Gannon University to Host Holocaust Survivor

Margit Meissner BookPosted: October 29, 2013

Gannon University's history department is bringing Holocaust survivor Margit Meissner to the Erie and Gannon communities. Meissner will share her story on Wednesday Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Yehl Ballroom, Gannon University. Through connections made possible by Gannon's Erie-GAINS (Gannon's Alliance to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability), Meissner will also share her experiences with high school students in our community.

Born in Austria and raised in Prague, Meissner fled to France when the Nazis annexed Czechoslovakia only to encounter the Nazi invasion in the summer of 1940. In her talk, Meissner will recount events from her life as represented in "Margit's Story," her autobiography. Meissner will discuss her flight (by bicycle) from her Nazi pursuers and how she rescued her mother from a German detention camp.

After a hair-raising escape from the Nazis, Meissner came penniless to the United States. Beginning as a dress finisher, her varied career took her to Hollywood, the Nuremberg war crimes trials, the American Consulates in Budapest, Hungary and Alexandria, and the United Nations in Argentina. She eventually settled in the Washington DC suburbs where she worked for 20 years for the Montgomery County (Md.) school system. When she retired she was saluted as an outstanding advocate for children with disabilities. Meissner's story describes the risk and daring of one woman's triumph over adversity.

This event is sponsored by Gannon's Activities Programing Board and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It is free and open to the public.

School Visits

Wednesday Nov. 6    9:45 a.m.    Villa Maria Academy
Thursday Nov. 7    TBD    Cathedral Preparatory School
Friday Nov. 8    1:10 p.m.    Harbor Creek Senior High