Starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, Greensburg Community High School (GCHS) history teacher John Pratt’s popular Chautauqua will be in full swing.
GCHS, in its inaugural Chautauqua program since the arrival of Pratt prior to the beginning of this school year, will be welcoming many Holocaust survivors to speak about their experiences in the school's auditorium.
From 7:55 to 8:45 a.m., Holocaust survivor Magda Brown, a Hungarian Jew who was imprisoned at Auschwitz-Birkenau, will lead off the program. Brown's entire family was gassed to death in 1944.
She will be followed from 8:50 to 9:25 a.m. by Hannah Pick-Gosler, the best friend of Anne Frank, who will speak with those in attendance via Skype.
Holocaust survivor and author Inge Auerbaucher and Colonel Paul Longgrear will speak next, from approximately 9:31 to 11:13 a.m.
Longgrear is the subject of the documentary The Man Left Behind, and is considered a Vietnam war hero. A Green Beret, Longgrear earned multiple military citations for his bravery in Vietnam. He was one of only a handful of survivors the Battle of Lang Vei.
Following them, from 11:54 to about 1:24 p.m., survivor and author Fred Gross and survivor Moshe Baran will speak. Moshe was a 22-year-old Polish Jew who escaped from a Polish ghetto to become a Jewish partisan who fought against the Nazis.
Closing out the afternoon portion of the program, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., the son of a Holocaust survivor, Phillip Lande, will speak. Also present will be teacher Sandra Roberts, who organized the Paper Clips Holocaust Project. She will be joined by two of her students.
The Paper Clips Project started in 1998, when an eighth grade class began to collect six-million paper clips to represent the Jewish lives lost during the Holocaust.
The kids received 30 million paper clips in donations.
In the evening, many of the guests will be returning from 7 to 9 p.m.
The guests will be on a panel to answer questions from high school students.
Before the panel, Herb Suerth from the “Band of Brothers” Easy Company, 101st Airborne, will give his speech.
“I’m biased,” said Pratt Monday, “but it’s a fantastic lineup.”
Pratt explained that this year’s theme is "Courage, Respect, Tolerance and Diversity, “This is what all of our speakers have in mind,” he said.
Admission for the public is $5, and the single ticket will be good for the entire day. The public is encouraged to attend.
Contact: Tess Rowing 812-663-3111 x7004