Everett Community College features four speakers for a Surviving the Holocaust class

EVERETT — Joyce Walker didn’t know what to expect when she began inviting Holocaust survivors to speak to her Everett Community College classes 10 years ago.

She was pleasantly surprised by the depth of her students’ interest.

“It just makes such an impact on the students,” Walker said. “It’s the kind of educational lesson you always dreamed about.”

Walker’s Humanities class — Surviving the Holocaust — fills up quickly each spring.

“Every year, the students are so eager to learn about it,” the English instructor said.

This year, a student told her she registered for the class in part because of a talk by a Holocaust survivor she heard when she was in middle school. That same speaker will talk to Walker’s class. Local residents also can sit in on the lectures, which begin April 15.

Speakers were arranged through the Seattle-based Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center, which sets up about 250 speeches each year that are heard by more than 24,000 people.

Speaking engagements, each beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Whitehorse Hall, Room 105, are:

April 15: Leo Hymas of Langley is scheduled to discuss his personal journey from his peaceful existence as a Utah farm boy to his role as a U.S. soldier in the battlefields of Europe and as a liberator of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

April 29: Susie Sherman of Bellevue is scheduled to recount her family’s escape, the devastating death toll on her extended Czech family, and her research and efforts to keep their story alive.

May 13: Robert Herschkowitz of Bellevue is scheduled to retrace his childhood odyssey from his homeland of Belgium to a French concentration camp and over the Alps to Switzerland and safety.

May 27: Fred Taucher of Seattle is scheduled to share his memories of his father being seized, how a Nazi midwife and personal friend of Hitler helped hide his family, and how he and his brother were sent to the Dachau concentration camp.

For more information about the speakers, visit www.everettcc.edu/humanities_center and click on “Holocaust Survivor Forums.” Everett Community College is at 2000 Tower St. in north Everett, two blocks west of North Broadway between 10th and Tower streets.

To learn more about the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center, visit www.wsherc.org or call 206-441-5747

Reporter Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com.

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