Holocaust Survivor Ida Paluch Kersz to Speak at Viterbo April 3

Thursday, March 21, 2024
Ida Paluch Kersz

March 21, 2024

Contact Rick Kyte at 608-796-3704 or rlkyte@viterbo.edu or Jill Miller at 608-796-3615 or jmmiller@viterbo.edu


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Holocaust survivor Ida Paluch Kersz will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre. The event will also be streamed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/viterboethics.

Paluch Kersz was born in Poland in 1939, just months before the German invasion and the start of World War II. She and her mother, older sister, and twin brother Adam were soon sent the Sosnowiec ghetto, where her mother would commit suicide when Paluch Kersz was three years old. Her father had enlisted in the Polish Army at the beginning of hostilities and would eventually be captured in Russia but would survive the war.

In 1942, with deportation from the ghetto to the death campus imminent, Paluch Kersz was passed through a wire fence and was taken in by a Polish Christian family. She would experience further harrowing events but lived through the war. In 1957, Paluch Kersz and her biological father emigrated to Israel where she met her future husband. The couple soon married, had a daughter, and then moved to Chicago.

More than 50 years after they were separated in 1942, Paluch Kersz discovered her twin brother Adam had also survived. They reunited in Poland in 1995. Their unique story of reunion is retold in the memoir Unveiled Memories and a documentary of the same name.

Paluch Kersz’s presentation at Viterbo University is part of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership’s Fall Lecture Series and is being held in conjunction with its annual Teaching the Holocaust Workshop. It is free and open to the public. For a full schedule of Ethics Institute events, visit www.viterbo.edu/ethics.