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Monday, February 28, 2011

Holocaust Survivor Visits UACCM

The University of Arkansas Community College in Morrilton and the University of Central Arkansas have partnered together once again to bring the public an opportunity to experience hearing a first hand account of one of the biggest tragedies of our time. UACCM and UCA are honored to host Martin Weiss, a survivor of the Holocaust, who will be speaking at three different locations and times during his stay. Martin Weiss will be sharing his story of how he went from growing up in a small rural village in what was known then as Czechoslovakia, to being forced into a life of concentration camps and labor battalions. Weiss's and his family were deported in 1944 to the Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center. Weiss, his father, brother, and two uncles were selected for forced labor; the other family members were sent to the gas chambers. Martin and his father were sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, and then to the subcamp of Melk, where they were forced to build tunnels into the side of the mountains. His father perished there. Martin was liberated by the 71st Infantry Division in May 1945. He then returned to Czechoslovakia, where he found some surviving family members. In 1946 they immigrated to the United States. Now Mr. Weiss is a volunteer with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and tells his uplifting and inspiring story to audiences across the country. This will be a rare chance for students, faculty, staff, of the schools and members of the community to hear a firsthand account of someone’s journey and experiences during one of the darkest moments in human history rather than simply reading information about it from a history book.

Mr. Weiss will be speaking in the Conway High School Auditorium on March 9 at 7:00 PM, Morrilton High School's H.B. White Auditorium on March 10 at 12:00 PM, and the UACCM Fine Arts Auditorium on March 10 at 6:30 PM. The presentations will be free and open to the public. Those planning to attend are encouraged to arrive early as these events have come close to reaching the maximum occupancy of the venues in past years. “We in the United States should be all the more thankful for the freedom and religious tolerance we enjoy. And we should always remember the lessons learned from the Holocaust, in hopes we stay vigilant against such inhumanity now and in the future.”- Charlie Dent.
If you would like more information about these events, please feel free to contact David Plummer at (501) 977-2142 or plummer@uaccm.edu.

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