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Horrifying Holocaust

By Joel Wright
On November 16, 2009

Eva Edmands and Lou Frydman were forced at an early age to survive in unsanitary conditions, hunger and the possibility of death, all because of their religion.

The two Holocaust survivors shared their story with Ottawa University students in the O'Dell Lounge of Martin Hall Nov. 2, as a part of an ACE Event. The number of students who came to hear Edmands and Frydman speak impressed English Professor Barbara Dinneen.

"Typically we get about 20 to 25 people at (ACE Events)," Dinneen said. "But we had about 100 students that night."

Some students had to sit on the floor and on ledges inside the room to be able to listen. Frydman told of his experience through various ghettos and concentration camps, beginning when he was 12 years old.

Edmands spoke first, explaining her upbringing in Vienna, Austria. Her family was forced to move to France once Germany invaded Austria, leading to an escape to Switzerland when France went under German control. Freshman Human Services major Keith Love was glad he was able to be in attendance.

"It was a wonderful experience," Love said. "The way Eva and her mother had to keep fighting even when it seemed like they wouldn't escape made my problems feel small."

M.J. McLendon, adjunct professor of English who teaches Holocaust history at Ottawa, set up the event. McLendon had known both Edmands and Frydman, and felt having them speak to students would be a good experience.

"I think students need to understand what people went through in that time," McLendon said. "It helps having people who actually went through (the Holocaust)."

Edmands and Frydman both enjoyed their time at OU, McLendon said.

"They were really happy to be invited and very much appreciated all of the people that came."

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