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Holocaust Survivor Speaks in Penn’s Inn

Karl Rom listens while his grandson, Daniel, translates for a Penn's Inn audience Students, many of them part of the college's First-Year Experience program, reverently listen to a voice from history A documentarian's camera, silently recording a life of ultimate triumph Rom with Steven J. Moff, the professor who arranged his Williamsport visit With memories unfaded by age and a kind smile undimmed by horror, an 85-year-old survivor of a Nazi labor camp shared his experience with the Penn College community Wednesday afternoon. Karl Rom was accompanied by grandson Daniel, who translated a story unknown to him until his class was studying World War II. “I, of course, had no clue what I was asking him to do. I just wanted to be the kid who brought his cool grandfather to class.” Constrained by time, Romabridged a tale that began with the Nazi takeover of his Polish hometown when he was barely a teenagerand ended with his recent interview by Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation. In the uncharacteristic hush of Penn’s Inn, he told of ghetto life, residents’ late-night disappearances, the October 1941 massacre of townspeople, separation from female relatives when he and his father were transported to the Dachau concentration camp, of eventual liberation and his 1955 reunion with his mother in Israel. His visit which recently was reported in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette and included appearances at the Community Arts Center and several local schools was coordinated by Steven J. Moff, a professor of business administration/management and marketing in the School of Business and Computer Technologies, who befriended Rom six years ago during research for a book about Dachau.

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