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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission


Remembering Olga Lengyel and “Five Chimneys”

Event details
Calendar   Speaking Engagements
Location Zoom
Date Tue, Apr 6, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Duration   1h

In 1944, Hungarian physician’s assistant Olga Lengyel was deported to Auschwitz along with her parents, husband, and two sons. She was put to work in the Auschwitz infirmary, where she also secretly toiled for a French underground cell, helping to demolish a crematory oven. At the end of the war, she was the only member of her family to survive.

Lengyel made her way to New York and, in 1946, published Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz, which became one of the earliest testimonies to depict the barbarism of the Nazis. Thirty years later, her vivid exposé of the death camps inspired William Styron’s award-winning novel Sophie’s Choice.

Twenty years after Lengyel’s death in April 2001, join the Museum of Jewish Heritage and The Olga Lengyel Institute for a program exploring her remarkable life and legacy. The program will be moderated by Dr. Sara R. Horowitz, Professor of Comparative Literature and Jewish Studies at York University and an expert in women and the Holocaust, and will feature:

  • David A. Field, Chairman of the Institute’s Board of Directors;
  • Nancy Fisher, Museum Trustee who conducted a four-hour interview with Lengyel in 1998 for the USC Shoah Foundation; and
  • Robert Jan van Pelt, world-renowned scholar and Chief Curator of Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.

A $10 suggested donation enables the Museum of Jewish Heritage to present programs like this one. They thank you for your support.

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