RAHWAY – On Wednesday, Nov. 13, students from Debra Maller’s Holocaust and genocide studies class will learn the impact of the horror of the Holocaust firsthand from two survivors, Allan and Lilli Farkus.
Lilli lost her twin brother to Dr. Joseph Mengele’s experiments on twins, which she also endured herself.
Allan, a 14-year-old from Romania, was sentenced to hard labor at Auschwitz in 1944, where his mother and sisters were put to death in the gas chambers. When the Germans feared Russians invasion, they forced the prisoners on a winter death march followed by a 12-day train trip without food and water ending at another camp in Germany.
Because his job at the new camp was to peel potatoes for workers at an aircraft plant, however, Allan was able to get a bit of food. In March of 1945, everything surrounding the camp was bombed and Allan was able to escape but was hit by shrapnel and turned over to the Gestapo. Liberation came soon after, so he was able to get back to Romania and eventually came to the United States where he met and married Lilli.
Through her course, Maller tries to build awareness and understanding in her students. During the past two summers, she has traveled and studied extensively in Germany, Poland and Israel.
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