Auschwitz Survivor, 82, to Speak at Montclair State, 10/29

An 82-year-old Jewish survivor of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Poland who still bears his six-digit camp number carved into his left forearm will speak to students at Montclair State University on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 10 a.m. at the Student Center room 419. The event is open to  members of the University community and all are invited to attend.

Maurice Siidmarc, of Long Island, who was in a barracks at Auschwitz right next to one of the crematoria where the Jews were incinerated after being gassed to death (“We talked about it, but my mind couldn’t accept it, that they were burning bodies”), will meet with Professor Ron Hollander’s journalism seminar, “The Holocaust and the American Press,” examining how the press covered the Holocaust from 1941-45.

Of 92 people in Siidmarc’s extended family in Poland, only seven survived World War II, and now only Siidmarc and a cousin remain.  Siidmarc, who fought in the Israeli war for independence in 1948, created his own last name after the war using the initials of many of his murdered family members.

Siidmarc came to America in 1958, and for 50 years couldn’t speak about his experiences, even to his children.  “Finally I felt guilty about not telling others about it,” he said.  “My father of blessed memory taught me it was alright to dislike, but not to hate.”

For more information, please contact Professor Ron Hollander at hollanderr@mail.montclair.edu.