Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: October 10, 2012 9:50:34 AM PDT
Holocaust Survivor Noemi Ban to Speak at WWU Nov. 8

Editors: Please include information on reservations in any media mention of this event, as Noémi Ban’s talks typically are full and people in the past have shown up without reservations, expecting to be admitted.

Contact:  Ray Wolpow, director, Northwest Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Ethnocide Education at Western Washington University, (360) 650-4529 or NWCHE@wwu.edu


BELLINGHAM – Noémi Ban, a local resident and Holocaust survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, will share her story at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8 in Arntzen Hall 100 at Western Washington University; her discussion is sponsored by Western’s Northwest Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Ethnocide Education.

Because space is limited, reservations for Ban’s hour-long talk are mandatory, although the talk is free and open to the public. To make your reservation, visit www.wce.wwu.edu/NWCHE/.

Ban’s story is one of loss, tragedy, resiliency, hope, and inspiration. A survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, Ban lost her mother, grandmother, and younger sister and brother to the horrors of the death camps, and worked at the slave labor camp at Buchenwald. After the Holocaust, she was witness to the 1956 Soviet repression of the anti-communist uprising in Hungary. And, later in life, Ban also experienced her husband Earnest’s attenuated struggle with aphasia, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. Her belief that sharing is healing has brought her once more to Western’s campus, where she will speak of her experiences.

 “Your generation may be the last one able to listen to a survivor,” Ban has told WWU students. She will speak on the 74th Anniversary of the “Krystallnacht,” or “Night of Broken Glass,” which most historians view as the unofficial start of the Holocaust.

Ban retired as a teacher in 1989 so she could devote her time to educating students about the Holocaust. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2010 Daughters of the American Revolution Americanism Award, an honorary doctorate from Gonzaga University in 2001, and the 2003 Washington Education Association Human and Civil Rights Award.

Ban will follow her talk with a question-and-answer period and then a book signing. She is the author of “Sharing is Healing: A Holocaust Survivor’s Story,” which tells how she survived the Holocaust. Both the book and Jim Lortz’s film “My Name is Noémi” will be available for purchase at the event. The film is a documentary on Ban’s return to Auschwitz. Copies of Ban’s book will be on sale for $12.95 and the DVD for $19.99 outside Artzen Hall after the event. The book and DVD are also on sale at the Western Bookstore. To purchase these materials online visit: http://www.bookstore.wwu.edu/.

For more information on Ban’s lecture, contact The Northwest Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Ethnocide Education at Western Washington University at (360) 650-4529 or NWCHE@wwu.edu.

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