Holocaust survivor to speak in Middlebury
MIDDLEBURY — Roman Kent, Chairman of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, will lecture at Middlebury College on April 3 and 4, 2018
In the week leading up to Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day (April 12), Middlebury College will welcome Kent to campus. In a conversation with his son Jeffrey, Mr. Kent will speak about his survival during the Holocaust and his active involvement in philanthropy on Tuesday, April 3 at 4:30 p.m. in Axinn 229.
On Wednesday, April 4, “Children in the Holocaust,” a documentary Kent co-produced in 1983, will be screened in Axinn 232 at 4:30 p.m. Narrated by Liv Ullmann, the film features interviews with survivors who are now adults but who recall the memories of what they endured when they were just children during the Holocaust.
Born in Lodz, Poland, Kent spent the war years in the Lodz Ghetto and survived — with his younger brother Leon — the Auschwitz, Mertzbachtal, Dornau, and Flossenbürg concentration camps. One sister, Renia Kopelman, also survived and was sent to Sweden at the end of the war. Kent and his brother arrived in the United States in 1946 under the auspices of the children’s quota of the United States Government’s “Displaced Persons Act.” After attending Emory University, Kent became a successful businessman in New York City and his brother went on to become head neurosurgeon of Kaiser in Los Angeles.
In addition to numerous other philanthropic positions, Kent serves as President of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, an organization that provides financial support to aged and needy non-Jews who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, while preserving their legacy through a national education program. Kent also served as the Treasurer of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, as well as a member of their negotiating committee. Kent’s recent honors and awards include the Medal of Honor and Recognition bestowed by the Polish Government; Interfaith Committee of Remembrance Humanitarian Award; the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany; and the Elie Wiesel Holocaust Remembrance Award. He is the author of “Courage Was My Only Option” and the children’s book “My Dog Lala.”
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