(MURFREESBORO) Two Holocaust survivors will speak in MTSU's James Union Building at 2:20 Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 30, 2019, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. The event is free and open to the public.
Frances Cutler Hahn and Jack Isaac Cohen will share their experiences during this annual event that is sponsored by the MTSU Holocaust Studies Program and the College of Liberal Arts.
Hahn was born in 1938 in Paris, France. Her parents, who were Polish, put her in a Catholic children's home to protect her from the Nazis. Her mother perished in the Auschwitz death camp in 1942. After that, Hahn was transferred to a Catholic farm. Her father, who joined the French Resistance, died in 1946 from wounds suffered in combat.
Overall, Hahn spent her childhood without a permanent identity. She had two religions, five names, seven homes and eight families -- all in a never-ending struggle just to keep her alive.
In 1948, she moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to live with her aunt and uncle. However, between her Polish roots, French upbringing and American transplantation, Hahn said she had struggled to feel at home anywhere for many years. She now lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Cohen was born in 1932 in Chalkis, Greece. He lived with his family in occupied Greece during World War II. The Axis powers invaded Greece in 1941. The Cohens lived quietly in the Italian-occupied zone. Jack's father, who spoke seven languages, kept his loved ones informed by translating radio broadcasts.
When the Nazis began arresting Greek Jews in 1943, the Cohens fled to the safety of a monastery in the mountains, where they hid for two years. As the Nazis approached, they fled again to a small village. Jack's grandmother was captured there. The family never saw her again.
The Cohens returned to a ransacked house and a devastated business after the Nazis pulled out of Greece. Jack Isaac Cohen now lives in Memphis, Tennessee.
A searchable campus map with available shuttle service routes is available at http://bit.ly/mtshuttle19. Off-campus visitors attending the event can obtain a special one-day permit at http://www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.
For more information on the MTSU Holocaust Studies Program, contact Nancy Rupprecht, a professor of history, at 615-898-2645 or email@example.com or go to https://www.mtsu.edu/holocaust_studies/index.php.