dr. Stephen D. Livesay, Bryan College’s president, remarked, “We are honored to have a survivor of the holocaust minister to the Bryan and Dayton communities. We need to be reminded of the reality of that horrific time and the lessons to be learned. Magda Herzberger is an exceptional woman who will challenge and inspire.”

Herzberger was 18 when she was deported to Auschwitz in May 1944, soon after transferred to Bremen, and finally was forced on the death march to Bergen Belsen, where she was rescued when the camp was liberated in April 1945. After WWII she was admitted to medical school and married her now-husband, Eugene Herzberger, in 1946. She has written several books, including Surviving Hard Times, Survival, Dreamworld, and The Waltz of the Shadows, and is also an accomplished poet, composer, and lecturer.

Anastasia Capuzzi, a junior history major from Northumberland County, Penn., knows Herzberger personally and was responsible for suggesting the survivor as a guest speaker. “Knowing Magda has changed my life and made me realize how blessed we are to live each day surrounded by comfort and security,” Capuzzi said. “Our moral obligation to people like Magda is to make her story known so that people never forget the horrors of the Holocaust. Her story is a story of hope, and I know it will touch everyone!”

According to her website, “Through her books, poetry, music, and public speaking engagements, it is Magda’s goal to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, to instill love for poetry in the hearts of people, and to show the beauty of life.”

Director of the Center for Leadership & Justice, the Honors Program, and the Justice & Mercy Initiative Col. Ron Petitte (U.S.A., retired) is thrilled for the event to take place. He noted, “The Nazis’ attempts to obliterate God’s people in the Second World War, to include the horrors of the concentration camps, can only lead me to consider the survival of a remnant of His people, as a magnanimous act of God, Who, in His grace, saved Magda Herzberger, as He did others.”

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, assistant director of public information, 423.775.7206; chloe.townsend@bryan.edu.

*Edited on 2/5/16 to include Capuzzi quote and further information on engagements.