A Holocaust survivor enraptured a near-capacity crowd in Hamilton Hall on Tuesday night as she spoke about her experiences as a member of a Soviet anti-Nazi partisan organization.
Speaker Faye Schulman narrated a slide show that contained photos from her life with the group and the tragedies that she suffered during World War II.
The talk was co-sponsored by the Center for European Studies, the curriculum in peace, war and defense, the University Center for International Studies, the Center for Slavic Eastern European and Eurasian Studies, and the Department of History.
Schulman began by describing her life before the war began. "Life in my town was exactly the same as life today."
As the war continued, the Nazis invaded Lenin, a town in the Soviet Union where the teenage Schulman and her family lived. "The Nazis loved to have fun," Schulman told the crowd. She went on to describe their "sense of humor," including incidents in which the soldiers would tear a child apart limb by limb.
Schulman said she occupied herself during these horrific times by taking photographs of the scenes around her. "I was a photographer since I was a child - it was always in me."
Soon afterward, the town of Lenin was destroyed and all its residents murdered. The non-Jews were burned to death, and the Jews were murdered and buried in three trenches.
Schulman escaped to the woods, where she was accepted by a group of anti-Nazi partisans. "They thought I knew how to be a doctor, and so they let me stay with them," she said.
The anti-Nazis attacked Nazi groups, blew up trains containing Nazis and burned homes the Nazis occupied.