Gerda Weissman Klein, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, talks about her experiences during the Holocaust following a screening of the Academy Award-winning documentary film about her life, “One Survivor Remembers,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the Chestnut Room in Kilcawley Center at Youngstown State University.
The film will be shown as a part of the Youngstown Area Jewish Film Festival. This event is free and open to the public.
For more than six decades, Klein has captivated audiences worldwide with her message of hope, inspiration, love and humanity. In her speeches and nine books, Klein draws from her life experiences, from surviving the Holocaust and accepting an Oscar and Emmy for a documentary based on her life to her constant fight to promote tolerance, encourage community service and combat hunger.
Klein’s account of her experiences during the Holocaust is documented in her autobiography, All But My Life, which has been in print for 56 years published in 68 editions and used in high schools and colleges around the world. It is the foundation for the Oscar-winning documentary One Survivor Remembers. In December 2012, One Survivor Remembers was entered into the National Film Registry.
Gerda Klein married Kurt Klein, the American soldier who liberated her. Their story of meeting and life together has been featured on numerous television shows including Oprah, 60 Minutes and CBS Sunday Morning. A book of their letters, The Hours After, is a collection of correspondence between Gerda and Kurt Klein following the war. The Kleins’ story is also portrayed in the film Testimony, a permanent exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
On Feb. 15, 2011, President Obama awarded Gerda Klein, along with 14 other notable individuals, the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor. Former President George H.W. Bush, Yo Yo Ma, Warren Buffett, Maya Angelou and Bill Russell were among the others who received the award that day.