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Holocaust survivor to speak at Gamache-Koger Theater

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Holocaust survivor Estelle Laughlin will speak on life in German-occupied Poland during World War II as well as her experiences in a concentration camp at the Gamache-Koger Theater on the campus of Flagler College from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 26. The presentation is open to students, faculty and the community but seating is limited.

Born in Warsaw in 1929, Laughlin was 10 years old when Germany invaded Poland at the start of World War II. When the residents of the 1.3-square-mile ghetto her family was forced to live in began being deported to extermination camps, Laughlin along with her parents and sister, hid from German forces in a bunker until their hiding place was exposed by a bomb.

Rounded up and sent to Majdanek, a concentration camp on the outskirts of Lubin, Poland, Laughlin's family was torn apart upon arrival with the women sent to work and Laughlin's father sent to the gas chamber. The Laughlin women would later be shipped to the Czestochowa concentration camp to work in a munitions factory until Soviet forces liberated them in January of 1945.

"Ms. Laughlin's sharing of her first hand experiences allows students a deeper understanding of these issues and serves as a reminder of the historical importance of these destructive events," said Tina Jaeckle, Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Flagler College. "We learn from the past in order to attempt to prevent genocide currently and in the future."

The Gamache-Koger Theater is in the Ringhaver Student Center at 50 Sevilla St., St. Augustine. For more information, contact Tina Jaeckle at (904) 819-6317.