Students walking in front of Student Union

March 6, 2014

Contact Rick Kyte at 608-796-3704 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Cipora Katz, a child survivor of the Holocaust, will share her story at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 20 in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.

Katz was born in Siemiatycze, Poland, in 1938. She was four years old in November 1942 when Nazi SS began to encircle the Warsaw Ghetto to start the infamous deportation. There was little time to escape, and her mother wrapped her in a blanket and handed her to her father. Her mother would stay behind to wait for another daughter who was visiting relatives. Katz would never see her mother and sister again.

Fleeing the city with her father and her uncle’s family, Katz and her relatives hid in the forest. They would eventually make their way to the farm of a veterinarian her uncle knew. The man hid Katz and her family, eight people in all, in a small underground silo used to store potatoes. Her father would die, but the rest of them would survive there for 22 months and three days, mostly on potatoes. Katz slept next to her dead father for seven days before he could be buried deep in the forest. After the war, Katz would eventually settle in the U.S. in 1955. She donated her blanket to Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois.

Katz serves on the Speakers Bureau of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. She has dedicated her life to educating young and old alike about standing up against bigotry, intolerance, and hatred.

This presentation is part of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership Spring Lecture Series and is free and open to the public. It is being held in conjunction with Viterbo’s annual Teaching the Holocaust Workshop for educators.


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