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The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required; tickets will be available at Hemmingson Center Welcome Desk and Foley Library Check-Out Desk.

This event is part of the Americans and the Holocaust Exhibit, March 19-April 27 in the Foley Library, Cowles Rare Reading Room, 3rd Floor. Free parking is available on the 3rd and 4th floors of the BARC (Boone Avenue Retail Center) Parking garage off of N. Hamilton Street.  The event is in partnership with the Spokane County Human Rights Task Force. For more information, see www.gonzaga.edu/holocaustexhibit

Attendees will be invited to listen in to our own story court, as Cora der Koorkanian and Carla Peperzak, two Holocaust survivors, share their experiences.

Cora Der Koorkanian’s name at birth was Cora Clara Moscovici. She survived the Holocaust and her immediate family also survived. Two of her brothers were taken to labor camps until they were released on August 23, 1944. About 50% of her extended family from the northern part of Romania or France did not survive.

Carla Peperzak (b. 1923, Holland) grew up in Amsterdam with her family, which was a close knit and fairly well-to-do. Her father was Jewish and her mother was born Catholic, but she was raised Jewish when her parents died. Carla’s comfortable childhood included vacations on the coast, field-hockey, rowing, ice-skating and sailing. She dreamed of becoming a doctor. Carla’s family lived very near Anne Frank and her family, and attended the same Reform temple. When the Nazis invaded Holland in 1940, Carla was required to have an ID with a large “J” on it and later, wear the Star of David. She became active in the Resistance, hiding about forty other people, helping them obtain IDs, food, and medical supplies. Seventy-five percent of Carla’s extended family were killed in the Holocaust. Carla moved to Spokane in 2004 and in 2015, The Washington State Senate passed a resolution honoring Carla as a “selfless and brave hero, who saved the lives of many and is now using her experiences to speak to new generations and educate us all about our history and the human capacity to care for others while facing unimaginably difficult challenges.” This year the State of Washington has recognized Carla as Person of the Year, for heroicism demonstrated by helping to hide approximately 40 Jewish people after the Nazis invaded Holland in 1940 as well as forging identification documents for about 60 others, serving as a messenger for the Underground Movement and helping publish a newsletter of Allied forces activities.