Carleton Invites Community to its Annual Holocaust Remembrance Service and Vigil

April 18, 2012
By Alex Korsunsky '12

Carleton College will observe Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, with a service and vigil on Sunday, April 22, beginning at 1 p.m. in Skinner Memorial Chapel. As part of the event, Holocaust survivor Dr. Sabina Zimering will speak about her experiences under Nazi rule, and Carleton associate chaplain Rabbi Shosh Dworsky will lead the service. This event is free and open to the public.

Sabina Zimering was 16 in 1939, when Nazi forces invaded her native Poland at the beginning of World War II. The Nazis confiscated the family’s business, prevented her and her Jewish classmates from attending school, and forced her family into the crowded and disease-ridden ghetto. Three years later, in October 1942, as the Gestapo were about to begin the mass deportation of the ghetto’s inhabitants to the gas chambers at the Treblinka death camp, Sabina and her sister escaped the ghetto with the help of a Catholic schoolteacher and her daughters. These women risked their lives to secure false papers for the Zimering sisters, who eventually made their way to Germany, where they worked at a hotel whose clientele was composed of high-ranking members of the German military and Gestapo.

Although 90% of Poland’s Jewish population was murdered in the Holocaust, Zimering survived. After completing medical school in Munich, Zimering immigrated to Minneapolis, where she married, raised a family, and practiced medicine for over four decades. Her memoir, Hiding in the Open (North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc., 2002), received an honorary mention in the Jerome/SASE literary contest, and in 2004 was adapted for the stage at the Minnesota History Theater. Thanks to her testimony, Zimering’s Catholic rescuers in Poland have been honored at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, which declared the two sisters Righteous Among the Nations.

Following the memorial service and Zimering’s testimony, there will be a vigil with Carleton’s students reading names from lists of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Office of the Chaplain. For more information, including disability accommodations, contact jtraux@carleton.edu. Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street, between College and Winona Streets, in Northfield.