04.26.2022 We Remember: Songs of Survivors - Celebrating the lives of Hudson Valley Holocaust survivors, Premiering on PBS
03.24.2022 GLHRC statement regarding Ukraine
03.07.2022 How a Southwestern Middle School teacher brought compositions from the Holocaust to her choir, Dave Bangert
11.01.2021 Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Committee recipient of the State of Indiana Never Again Ambassador Award

"The Art Cured Me!"

Tibor Spitz

Survivor, Engineer, Artist

Tibor Spitz, now 92, was born in a small village in Slovakia. When he was 10 years old, the Slovak separatists joined Nazi Germany and Tibor was kicked out of school and forced to wear a yellow star. Two years later, all Slovak Jews were to be deported to Poland. Since Tibor's father was in charge of Jewish burials and his mother a teacher, they were scheduled for deportation with the last transport. The Spitz family fled to the forest and lived underground until being liberated by the Soviet Army. After the war, Tibor became an engineer specializing in glass. While traveling between Cuba and Czechoslovakia he was able to seek asylum in Canada. He and his wife, Noemi, eventually settled in Kingston, NY. Upon retiring at 68, Tibor became a full-time artist. His work has been shown in many exhibits. Tibor will share his experiences during WWII and his art.

April 7, 2022, 7:00 - 8:30 PM EST

Watch Presentation on YouTube
Watch Presentation with American Sign Language (ASL) on YouTube

The event will feature a presentation by Tibor followed by a live audience Q&A lead by Dr. Rebekah Klein-Pejšová, Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies, Purdue University.



Tibor Spitz

Tibor & Noemi Spitz

Please click on the images below to more fully experience.

G-d Will Save US TIBOR SPITZ is a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor who was born in the former Czechoslovakia. His father was a Jewish reverend (chazan) and mother, a teacher. He was 10 years old when the Slovak separatists joined with Nazi Germany and embraced their anti-Jewish laws. Jewish properties were confiscated, and Jews were not allowed to work or their children to attend public schools.

Soon the announced intent was to resettle the entire Slovak Jewish population in labor camps abroad. Because Tibor's father was in charge of Jewish burials and his mother was a teacher of not- yet- transported children, their family was slated for deportation with the last transport. Several refugees who had crossed the Slovak border from Poland told the Jews about the Nazi DEATH camps in the neighboring country. At the time, many Jews considered this information a false rumor. Tibor was 12 when he had to come to terms with the fact that his deported grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, Jewish schoolmates, and Jewish neighbors had been brutally murdered in the camps.

Living Underground When their turn to be deported came, the Spitz family fled to the high mountains where, in a dense forest, they dug out and camouflaged an underground shelter. They expected to be liberated soon by the advancing Soviet Red Army. However, the war continued and for another seven months they had to survive the coldest winter of the century and remain hidden from SS-units—armed patrols on horsebacks—and army and militia combing the forests with orders to find and kill them. Before the end of the war, while still hiding underground, they endured several military battles between the fighting armies all around them.

Following WWII, Czechoslovakia became a communist country, far from friendly to the Jews. Tibor was lucky. He studied chemistry because the regime needed scientists with those skills, and he became an engineer and a Ph.D. scientist in the difficult field of glass making. To even commemorate the genocide of the Jews was not tolerated. Two decades later, when Tibor and his wife (also a Holocaust survivor) escaped to the West, they finally had full freedom to express their feelings.

Tibor started his recollections in the form of lectures, exhibitions of his paintings and sculptures, and slideshows explaining his family's determination, faith, resilience and, against all odds, their miraculous survival. Except for their immediate family members, no other relatives survived the Holocaust. After retiring from his technical job at the age of 68, Tibor became a full-time artist. His art has been shown in North America and in Europe, published by media and on the Internet, and has appeared in books, videos, and also in a documentary movie that is available online. Tibor wrote an autobiography which was published in 2021. He still gives frequent lectures, sharing his experiences with the public.

• 2020.07.25 aish.com, Hiding from Nazis
• 2016.09.21 The Jewish View - Interview with Tibor Spitz
We Remember: Songs of Survivors - Celebrating the lives of Hudson Valley Holocaust survivors, Premiering on PBS in April 26, 2022
• 2013.10.09 An Artist's Testimony - Chabad of Ulster County PDF download
PBS website

Statement regarding Ukraine

The GLHRC fully supports the following statement issued by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), and we stand with the Ukrainian people in their defense of their sovereignity: The USHMM strongly condemns Russia’s outrageous attack on Ukraine and is deeply concerned about threats to civilians and loss of life. In justifying this attack, Vladimir Putin has misrepresented and misappropriated Holocaust history by claiming falsely that democratic Ukraine needs to be “denazified.” Equally groundless and egregious are his claims that Ukrainian authorities are committing “genocide” as a justification for the invasion of Ukraine.

Mission Statement

The goals of the Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Committee, initiated by Rabbi Gedalyah Engel and the Mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette in 1981, are to continue awareness of the Nazis' War against the Jews from 1933-1945, to honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, and to promote individual, community, and media responsibility for combating the forces of prejudice, hatred, and discrimination today.

Contact us: info@glhrc.org

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