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Holocaust Survivor Theodora Klayman to Speak at King University, Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Bristol Feb. 27

BRISTOL, Tenn., Feb. 16, 2017 – Holocaust survivor Theodora Klayman will share her story on Monday, Feb. 27 at King University’s Memorial Chapel in Bristol, Tenn., at 9:15 a.m., and again that evening at 7 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church located at 700 Cumberland Street in Bristol, Va. The events are part of the King University Institute for Faith and Culture’s 2016-17 Lecture Series and are co-sponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“One of our strongest programs each year is featuring a Holocaust survivor in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,” states Shannon Vance Harris, director of the King Institute for Faith and Culture. “This special museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. The King University Institute for Faith and Culture supports the Museum’s far-reaching educational programs, and provides a community forum to remember the past, to honor legacies of those lost, as well as of those who survived, and to reaffirm our Christian commitment to love mercy, promote justice, and walk humbly with our Lord.”

Theodora Klayman, was born Teodora Basch-Vrančić in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, on Jan. 31, 1938. Her father, Salamon, owned and operated a small brush manufacturing plant. Her mother, Silva, a teacher, grew up in Ludbreg, a small town in northwest Croatia, where her father, Josef Leopold Deutsch, served as the community Rabbi for more than 40 years. While visiting her grandparents and extended family in Ludbreg, the Nazis invaded Yugoslavia. Croatia came under the control of the fascist Ustaša regime, which collaborated with the Nazis.

After her parents were sent to the concentration camps, Klayman recalls living in constant fear of detection by the Ustaša regime in Ludbreg. Klayman is often asked to share her moving story of being hidden, along with brother Zdravko, first by a maternal aunt and then, after her aunt was deported, protected by non-Jewish neighbors.

Adopted by an uncle following the war, she later met and married an American chemist, settling in Washington, D.C. The recipient of degrees from the University of Maryland in French and in teaching English as a second language, Theodora Klayman taught in the Maryland public school system for 30 years. She has two children and three grandchildren and has volunteered at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum since 1999.

The events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Shannon Harris at, 423-652-4836, or 423-747-3524.


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, 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 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 on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.