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Violinist, Holocaust survivor to make presentations Oct. 17-18

WKU Libraries and WKU’s Departments of Music, Sociology and Philosophy & Religion will host presentations Oct. 17-18 by Samuel Marder, professional violinist, author and Holocaust survivor.

devils among angels coverAs part of the WKU Libraries’ Far Away Places Series, Marder will discuss his new book Devils Among Angels: A Journey From Paradise And Hell To Life at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 1680 Campbell Lane. Admission is free.

Devils Among Angels is a collection of short stories and poems inspired by memories of Marder’s childhood years before, during and after World War II and the Holocaust. He uses prose and poetry in both fiction and non-fiction to reflect on good and evil in the past and present.

In his Oct. 18 presentation, sponsored by the Departments of Music, Sociology and Philosophy & Religion, Marder will discuss Music and Tolerance. The presentation, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, focuses on teaching people to live more enlightened lives by realizing the dangers and consequences of prejudice and hatred. Admission is free.

Marder, a New York City resident, is a professional concert violinist and has performed recitals and concerts throughout the world. He continues to perform as a member of the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra in New York City.

Samuel Marder

Samuel Marder

His presentation focuses on how his life evolved from being an extremely talented young violinist — destined for a solo career on the concert stage — to having the path of his life radically altered by World War II, surviving the concentration camps, emigrating to America after the war and ultimately resuming his career as a professional violinist.

“Our family lived before World War II in Romania,” he said. “When I was 10, the Nazis entered our city. We were taken to the local train station and locked up in cattle cars. After traveling for days, we were ordered out and driven by foot to a small camp in Transnistria (Ukraine), where we spent three and a half years. A third of those who survived the fierce winters, starvation and the typhoid epidemic were freed by the allies.”

In his presentations, Marder involves students in everything he talks about. Marder asks the students questions and makes them think about their role in society and how they can have a positive impact on their community and society by how they interact with others. He feels that talking with young people about the experiences in his life is the most important work he has ever done in his life.

“In light of Holocaust denials in some parts of the world, I promised myself to talk about those dark, barbaric years in Europe as long as my strength will allow me, so that new generations can hopefully learn from history and live more enlightened and happier lives by realizing the dangers of prejudice, hatred and its consequences.”

Dr. Lisa Rosner, Distinguished Professor of History at Stockton College, writes about Marder’s book: “This is a transformative book in so many ways. Sam Marder takes the harrowing images of his childhood, shattered by the Nazis, and his experiences in concentration and refugee camps, and transforms them into stories, poems, and music. The reader is transformed by Marder’s striking images of angels and devils at work in human lives—and his calm reassurance of the ultimate victory of the angels. This book is required reading for anyone interested in the resilience of children, and creative genius, in the face of the Holocaust.”

Contact: Jennifer Wilson, (270) 745-6977; or John Cipolla, (270) 745-3751.

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