In honor of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), the Holocaust Remembrance Committee at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will host Holocaust Survivor Solange Lebovitz at 5:00 p.m. on April 18 at IUP’s Eberly Auditorium.

Lebovitz will present on her experiences as a hidden child in France. She will also discuss her family's experiences in hiding, in camps, and her brother's participation in the French Resistance.

The presentation is free and open to the community and will feature a number of additional speakers. Blessing Mansallay, IUP student and child survivor of the Sierra Leone Civil War, and Simon Stuchlik, IUP employee and member of the Holocaust Remembrance Committee, will share their thoughts and stories on the dangers of hate and genocide in modern society.

Lebovitz was born in 1930 in Paris. She survived hidden in Normandy by a Catholic couple named Barbebier. Miraculously, her immediate family of eight all survived the Holocaust. They hid in various places in France; some being arrested at times but managing to be released. Two of her brothers joined the French Partisan Resistance. She was reunited with her family after the war.

In 1952, she married Holocaust Survivor Larry Lebovitz in Paris, and then they moved to Pittsburgh. Lebovitz has two children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Her personal story is showcased in the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education’s Eva Fleischner Oral History Project; the video with her story will be shown during the April 18 program.

Lebovitz speaks to the importance of remembering and understanding the past in the video:

“The way things are right now in the world, in the United States and every place else, and the antisemitism that’s growing and the hatred, I fear very much for the future generation. And this is why I think I want them to know, not just to know my story, but they should know and learn about the history, the history of the world, the history of the United States, the history with all the people, in order to see what happened with the prejudices.”

“Our hope is to show that IUP is a unified community dedicated to speaking out against antisemitism,” Shannon Phillips-Shyrock, chair of the IUP Holocaust Remembrance Committee, said. “Together, with our Holocaust survivor Solange, the Holocaust Remembrance Committee will discuss the dangers of antisemitism, especially when it is not addressed and allowed to continue with no response, and thus sends the message that it is acceptable.”