Holocaust Survivor Speaking at Southeast April 11

by News Bureau on Monday, Apr. 02, 2012

Ben Fainer

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 2, 2012 – Ben Fainer, a Holocaust survivor, will be the guest speaker April 11 as Southeast Missouri State University commemorates Holocaust Remembrance Day.

His presentation is scheduled for noon to 1:15 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to all Southeast students, faculty and staff, and the community.

Fainer lived his early life in Bendzin, Poland. His father was a tailor and owned a factory. Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, when Fainer was a youngster of 10 years. The Wehrmacht (German military) occupied Bendzin, Poland. Ultimately the Nazis made selections of elderly and ill people and those who could engage in forced-labor, and evacuated much of the town.

After being separated from other family members, Fainer and his father were taken to a forced-labor camp. He survived the atrocities of multiple concentration camps, including Blechhammer (a subcamp of Auschwitz III); Buchenwald; Grossrosen; and Flossenberg. Towards the end of the war, he was coerced into participating in a death march with thousands of other prisoners through Germany. He was liberated by American troops in Bavaria, Germany, on April 23, 1945. Eventually, he discovered that his mother and siblings were murdered in Auschwitz.