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BRISTOL, Tenn. – Holocaust survivor Alfred Münzer will speak at King University’s
Memorial Chapel in Bristol, Tenn., at 9:15 a.m., and again at King’s Hardin Valley
campus in Knoxville, Tenn., at 7 p.m., on Monday, March 31. The event is part of the
Buechner (Beek-ner) Institute’s 2013-14 Lecture Series and is co-sponsored by the
Bristol Herald Courier.
“Each year King University joins with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
in honoring and remembering the victims of the Holocaust by inviting one of the survivors
to speak on several of our campuses,” said Dr. Errol Rohr, interim chaplain, emeritus
professor of Philosophy, and director of King’s Italy Study Program. “This long standing
program seeks to promote the cause of human dignity around the world and educate present
and future generations in the agendas of peace. This year’s speaker, Mr. Alfred Munzer,
is a survivor of the Holocaust whose sisters were killed in Auschwitz and whose father
died shortly after being liberated from one of the Nazi death camps. Alfred and his
mother immigrated to the United States in 1958.”
Alfred Münzer was born in The Hague, Netherlands on Nov. 23, 1941 to father Simcha,
owner of a tailoring business, and mother Gisele, who remained at home to look after
Alfred and his two older sisters, Eva and Leah.
In 1942, Alfred’s father was ordered to report to a German labor camp, but managed
to evade the order by checking himself into the hospital for surgery. By September
that year, it became apparent the entire family would need to go into hiding.
A decision was made to split the family up – both parents hid in a psychiatric ward,
with the father as a patient and mother as a nursing assistant. Alfred’s sisters were
hidden with friends of a neighbor, but in early 1944, the woman’s husband denounced
her and the girls and they were summarily arrested and sent to the Westerbork, a transit
camp where Dutch Jews were sent prior to being deported to an extermination camp.
On Feb. 8, 1944, Eva and Leah were sent to Auschwitz where they were killed three
Alfred was sent to a stay with a family friend, who then sent him to live with the
friend’s sister. The sister became so nervous on hiding Alfred that she sent him to
live with her ex-husband, Tolé, and his family who were Indonesian-Dutch. Despite
his blue-eyes and blond hair, Alfred stayed well-hidden for more than three years.
Simcha, who had been separated from Alfred’s mother, Gisele, and sent to Mauthausen
and Ebensee where he was liberated, went to a convent to receive medical treatment.
Simcha died only two months after being freed.
Upon capture, his mother had been marched to a series of camps including Vught, Auschwitz,
and Ravensbrück before being evacuated by the Swedish Red Cross and repatriated to
Holland in 1945. At four-years of age, Alfred was reunited with his mother, although
he had no real memory of her. In 1952, Alfred and his mother moved to Belgium before
immigrating to the United States in 1958.
Today, Alfred is president of the medical staff at Washington Adventist Hospital in
Takoma Park, Md. He is board certified in internal medicine and pulmonary disease
Alfred Münzer will share his experiences as a Holocaust survivor on March 31 at 9:15
a.m. in King’s Memorial Chapel on the Bristol campus and at 7 p.m. at King’s Hardin
Valley campus in Knoxville. The event is free and open to the public. For more information,
contact Dale Brown, director of the Buechner Institute, at 423.652.4156 or visit www.buechnerinstitute.org.
King University is a Presbyterian, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King
College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees
and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences,
pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration,
education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and
travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and
a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King
University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of
any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University
is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact
the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road,
Richlands, VA 24641.