Taking the Stand - project presentation and Q&A with survivors of the Holocaust

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Cubberley Auditorium
485 Lausen Mall
Stanford University

  • Bernhard Rammerstorfer,
  • Hermine Liska,
  • Renée Firestone

As part of a major speaking tour across the United States, author and award-winning filmmaker Bernhard Rammerstorfer will present his latest book and DVD project called “Taking the Stand: We have More to Say”.  Accompanying him will be two survivors of the Holocaust, Mrs. Reneé Firestone and Mrs. Hermine Liska, providing one of the last opportunities learn about the Holocaust from those who lived through it.

“Taking the Stand: We Have More to Say” condenses insights and experiences of nine victims of the Nazi movement and their messages to the younger generation. They are from five different countries and were persecuted for reasons of ethnicity, political ideology, or religion. For five years, Rammerstorfer collected questions directed to Holocaust survivors that were posed by schoolchildren and students all over the world. The catalog of questions, unique in the world, consists of 100 questions from 61 schools and universities in 30 countries on 6 continents.

At the event, Mr. Rammerstofer will talk about his latest documentary and present some sequences from the film followed by a Q&A session with Mrs. Firestone and Mrs. Liska, who both appear in it.  Please note that there will be a translator during the Q&A session.

Everyone is welcome to stay after the event for a book signing by the author and the two survivors.

Bernhard Rammerstorfer is an Austrian author and filmmaker who is best known for his numerous books and films about the Nazi regime, including the book “Unbroken Will” and the award-winning documentary “Ladder in the Lions Den”. Besides his work as a writer and producer, he also frequently gives lectures at schools, universities and memorial sites all over Europe and the US.

Reneé Firestone was born in 1924 in Užhorod (today’s Ukraine) into a Jewish family. In spring of 1944, she was deported to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, and later that year she was  sent to the female forced labor camp in Silesia where she stayed until the liberation by the Russian Army in May 1945. After the war, Firestone lived in Prague before emigrating to the United States with her family in 1948. She worked as a fashion designer and ran a successful boutique. In 1998, she told her story in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning documentary “The Last Days”. She regularly speaks about the Holocaust to young people in schools, at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, and at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Reneé Firestone lives in Los Angeles.

Hermine Liska was born in 1930 in Austria. As a child of Bible Students (today’s Jehovah’s Witnesses), her parents refused to raise her according to the Nazi ideology. For that reason, she was taken away from her parents in 1941 and put into a “reeducation center”. After the war, she was able to return to her home, got married and had three children. Since almost two decades she has been visiting schools all over Austria and told her story to thousands of students. In 2009, she was invited to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC to tell her story. Hermine Liska lives near Graz in Austria.

This event is co-sponsored by The Europe Center and the Stanford Austria Club