Holocaust survivor to speak at USD Jan. 21 Holocaust survivor, speaker and author Benjamin Jacobs will make a presentation at The University of South Dakota, Jan. 21, describing his personal account as an inmate in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. The speech, sponsored by The University of South Dakota's Program Council, will begin at 8 p.m. in Farber Hall of Old Main at USD.
Jacob's speech will chronicle the horrors and humanity of life in the concentration camps, including the beating death of his father in Auschwitz and a dangerous friendship with a Christian Polish girl who brought him food and medicine at the risk of her own life.
The speech, entitled, "Keeping the Record Straight: a Survivor's Perspective," is based on Jacob's book, The Dentist of Auschwitz: a Memoir. In the book, Jacob explains how, as a young Jewish dental student in Poland during 1941, the Nazis deported him from his village to a labor camp. Shunted between labor camps to concentration camps by cattle car and forced to labor marches, he was forced to assemble V1 and V2 rockets at Buchenwald, and spent a year and a half at Auschwitz serving as a dentist on both the living as well as the dead.
Although a great deal is known about concentration camps and death marches, Jacob's speech will be unique as he recounts one of the most shocking and least known tragedies of World War II. He will detail how, in a final desperate act in the last days of the war, the Germans imprisoned 15,000 inmates in three German ocean liners. As these "floating concentration camps" lay anchored, they were strafed and sunk by RAF bomber. Only 1,600 prisoners, he and his brother among them, survived.
"There are only a few of us left. In the next decades, we too will be history," Jacobs said
in his publicity statement.
"The extent of this tragedy will then only be in books and
There will be no admission fee for the speech. For more information contact: Paul Glader, (605) 677-5512 or 5334.