Words from a Holocaust survivor: Marlene Appley, Tuesday, April 17

Marlene Appley, whose Jewish family survived Hitler’s invasion of their home village in the Ore Mountains of Czechoslovakia , will share her life story as part of Elon’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Week programs. Ms. Appley will speak on Tuesday, April 17, at 5:30pm in KOBC 346.

Born in 1925, Appley came from a privileged household with private tutors, chauffer and maids. She recalls listening to the radio with the program interrupted by a threatening speech by Hitler and turning to her sister and saying, “I guess we will never be grownups.” Marlene Appley was forced to flee her home in the Ore Mountains of Czechoslovakia in September, 1938.

Appley, her parents and four siblings fled from their home when Appley was 13,when Neville Chamberlain gave part of Czechoslovakia (the Sudetenland) to Hitler in an appeasement attempt. Appley was instructed to pack a small suitcase with some cherished belongings and walk with her family unobtrusively, in small groups, to the nearest railway station to flee to the interior of the country to Prague.

In June 1939, the family boarded a train that took them across Germany to freedom. She recalls the German police and the SS repeatedly entering their train compartment with questions and threats of detaining them. The family arrived safely in New York less than a month before Hitler invaded Poland and World War II started.

After the war, Appley joined a group of young Americans who went to Israel to build a homeland for the survivors of the Holocaust. Appley participated in building a kibbutz in the Galillee (northern Israel) which still exists today. Appley resides in Chapel Hill and is a retired professor of anatomy and physiology.
This talk will be followed by a question and answer session.

This talk is the opening event of Holocaust Remembrance Week at Elon University. Thursday, April 19, is the internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance. The date comes from the Hebrew calendar and corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on that calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah.

For more information contact Melissa Kansky, Hillel co-President, at mkansky@elon.edu.