“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” Elie Wiesel

Survivor Erika Schwartz to speak in Cedar Rapids

One of the youngest survivors to be our guest speaker for Yom Hashoah. The Thaler Holocaust Remembrance Fund will welcome to Eastern Iowa Yom HaShoah Guest Speaker Erika Schwartz.

The Thaler Holocaust Remembrance Fund will welcome to Eastern Iowa Yom HaShoah Guest Speaker Erika Schwartz. Schwartz will be speaking at 7:00 p.m. April 1 at Coe College and at 1:30 pm April 2 at Kirkwood Community College.

At 79 years old, Erika Schwartz is one of the youngest survivors, and so almost all of her memories are those of her mother, who was the only other survivor from her family. Schwartz’s story has elements of miracle, much like those of other survivors: assistance from non Jewish acquaintances, fortunate timing, sacrifices from family members, even at times divine intervention. But she also has a second survivor story to share.

Schwartz was born in the Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, ghetto, just one day before the Nazis sealed it off. Knowing the imminent danger of staying in the ghetto, her father secured papers showing that Schwartz and her mother were actually residents of Budapest, Hungary’s capital, where he believed it would be safer. But even in Budapest, Erika, her mother and her aunt Olga had to take on identities as Christians, not Jews, to insure their survival.

After the war, mother and daughter stayed in Hungary, now under a Communist regime controlled by the Soviet Union, with conditions no better for them than they had been during the war. Thanks to relatives in the United State, Erika’s mother emigrated to the U.S. and 4-year-old Erika followed six months later.

And that’s when Erika Schwartz’s second survival story began. Raised by a mother who suffered from PTSD and who led a nomadic lifestyle, Erika Schwartz says she experienced low self-esteem and struggled finding meaning in her life. She says it wasn’t until near-middle age that she was able to finally come to terms with everything she had experienced.

Schwartz will share her experiences in early April: A story that in many ways is different from other survivor stories.  

Coe College
Sinclair Auditorium
Monday April 1st 2024
7:00 pm
 1220 First Ave. NE , Cedar Rapids IA, 52402

Ballantyne Auditorium
Kirkwood Community College
Tuesday April 2nd, 2024
1:30 pm
6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Design by Gauntt • Programming by Beckett

wordpress stats plugin

Copyright © 2012 ThemeBlossom.com. All Rights Reserved