Cancelled: Talk with Holocaust Survivor Helen Sperling

May 10, 2010

The talk by Helen Sperling scheduled for May 12 has been cancelled due to illness.

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Hartwick College will host a lecture by Holocaust survivor Helen Sperling at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12 in the Celebration Room of Shineman Chapel House on the College campus. The presentation is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Sperling, 90, lived in the Polish ghetto and the Ravenbruck and Buchenwald concentration camps during the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II. She has been speaking publicly about the Holocaust for 46 years.

"The issue is not whether or not we can forgive the Nazis," Sperling says. "The issue is whether we learned the lesson; and, I am afraid, my friends, we have not learned the lesson--genocide continues to occur in our world. Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia--we have not learned our lesson but you have learned it, you must learn it. Go and save the world!"

Following her liberation, Sperling was hospitalized with pneumonia and cancer for nearly three years. Upon her recovery, she immigrated to the United States, where she married Leon Sperling and the couple adopted two children and settled in Utica, NY. Confronting American anti-Semitism head-on, Sperling demanded to speak to her daughter's school class about her experiences as a rebuke to taunts her daughter received. From these humble beginnings, Sperling has gone on to speak before large crowds at universities, police academies, monasteries, and churches throughout the northeastern United States.

Sperling's talk at Hartwick is sponsored by the Department of Modern & Classical Languages and the Political Science Department. For more information, contact Hartwick College Associate Professor of Spanish Esperanza Roncero at 607-434-1962 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030