University of Lynchburg is hosting two events sponsored by the Holocaust Education Foundation of Central Virginia.
- Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber, an award-winning documentary film about the Holocaust, will be shown Saturday, December 1 at 12:30 p.m. in Hopwood Hall Auditorium. Two of the project’s filmmakers will be present.
With her love of adventure and fearlessness, Ruth Gruber defied tradition from the moment she became the world’s youngest PhD at the age of 20 in 1931. Ahead of Time tells the remarkable journey of 96-year-old Gruber, and is the directorial debut of noted cinematographer Bob Richman (The September Issue, My Architect, and An Inconvenient Truth). Gruber continued to make history throughout her trail-blazing career by becoming the first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic in 1935 and escorting 1,000 Holocaust refugees from Naples to New York in a secret war-time mission in 1944. She covered the heart-wrenching ordeal of the refugees aboard the ship Exodus 1947 with photographs that helped change the world.
- Charles Stein, a survivor volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will speak December 5 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Ballroom, Hall Campus Center.
Stein was born to a Jewish family in Vienna, Austria. In 1937, Charles was admitted to the Medical School of the University of Vienna. When the Germans marched onto Austria and arrived in Vienna on March 13, 1938, Jews were no longer permitted to study at the university, and Charles began to search for a way to get out of Austria, now a part of Germany. On August 12, 1938, he said his last goodbye to his parents and fled to Luxembourg, where he received temporary asylum with the help of a Jewish aid organization, ESRA.
Stein contacted some distant relatives in the U.S., and asked for help. After much delay, he arrived in New York on December 18, 1939. He found work in the shipping department of a textile firm, worked as a waiter in a Jewish summer camp, and was drafted into the U.S. Army on October 7, 1941. He served in World War II in combat from Normandy to the Czech border and again during the Korean War in Korea.
In early 1946, Stein found out that his parents had been deported to the Lodz ghetto in 1941. In 1995, he finally learned that they were gassed at Chelmno on February 28, 1942.