CVCC Hosts Holocaust Survivor Walter Ziffer in Recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day

Walter Ziffer image

Catawba Valley Community College will recognize the Day of Remembrance on April 28 with a special presentation by Holocaust survivor Dr. Walter Ziffer at 12:30 p.m., in the college’s East Wing Auditorium.

Approximately six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, which means “sacrifice by fire,” according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website. By 1945, two out of every three European Jews were killed.

Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah in Hebrew) is a national day of commemoration in Israel, on which the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust are memorialized. The United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust.

Ziffer lived in a ghetto and endured forced labor before he was deported to one of seven different concentration camps. Suffering imprisonment, beatings and starvation left Ziffer feeling inhuman. Yet he considers himself lucky he never ended up in an extermination camp.

Ziffer is an adjunct professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C. He has taught classes in Judaism, early Christian history, Biblical Hebrew and comparative religion. He earned an engineering degree from Vanderbilt University, two master’s degrees from the Graduate School of Theology of Oberlin College and a doctorate in theology from the University of Strasbourg, France.

Dr. Ziffer has lectured in numerous venues and has taught dozens of Elderhostel courses in and out of state. He is a survivor of the Holocaust from Czechoslovakia. He has published many articles in Europe and the US and is the author of the The Teaching of Disdain: An Examination of Christology and New Testament Attitudes Toward Jews,” published by Orrington, in 1990 and most recently, “The Birth of Christianity from the Matrix of Judaism,” published by Author House in 2006.

Ziffer’s presentation will be preceded by a dramatic production of the one-act play, “I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” based on children’s writings from the Terezin concentration camp. The production is directed by Molly Rice and presented by her students from Tractor Shed Theatre. In addition, Adrian Rice will read Holocaust poetry from Primo Levi and Seamus Heaney.

The East Wing Auditorium is located on the main campus on US Hwy. 70 SE in Hickory. For more information about the presentation, contact Ari Sigal at 828-327-7000, ext. 4355, or

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