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MECC hosting survivor of holocaust for lecture series

October 27th, 2013 7:37 pm by Staff Report

MECC hosting survivor of holocaust for lecture series

Mountain Empire Community College will host Dr. Walter Ziffer, a survivor of the Holocaust, on Nov. 11. Ziffer survived four years during World War II in concentration and slave labor camps. Contributed photo.

BIG STONE GAP — Mountain Empire Community College will host Dr. Walter Ziffer, a survivor of the Holocaust, at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 in the Goodloe Center as part of the college’s Living Legends lecture series.

On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, MECC will observe the end of World War I, and use the occasion to recognize all servicemen and women, past and present, in the college’s Veterans Day program.

MECC history professor and Living Legends series coordinator Mike Strouth said Ziffer will provide students and the public a poignant note of reality for a turbulent and tragic era of modern history.

“We are honored someone who lived history,” Strouth said. “This will make history come alive for our students and the community.”

Ziffer survived four years during World War II in concentration and slave labor camps. After liberation in May 1945, he went on to earn an engineering degree and doctorate degree to become a professor of theology in the United States and France.

Ziffer continues to teach in area colleges and Elderhostels throughout the country. He resides in Weaverville, N.C., with his wife, Gail Rosenthal.

Ziffer’s presentation is open and free to the public and will also be accompanied by the “Parallel Journeys: World War II and the Holocaust” museum exhibit. The exhibit portrays the stories of teenagers and young adults who were witnesses, participants and victims of World War II and the Holocaust.

The college extends a special invitation to all area veterans to attend the program for recognition. Ziffer’s presentation and the exhibit are made possible by New People’s Bank and the Mountain Empire Foundation.

For more information about the presentation and/or the college’s Living Legends series, contact Strouth at (276) 523-2400.


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