Following the footsteps of Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler’s escape from Auschwitz
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Following the footsteps of Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler’s escape from Auschwitz

On the 80th anniversary of the escape of Slovakian Jews Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler from Auschwitz, a discussion will be held to explore the ongoing impact of their brave act.

Eighty years ago, two Slovakian Jews, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler (then named Walter Rosenberg), escaped from Auschwitz. The importance of their escape lay not “only” in achieving freedom. They planned their escape to send a message to the world about the situation in Auschwitz. They managed to reach Žilina and provided the local Jewish Council with detailed information about the operations of the Auschwitz complex, including the number of transports and mass murders. Their testimonies, combined in the so-called Vrba and Wetzler reports, eventually helped save thousands of Hungarian Jews. However, if politicians had taken action earlier, many more Jews might have survived.

The legacy of their actions continues to resonate today. Every year, people follow in their footsteps, and commemorative events are held at the New Synagogue in Žilina. Guests of the discussion will include writer Fedor Gál, writer and march participant Milena Holcová, historian Ján Hlavinka and Marek Adamov from the New Synagogue. The discussion will be moderated by Michal Konečný.

Fedor Gál is a sociologist, publisher, writer, and documentary filmmaker. He is also the initiator of the Vrba Wetzler Memorial March. Fedor Gál was born in the Terezín ghetto. His father died during the death march. He co-founded Verejnosť proti násiliu. After the revolution, he established his own publishing house, G plus G, to publish books focusing on minorities, otherness, and the Holocaust experience. He often says that dialogue is the theme of his life.

Milena Holcová is a writer and traveller who participates in the Vrba Wetzler Memorial March. She is the author of numerous travelogues and prose, and has also written scripts for the television series “Soukromé pasti”.

Ján Hlavinka is a historian specializing in the history of the Holocaust in Slovakia.

Marek Adamov is a cultural historian. He co-founded the civic association Truc sphérique, which organizes cultural, educational, and community programs at the local New Synagogue in Žilina. He is involved in commemorating Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler.

Programme will be held in czech and slovak.

Free admission. Limited capacity. We suggest booking your place below on this site.








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