Holocaust survivor Stanley L. Ronell to speak at Fairfield University at Remembrance Service April 12
Stanley L. Ronell survived the Holocaust in great part because of "The Righteous Among Nations."
He will speak at Fairfield University about how a brave network of individuals helped him and his mother elude the Nazis at the 2010 Holocaust Remembrance Service, on Monday, April 12, at 5 p.m. The service, free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by Fairfield University’s Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, KADIMA - a student Jewish cultural organization - and Campus Ministry. It will take place in the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola, on the Fairfield campus.
"The Righteous Among Nations isn't an organization, it is a designation [by the state of Israel] for a group of people who refused to be bystanders," said Ronell, who was born in Krakow, Poland. "They were responsible for saving thousands of Jews."
The Righteous Among Nations refers to "non-Jews" from many countries - Poland, Japan, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, to name just some - who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. The group hid Ronell and his mother from the Nazis in Poland and Hungary. Tragically, his father perished at Auschwitz. Most of his parents' families also died in concentration camps.
"We have a saying, 'If you save one person, it is like saving the world,' " he said.
After World War II ended, life remained trying for Ronell before arriving in the United States in 1951. "If you can call it living," he recalled. "We were basically on the run."
Once in Manhattan, life grew slowly better, and opportunities came their way. Relatives lived nearby. A cousin offered a job to his mother at an import company. Although Ronell had hoped to become an architect, he thought better, fearing work might be hard to come by. "There was a lot of anti-Semitism at the time, believe it or not."
Instead, he went to the City College of New York, where tuition cost $120 per year. Ronell married and moved to Queens, N.Y., where he and his wife raised two children. A marketing professional, he has won numerous awards as a top sales and advertising executive, while devoting himself to the teaching of the Holocaust to secular and religious school students. He has spoken to more than 10,000 students so far, becoming a widely recognized and sought after speaker along the way.
"It is extremely important for young people to know and learn about what happened, so they can make sure this never, ever happens again."
The service will consist of several readings, poems, and prayers, including the lighting of six candles to commemorate the 6 million who perished. It ends with the recitation of the traditional Jewish memorial prayers for the dead.
Space is limited, so please reserve a seat by calling Judaic Studies at (203) 254-4000 ext. 2066. For more information about the Bennett Center, visit www.fairfield.edu/judaic or call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.
Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on March 31, 2010
Vol. 42, No. 254