Holocaust Survivor Rena Finder Shares Personal Story with Upper Division

The Upper Division was proud to welcome Rena Finder to our campus to speak with students during a special convocation. Finder, a Holocaust survivor, shared her inspirational story which epitomizes the power of the human spirit. As Finder herself most eloquently stated, her life changed forever in September of 1939 when she “went from a happy little girl to an enemy of the state overnight.”

Finder shared her personal stories of her life in the ghettos of Poland during the German occupation, where she witnessed German police arrest her father, who ultimately never returned to his family. Her hope was restored when she and her mother were assigned as workers in a factory owned by Oskar Schindler. Finder said, “If it weren’t for Oskar Schindler, I would not be here. Because of him, I was able to grow up, get married and have children and grandchildren.”

After the end of the war, Finder and her mother earned a visa to the United States. In 1948, she moved to this country with her husband, who she wed in 1946. After sharing her personal accounts of the Holocaust, Finder told our students, “Oskar Schindler serves as an example that it only takes one person and one step to make a difference.” Finder urged the audience not to look away when they witness an injustice because it can be just as damaging to be a bystander than to be a perpetrator.

Following her speech at convocation, Finder joined a group of students for lunch in the Jean Ann Cone Library, where she shared more stories and answered many thought-provoking questions.


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