Holocaust survivor Frank Shatz will tell his story at W&M next week

Staff writer

Frank Shatz survived and escaped a Nazi slave labor camp during the World War II and then joined the anti-Nazi underground movement in Hungary.

Shatz is 93-years-old now, a writer and frequent lecturer at the College of William and Mary. He will give his first talk open to the public March 13 at Tucker Hall.

“I don’t want to talk politics,” Shatz said, but rather, “how I survived and what happened to me. The best investment is to give young people the opportunity to learn, because history and connecting the dots is very important.”

Event organizer Daisy Garner decided to reach out to Shatz after an in-depth study of the Holocaust as part of her German studies at the college.

“We have the opportunity to learn about it from someone who actually experienced it,” Garner said. “It is vital that we continue to acknowledge and learn about the Holocaust. Holocaust denial is extremely frightening to me.”

Shatz lives in the community and is an active supporter of William and Mary. He helped create the Reves Center for International Studies in 1989.

He has also worked at The Virginia Gazette for 38 years as an international affairs columnist and wrote a book about his life, “Reports from a Distant Place”.

“For 40 years I never talked about the Holocaust. I wasn’t interested with the past, I was focusing on the present and the future,” Shatz said. “When the Holocaust deniers came out from the woodwork, it was when I felt I have to speak up and bear witness.”

Garner said she hopes attendees have an eye-opening experience and learn more about the Holocaust and what can result from hate.

“It’s very important to have a positive attitude,” Shatz said. “If you give in — if you live only for the past, you are condemned to repeat it.”

Want to go?

When: 4-5:30 p.m. March 13

Where: Tucker Hall room 127A

Talk is free and open to the public

Martin can be reached at (757)-243-3685, by email at sararose.martin@vagazette.com or on Twitter at @SaraRoseMartin.

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