Son of Holocaust survivor to speak about mother’s life and survival Nov. 13

“Memories of the Holocaust,” a presentation by the son of a Holocaust survivor, will be given Nov. 13 at Ripon College. The talk will run from 11:15 a.m. to noon in Great Hall, Harwood Memorial Union. It is free and open to the public.

Nov. 9 is the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), when the Nazis destroyed Jewish shops throughout Germany and began to round up Jews for concentration camps.

Steven Russek will focus on the life of his mother, Dora z’l Russek, from her birth in Grodno Poland, through the rising tide of anti-Semitism in northeast Poland, the German occupation, imprisonment in Birkenau, liberation and reunification with her uncle in America. He will show how hope and interdependent relationships helped his mother and others survive.

Dora and her husband, Shimon z’l Russek, both were working class Jews born in Poland. Shimon was a liberator who served in the Russian Army.

Their children, Steven, his older brother Michael and his older sister Estelle, were raised in the predominantly Jewish seaside community of Sea Gate in Brooklyn, New York. Steven attended public schools through high school. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

He is the chief engineering scientist of Astronautics Corporation of America in Milwaukee.

Rabbi David Brusin, former rabbi at Reconstructionist Congregation Shir Hadash in Milwaukee and an adjunct instructor at Ripon College, will introduce Russek and moderate the discussion and question-and-answer session after the talk.

The talk is sponsored by the College’s Center for Politics and the People and the Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC) in Milwaukee.


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