Holocaust survivor to share story, talk Mideast

By Jade Mardirosian
Staff Writer

The Center for Jewish Studies will host Holocaust survivor Irving Roth at 7 p.m. today in 131 Marrs McLean Science Building.

Roth will share a first-person account of his experience during the Holocaust at Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. Roth is the director of the Holocaust Resource Center at Temple Judea of Manhasset, in Manhasset, New York.

San Antonio senior Allen Haas helped organize Roth’s visit to Baylor after hearing him speak at a student advocacy leadership training this winter.

“I think [the event] will serve as a reminder of one of the experiences of the Holocaust, since after so long we no longer have many first-person accounts,” Haas said. “It’s a reminder of what happened and a reminder for us to not let those kinds of atrocities happen again. It will also be educational in regards to accepting more diverse cultures and positively shaping the world to be a better place.”

Haas partnered with the organization Christians United for Israel in order to bring Roth to speak at Baylor.

“The mission of Christians United for Israel is to honor and bless the Jewish community, and part of how we do that is by promoting and advocating for Israel as an independent sovereign nation,” Haas said.

Haas said Roth will also speak on the current situation in Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including ways to bring about a solution.

A representative from Christians United for Israel also will speak on the organization’s missions, goals and the state of the Middle East conflict.

Haas said Christians United for Israel is seeking to gain student involvement in hopes of starting a Baylor chapter of the organization.

There will be a question-and-answer session after the presentation.

“The speakers will allow students to have a broadened understanding of the Holocaust and Middle East,” Haas said.

Roth speaks regularly on the Holocaust throughout Europe, Israel and the United States. He was given the Spirit of Anne Frank award for his mission of making the world a better place. Roth is described by Steve Pagiavlas, the art director of the Holocaust Resource Center at the Temple Judea of Manhasset, as “the most prolific Holocaust speaker I have ever heard,” on the Spirit of Anne Frank Award website.

Roth participates in educational programs as Adopt a Survivor, in which young people ‘adopt’ Holocaust survivors to learn more about their experiences, and the March of the Living, an international program that brings Jewish teens from all over the world to Poland on Holocaust Memorial Day, Jan. 27, to march from Auschwitz to Birkenau.

Roth is the former education director of the Holocaust Memorial and Education Center of Nassau County.