Holocaust survivor to speak at Chandler arts center - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Holocaust survivor to speak at Chandler arts center

September 1st, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Holocaust survivor to speak at Chandler arts center
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SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

Ben Lesser has devoted his life to making sure the world doesn’t incur amnesia about one of human history’s most horrifying events – the Holocaust.

And Chabad of the East Valley is helping him.

A Holocaust survivor, Lesser is the keynote speaker in the next installment of Chabad of East Valley’s ongoing Holocaust Education Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Sept. 7 at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler. Tickets range from $12 for students to $18 before the lecture ad $25 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at chabadcenter.com under “upcoming events.”

The urgency of Lesser’s efforts was inadvertently underscored by the fact that Chabad had originally planned to have a different Holocaust survivor.

“As we all know, our current diminishing population of holocaust survivors are of a most fragile and delicate nature which unfortunately sometimes limits or prohibits them from active participation,” said Chabad spokesman Glenn Vichengrad. “We are most honored and fortunate to announce that another Holocaust survivor named Ben Lesser will be speaking at this event.

“Ben’s story is nothing short of miraculous and heroic and tells his real-life unforgettable story of courage, determination and achievement,” he added, promising an “engaging, inspiring, and educational Holocaust survivor memoir.”

Lesser was a teenager in  Krakow, Poland, and endured imprisonment in four concentrations camps — including Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Dachau — as well as two death marches and two death trains.

He and a sister are the only members of his immediate family who survived the Nazis.

Liberated in Dachau, Lesser came to the United States in 1947 – penniless, uneducated, and unable to speak English. He settled in Los Angeles, where he married, raised a family and became a successful Realtor.

Since 1995, after retiring to Las Vegas, Lesser has been devoting his time as a volunteer, speaking in schools and colleges on the Holocaust.

“Ben serves not only as a teacher, but also bears witness to the past, teaching students and adults of all ages the important values of tolerance, democracy, respect for human dignity, and decency,”  said Vichengrad.

“Despite sorrow and tragedy, his determination to achieve his dreams is a harrowing biography of his life that will inspire all to achieve your own dreams.”  

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