Holocaust survivor Noemi Ban to speak at WWU Feb. 15

Noémi Ban, a local resident and Holocaust survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, will share her story at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15, in Arntzen Hall 100 at Western Washington University.

Because space is limited, reservations for Ban’s hour-long talk are mandatory, although the talk is free and open to the public.

Ban will speak about how she lost most of her family, and how she shares her story to inspire current and future generations to prevent similar genocides from happening again.

"Your generation may be the last one able to listen to a survivor,” Ban has told WWU students.

Ban will follow her talk with a question-and-answer period and then a book signing. Ban’s speech is sponsored by WWU’s Northwest Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Ethnocide Education.

“I would hope that people who come would think about what questions might be asked by future generations in 40 or 50 years, and that they would ask those questions now,” said Ray Wolpow, NWCHGEE director.

The audience may write questions for Ban on note cards and submit them to Wolpow, and Ban will answer as many as possible those during the event. Due to time constraints, all other questions will be answered on the NWCHGEE website feature, “Ask Noémi.”

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.

Ban authored “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 elegantly portrays 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.

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.