Journey to Survival relived at Holocaust event
The talk by Trude, a member of the Leeds-based charity, the Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association, has been organised by the University's Centre for Culture and the Arts and will take place at 4pm in the Rose Bowl, Lecture Theatre D.
The theme of this year's International Holocaust Memorial Day is 'Journeys': which includes reflections on the life stories of survivors who journeyed to their UK. Trude Silman was a child refugee from Czechoslovakia in World War Two who lost many of her family members in the Holocaust.
Dr Kelly Hignett lecturer in twentieth century European History in the School of Cultural Studies, commented: "Holocaust Memorial Day 2014 marks the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, where millions suffered and died, and provides an important opportunity for us to remember those who were killed in the Holocaust and the victims of subsequent genocides.
"Even today, as the Holocaust begins to slip beyond living memory, new information continues to emerge as efforts are made to document the stories of the remaining survivors for future generations. This is a topic that continues to interest new generations of students, as they grapple with the darker aspects of human history and I know that many of our students will welcome the opportunity to mark this event and to hear about Trude's experiences first hand."
Trude's talk, 'A Journey to Survival', will tell of her own journey from Czechoslovakia to England. The rise of Hitler led Trude's parents to the decision to get their children out of Czechoslovakia to safety. Trude's aunt received permission to work in England as a domestic servant and she took her own daughter and Trude with her, via an arduous four-day journey to Liverpool Street Station.
Trude lived with foster families before returning to London to stay with an aunt and uncle who were waiting for passage to America. She was then evacuated to Rickmandsworth and then Cornwall, where she spent the duration of the war. Trude moved to Leeds to study and met her husband, Norman, here, but she did not give up on the search to find out what happened to her parents. Her father died in Auschwitz however she is still looking for information on what happened to her mother.
Following Trude's talk, there will be opportunity to ask her questions followed by a showing of the 2013 film, 'Hannah Arendt'. The film centres around the political theorist Hannah Arendt's response to the 1961 trial of former Nazi Adolf Eichmann, which she covered for The New Yorker and later published, with a more detailed analysis, in her 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem.
Her writing on the trial caused controversy because of her depiction of Eichmann and, most famously, her views on 'the banality of evil': the idea that the Holocaust and other horrors of World War Two were, for the most part, carried out by 'ordinary people' who simply complied with the orders they were given, and not by a small group of murderous fanatics; and the wider implications this had for issues of moral responsibility.
To attend this free event, which is open to all, please contact Dr Kelly Hignett at email@example.com