The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Holocaust survivor tells story to TR

By Shelly Williams/managing editor

Walking in a death march, facing the cruelty of the Nazi regime and living in a concentration camp are just some of the stories Holocaust survivor Jack Repp will share with students and faculty to show what he went through to get where he is today, a free man.What started as a small class history lesson for adjunct professor Amanda Dossey has turned into a campuswide event for Trinity River Campus.

“I had originally just wanted to bring him in because one of my areas of interest is the Holocaust,” she said. “I did use to work at the Dallas Holocaust Museum, so I was always planning on bringing in a Holocaust survivor for my 1302 class.”

However, since more students were taking the History 1301 class this fall, Dossey said she thought that there would be a campuswide event in the spring.

“I just happened to invite Dean [Cheryl] Roberts, who is the dean of humanities at Trinity River for my class, and one thing led to another,” she said. “It turned into this big event, which I am very pleased with because there aren’t very many Holocaust survivors left.

“They’re dying every day. Most of them are old and ill now and have health concerns due to their imprisonment and what they went through during the Holocaust. It is something that I — being 30 — and those younger than me need to experience before they’re all gone.”

Posters, created by the TR graphics department in a day, were displayed throughout the campus advertising Repp’s story. Dossey said she is sure word-of-mouth will spread throughout classes, and she expects a good turnout.

“I’m looking forward to the reactions from students because we do Holocaust education in the schools in Texas,” Dossey said. “But it varies from school to school and whether or not some may have just had it in middle school with Anne Frank, or high school reading Night by Elie Wiesel, so they have never confronted someone who has lived through these events.”

Repp was born in 1923 in Radom, Poland. He lived in the Radom ghetto at the beginning of the Nazi occupation and worked in the munitions factory.

As students hear the details of Repp’s life, history instructor Chad Wooley said he hopes students are enlightened by the speech. He thinks it will show the evil that humans are capable of as well as all they can withstand.

“I think it’ll give them insight into the past. It’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten,” he said.

Repp was transported to several different labor and concentration camps including Auschwitz and Staldach. He was liberated by American troops in 1945, arrived in the U.S. in 1949 and settled in Dallas in 1950.

Sarah Yarrin, Repp’s girlfriend, said he hopes no one has to go through the atrocities he has seen with his own eyes and that he wants to warn people against the dangers of prejudices with his speech as well.

“He would like to relay to these young people to always be on the lookout for any prejudice, racism, anti-semitism,” Yarrin said. “Not only to the 6 million Jewish people but also to the 5 million others [killed in the Holocaust].”

Repp will share his life story with students and faculty at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Energy Room on TR Campus. For more information, contact Dossey at 817-939-7299 or Wooley at 817-515-1354.

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