Alexandra Zapruder speaks to Viterbo crowd during annual Holocaust workshop

Noah Nelson, Sports Editor

On March 29, Alexandra Zapruder made an appearance at the Viterbo Fine Arts Center to speak about her book “Salvaged Pages.”  She spoke to end the two-day annual Holocaust workshop organized by Darryle Clott. 

Every year for the past 15 years, Darryle Clott has helped to organize the Holocaust Educators Workshop at Viterbo University. She has been fortunate enough to have prestigious figures like Elie Wiesel and Otto Frank’s stepdaughter, Eva Schloss, speak at Viterbo. As successful as past years have been, Clott believes that this year was the most successful. “I think it was our best. We made up for not having Peter Feigl (the Holocaust survivor) by having Alexandra Zapruder.” 

Zapruder is the granddaughter of Abraham Zapruder, the man who captured the most famous camera shot of the JFK assassination. Zapruder wrote and produced “I’m Still Here” in 2005 which was nominated for two Emmy awards. Her first work was “Salvaged Pages,” a collection of memoirs of Holocaust survivors. She created the book when working at the Holocaust Museum as an intern in 2002. 

“Salvaged Pages” provides readers with journal and diary entries from Holocaust survivors, mainly teenagers. This collection of stories won her the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category. One of the entries tells the first-person story of Peter Feigl. Feigl was originally scheduled to speak at Viterbo, but due to a last-minute health issue, was unable to make the flight to La Crosse. After hearing his story, anyone will understand the gravity his presence would have brought. Fortunately, he plans to return next year for the Holocaust Workshop. 

Feigl was born in Berlin in 1929 into a secular Jewish family. When Hitler came to power, Feigl and his family moved from country to country to avoid religious persecution. Tragically, they could not escape forever. In 1944, Feigl’s parents were taken to Auschwitz and murdered, leaving him to fend for himself at the age of 13. He survived by living in Le Chambon, a French village which took in 3500 Jewish refugees, and was eventually able to move to Switzerland, a neutral country during the war. After that, in 1946, he moved to the United States where he enlisted in the Air Force. Following his time in the military, he created a helicopter parts company and had great success. He has also been a very successful speaker, telling his story all over the nation. 

With Holocaust survivors increasing in age, it is critical that we help to tell their stories in any way we can. The Holocaust workshop is a great source for furthering one’s education, and Alexandra Zapruder’s speech is available on the Viterbo Ethics Facebook page.  

As Elie Wiesel once said, “to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”  Opportunities like Viterbo’s Holocaust workshop allow us to remember those who have passed away, and ensure we take action to stop hatred from taking the lives of those around us.