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Sept. 26, 2011 

Contact Rick Kyte at 608-796-3704 or 


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein will present “Citizenship and Civility” at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17 in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre. 

Weissmann Klein’s presentation is sponsored by the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership. She will also be speaking to more than 1,000 local students that morning. 

Tickets for the event are on sale at the Viterbo University box office. A few main floor tickets remain for $10 and balcony seating is $5. For more information, contact the box office at 608-796-3100 or 

For more than six decades, Weissmann Klein has captivated audiences worldwide with her powerful message of hope, inspiration, love, and humanity. In her speeches and books she draws from her wealth of life experiences—from surviving the Holocaust and meeting her future husband on the day of her liberation, to her journey to the U.S. where she raised her family and has fought to promote tolerance and combat hunger. 

Weissmann Klein is the founder of Citizenship Counts, a program designed to engage today’s students in civics education, combined with active participation in a naturalization ceremony, to help ensure that the citizens of tomorrow will continue to foster tolerance, understanding, service to one another and a greater appreciation for the privilege and responsibility of citizenship. 

Born May 8, 1924 in Bielsko, Poland, Weissmann Klein’s life changed forever in 1939 when German troops invaded. From 1939 until the end of World War II, she lived in fear and deprivation. After being separated from her brother shortly after the invasion and from her parents in 1942, she worked in slave labor and concentration camps until she was forced to walk in a 350-mile death march. When World War II ended in 1945, Weissmann Klein was left homeless and without family or friends. She would go on to marry her liberator, U.S. Army Intelligence officer, Kurt Klein. Two years after she immigrated to the U.S. as Kurt’s wife, she became an American citizen. She cherishes her American citizenship and all of the opportunities this country has given her. 

Weissmann Klein has lectured throughout the country and has written several books, including All But My Life, The Hours After, and A Boring Evening at Home. One Survivor Remembers, a documentary about her experiences during the Holocaust, won an Academy Award in 1996. She has also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Sunday Morning, and was featured on 60 Minutes and Nightline. 



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