March 5, 2012
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab
SRU holocaust program features survivor
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Fay Malkin, a Polish survivor of the Holocaust, will deliver a lecture titled “She Should Have Died that Night” when she offers her deeply personal story of survival as part of Slippery Rock University’s two-day Holocaust Remembrance Program.
Malkin’s free lecture is at 4 p.m., March 20, in Miller Auditorium.
As a prelude to Malkin’s talk, the film “No. 4 Street of Our Lady,” will be shown at 7 p.m., March 19, in 111 Spotts. The film recounts the work of Francisca Halamajowa, a Polish woman and her daughter who helped hide some 20 Polish Jews, including Malkin, during the Holocaust, “I saw the film in 2010 and heard Fay speak,” said Richard Martin, professor of political science and organizer of the remembrance program. “My wife and my students will testify that I have seldom been so moved by an experience of this sort in a long time.”
As part of her Holocaust Remembrance address, Malkin will discuss how as a five-year-old she was hidden in hayloft above a pigsty with nearly 20 other Jews as German troops, following their defeat at Stalingrad, made their way through her town in Eastern Poland.
The Jews in hiding included members of her own family and all faced certain death if discovered. When Malkin, then known as Feyge Letzter, began crying uncontrollably, they agreed that for the safety of all, she would be killed by poisoning.
A doctor in the group forced a vial of poison down her throat. Later, when being prepared for burial, the doctor realized the little girl was still alive.
Malkin and the others spent two years in hiding at the farm.
Now in her early-70s, Malkin will share her personal history along with stories of others who risked their lives to hide Jews from the Nazis during World War II.
Currently a resident of West Orange, N.J., Malkin wrote about her father (Eli Letzter) being killed at the hands of Nazis in “Moments in Time: A Collage of Holocaust Memories.” She was the subject of 2012 story in the Drew University Magazine. She participated in Drew’s Leave-a-Legacy Writing Program for Holocaust Survivors hosted by the university’s Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study and now serves on its board of directors.
Malkin came to the U.S. in 1949 at age 10. She enrolled in first grade, quickly caught up on her studies, and graduated from Newark’s Weequahic High School at age 18. For most of her life she lived quietly without publicly discussing her history. However, with age, her ability to deal with her past became easier, and she began the necessary research to participate in the center’s work.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives. -