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Holocaust survivor to share her story October 7

Marigt 2014Margit Meissner, a Holocaust survivor who escaped by bicycle from the Nazi encroachment on France, will share her story at Randolph College next week.

Meissner will speak on Tuesday, October 7, at 7:30 p.m.

in Smith Hall Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.

Randolph history professor Gerry Sherayko invited Meissner to visit Randolph as a way to give students and community members the opportunity to learn from an eyewitness to the events surrounding the Holocaust and World War II. “Bringing eyewitnesses to speak to us is a very important thing to do. … I think it adds so much more to one’s understanding of what actually occurred,” he said.

“Because it was so long ago, those eyewitnesses are not going to be with us forever,” he added. “While we still have time and people are willing to tell the stories, we should take advantage of that.”

Meissner and her mother moved to Paris after Austria submitted to Nazi rule. Shortly before France surrendered to Germany, she escaped from Paris on bicycle, riding more than 20 miles to a school where refugees congregated, and then from there to a detention camp 30 miles away in a search for her mother. Eventually, they migrated to America. Meissner later worked as a German Youth Activities specialist helping to re-educate Hitler youth.

In 2003, she published her memoir, Margit’s Story, which describes in detail her daring effort to triumph over adversity both during and after the war. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing after her talk at Randolph.


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