Mount Mercy College welcomes Holocaust survivor and author Isaac Levendel during a special forum on Tuesday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Mercy, Busse Center on Mount Mercy’s campus. The forum, titled “Isaac Levendel: A Survivor’s Story,” is free and open to the public.
Born in 1936 as the only son of a devout Jewish family of shopkeepers from Poland, Levendel’s family was changed forever during World War II and the Holocaust.
As a child, Levendel was kept safely hidden from the Germans by French farmers during the war. His mother and father were not so lucky. His mother disappeared when he was eight years old and later died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz in 1944; his father, a Polish immigrant in the French army, was captured and remained a prisoner of war in Switzerland until 1945.
In an attempt to understand the circumstances surrounding his childhood, Levendel reopened his past and dove into the archives. What he found was so shocking that he decided to write a book. In Not the Germans Alone, he recounts his struggle to accept his mother's death, his search through secret government archives to find her killers, and the shocking evidence of widespread French collaboration with the Nazis. Elie Wiesel calls the book, "Highly readable and deeply moving, this book is an important contribution to Holocaust literature; it raises many questions and opens many gates leading to the abyss of darkness and despair of these years. Reading it is in itself a commitment to memory."
Levendel holds a Ph.D. in computer engineering from the University of Southern California. An American computer engineer, Levendel currently works as a program and research manager for Motorola in Schaumburg, Ill.