The Fairfield Arts & Convention Center welcomes Auschwitz survivor MAX RODRIGUES GARCIA as he shares his compelling story of surviving Nazi Germany's Concentration and Extermination Camp. Garcia's account of survival is free and open to the public.
In this unique first-hand account, Rodrigues shares his remarkable story, the loss of his family and his survival of Auschwitz and three other camps. This is not just a story about the past but also a testimony to Max's life today, the influence of which is felt by many generations and even in the lands where he, and so many others, were tormented. Max is an inspiration with his story and his living example.
This lecture isn't just story about the past, according to Rustin Lippincott, executive director, Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. It is a testimony to Max's life today, the influence of which is felt by many generations and even in the lands where he, and so many others, were tormented. From tales of cunning within the camps to those of how Max rebuilds his life after liberation, he recounts how the Holocaust could not extinguish his dreams. Max not only survived the concentration camps, but began to rebuild his life the moment the first American tank rolled in, working as an interpreter for his liberators.
"The opportunity to present a program of this emotion, magnitude and historical significance to the people of Southeast Iowa is a highlight of our 10 year history," said Lippincott, executive director, Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. "Our intent for programming on the Sondheim stage is to enrich, educate and entertain. This lecture style presentation, complete with a question and answer session with the attendees and Mr. Rodrigues, provides an educational and enriching experience like none of our more than 500 performances to date."
The entertainment value, albeit different than national touring Broadway musicals or iconic singers, will be captivating to hear the heroic efforts that 93 year old, Mr. Rodrigues made to survive, his move to America and his life in San Francisco as an architect, Lippincott added.
Garcia, along with his daughter, Priscilla Alden Thwaits Garcia, is the author of Auschwitz, Auschwitz...I Cannot Forget You As Long As I Remain Alive and lectures across the world.
An Austrian teacher, who invited Garcia to speak to her class calls the book "a most important and touching testimony for the younger generation to live and learn from."
Garcia's book is available at the Sondheim Ticket Office and at the event. Garcia will sign books following the public presentation of his story of survival.
About Max Rodrigues Garcia
Max Rodrigues Garcia, born in Amsterdam in 1924, was a teenager in 1939 when his father believed a major war was about to explode. He felt hopeful that the Germans would bypass Holland as they had during World War I. Unfortunately, he was wrong: Hitler invaded Holland on May 10, 1940, and after several narrow escapes, Max was put on a train to Auschwitz.
After a year in the camp Max developed appendicitis. Nazi doctors allowed his condition to worsen over four days so that a young physician could see the removal of a nearly ruptured appendix. Max was "lucky"; most people who needed surgery were sent to the gas chambers. As the Soviets advanced, they were force-marched towards the German interior. On May 6, 1945, Max was liberated by the U.S. Army at the Ebensee labor camp in Austria.
Along the way, moved to America and realized the dreams that the Holocaust could not extinguish: serving in the US Counter Intelligence Corps that ferreted out the SS, seeing General George S. Patton in person, having a family and becoming a successful architect in San Francisco.