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VALLEY FOCUS | Valley Glen

Survivors to Speak About Holocaust

April 18, 1998|TOM BECKER

On Monday, Rena Drexler will share her life story with complete strangers--a tale about suffering and hate, about injustice and death.

It has become a common ritual in her life, but the pain remains as strong as it was more than 50 years ago when she was a prisoner at the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland.

Monday is the day of Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance, and Drexler is one of three concentration camp survivors scheduled to speak at a special seminar at Valley College titled "Three Lives, Three Journeys: A Holocaust Remembrance."

"To say that this is an important day is an understatement," said Zev Garber, instructor of Jewish studies at the college.

Each year, the school recognizes Yom HaShoah through various programs and seminars. At one time, the Holocaust Remembrance actually lasted a full week, Garber said. More recently, things have been cut back, and the program is limited to one day.

"I hope things will change," Garber said. "It is too important a story to be left untold."

Drexler's story is as powerful as it is important. Her parents as well as 11 of her 14 siblings were killed at Auschwitz. This year, Drexler will tell her story alongside Di Frumkin, who was liberated from the Dachau concentration camp in Germany at the age of 14, and Leon Leyson, one of the youngest Jews to be included on Schindler's list.

The seminar, which is free to the public, begins at 9 a.m. in the school's Monarch Hall, 5800 Fulton Ave.

The event is sponsored by the college's Jewish studies department in conjunction with Hillel.

For more information, call Hillel at (818) 887-5901.

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