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For the past 15 years, Viterbo University has been bringing Holocaust survivors to the area.

At 7 p.m. on Thursday March 21, we will bring Holocaust survivor Magda Brown to the Viterbo Fine Arts Center to speak to our community free-of-charge.

Magda was born June 11th, 1927, in Miskole, Hungary.

After Germany invaded in March 1944, Magda and her family were forced into a ghetto until, on her 17th birthday, they were transported on a three-day journey in a boxcar with 80 other people, with no food or water, to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Magda was separated from her mother, father, aunts, uncles and cousins. It was the last time she saw them as they were sent directly to the gas chambers.

Eventually, Magda was one of 1,000 women sent to Allendorf, Germany, a subcamp of Buchenwald Concentration Camp, and the site of Germany’s largest munitions factories.

The women worked under dangerous conditions making bombs and rockets, filling them with chemicals. At the end of 1945, they were sent on a death march to Buchenwald. Magda and others escaped by crawling to hide under piles of straw in a nearby barn until rescued by American soldiers.

Magda, a certified medical assistant, has spoken to more than 100,000 people about her experiences.

To meet Holocaust survivors in person is to touch history. It is difficult to describe the feeling of awe a person experiences when hearing history from one who lived it.

I am certain you will leave inspired and more appreciative of your own life. Don’t miss Magda.

Darryle Clott, La Crosse

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