Holocaust survivor Miriam Katin experienced a lifelong struggle with faith after her traumatic childhood during World War II.
Born in Hungary during World War II, Katin and her mother escaped on foot from the Nazi invasion of Budapest by faking their own deaths and fleeing to the countryside. Without telling anyone where they were going, they were forced to leave their belongings and loved ones behind and disguise themselves as a servant and illegitimate child.
In an attempt to deal with her experiences, Katin illustrated her past in her full-length, award-winning graphic novel, “We Are on Our Own.”
Katin will share her journey to understanding her past at a public lecture March 22.
“Antisemitism and Hatred of the ‘Other:’ A Conversation with Miriam Katin” is free and open to the public in G20 Ming Hsieh Hall at 6:30 p.m.
Today, there are approximately 100,000 living Holocaust survivors.
“Every day, we are losing survivors to the ravages of time,” said Lisa DiBartolomeo, Armand E. and Mary W. Singer Professor in the Humanities. “It’s becoming more and more important to remind people that the Holocaust happened, and more and more important that as many people as possible have the opportunity to meet and talk with a survivor first hand.”
Having the opportunity to hear a survivor’s personal stories has more a emotional and lasting impact than reading history from a text, DiBartolomeo said.
“I find that people understand a little bit better if they are able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes,” she added. “To just take a moment and make an effort to understand somebody else’s perspective."
This visit is Katin’s second to West Virginia University. In 2015, Katin, along with her husband, Geoff, visited to discuss her second novel, “Letting it Go,” chronicling the emotional turmoil she experienced when her son decided to move to Germany.
Katin and her husband’s visit is made possible by support from Ann Singer Hill and Tomas Hill.