Holocaust Survivor Talks To DkIT Students About the Importance of Learning from the Past

07 February 2020

Holocaust survivor and Irish citizen, Tomi Reichental visited Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) this week to speak to students about his personal experiences of the holocaust as a prisoner in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during the 1930's and 1940's. He visited the campus last year and was invited back by the School of Informatics & Creative Arts due to high demand from students.



Speaking to a packed lecture hall, Tomi spoke of his concerns about the rise in right-wing politics.

“The holocaust is more important today than it was twenty years ago due to the rise of racism in Europe and America in recent times and the evident rise of Anti-Semitism. The holocaust did not start with gas chambers. It started with whispers, taunting, abuse and then finally murder. It is up to us to stop this situation at the whisper stage because if we don’t do anything now, we might find out that it’s too late."

“Young people will carry the memory of this atrocity into the future. I hope that when they hear my story that they will share it with friends and family. I ask all the young people that I meet to tell their children and grandchildren that they met a living survivor of the holocaust and tell them that it did happen."

DkIT President, Michael Mulvey, PhD greeted Tomi as he arrived on campus, saying,

“We are delighted to welcome Tomi back to share his story and his important message of respect, tolerance and remembrance to our students. This year we commemorate 75 years since the liberation of Nazi concentration camps and it is vital that we continue to learn from lessons of the past. It is a privilege for our students and staff to meet with Tomi and hear his personal accounts and reflections about this dark side of history.”

Tomi’s visit was coordinated by DkIT Film & Television Production Lecturer, Dr Ingrid Lewis who is a specialist in the area of Holocaust Cinema and last year published the book ‘Women in European Holocaust Films: Perpetrators, Victims and Resisters’ (Palgrave Macmillan). For more information please contact Ingrid.Lewis@dkit.ie.

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