WALLA WALLA -- Holocaust survivor Robert Holczer will speak Monday at Whitman College as part of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Holczer was just a teenager when German soldiers stormed his native Budapest, Hungary, forcing him and his family to leave their home to live in a building assigned for Jews. While half of his extended family was killed in Auschwitz during the war, Holczer was extremely lucky.
In 1944 a famous psychiatrist living in his building allied with George Ara Jeretzian, an officer of the occupying Hungarian Arrow Cross Party, and together they concocted a scheme to turn the building into the official auxiliary hospital unit of the Hungarian Ministry of Interior and the joint Arrow Cross Party.
The plan worked, ultimately saving the lives of Holczer, his immediate family and 400 other Jews who worked -- and hid -- in the clinic until their 1945 liberation.
The free talk, sponsored by Hillel-Shalom and the state Holocaust Education Resource Center, will be at 7 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium, near the intersection of Boyer Avenue and Otis Street.