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Holocaust Survivor Shares His Remarkable Story

Oct 16, 2017


Roger LoriaDr. Roger Loria spoke at Randolph-Macon College on November 9, 2017 in the Copley Science Center. Loria, professor emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University, shared his remarkable story as a Holocaust survivor. In addition to faculty, staff, alumni and community members, Loria's wife, Win Loria, and daughter, Rachel Loria, were in attendance.

In his talk, Loria stressed the consequences of hatred as well as the bravery and kindness of friends and strangers in the midst of terrible circumstances. He told the story of a family neighbor, Madame et Monsieur Dujardin, who risked her life to hide and save his family's photos after they fled their home in Antwerp, Belgium. The pictures were eventually returned to Loria. He also shared with the audience a story about his aunt, who—knowing she would not survive the concentration camp—asked a man that if he survived to find her sister and give her her wedding ring. The man survived, and Win Loria now wears that ring.

Learning, Remembering, Honoring
Lauren Nossett, R-MC visiting professor of German, organized the event. This fall she is teaching a course on literary and cinematic representations of the Holocaust, and she invited Loria to share his firsthand experiences with her students and with the larger community.

"In addition to considering the many forms of Holocaust representation in class, we have discussed the moral obligation to be aware of human suffering and our responsibility to listen to survivors' testimonies, so that we may carry their memories and remember the devastating consequences of hatred," explains Nossett. "On the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass), Dr. Loria's testimony provided our students and community an opportunity to learn, remember, and honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust."

The event was sponsored by the German program, the Department of Modern Languages, R-MC Hillel, the Department of History, the Women's Studies program, and the Ethics minor.

Dr. Roger Loria
Loria is an internationally recognized expert in virology and immunology and an emeritus professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College. He has many patents in immune therapies and travels widely to lecture on his scientific discoveries.

Although Loria was born in Antwerp to a large and loving family in 1940, the war left him and his mother sole survivors. In 1949, they immigrated to Israel with the Jewish Orphanage and began a new life there. In 1963, Loria came to the U.S. as a Rockefeller Foundation scholar. He came to learn and stayed to help—through a career that spanned 52 years—thousands of medical and graduate students. Loria has made a vast number of contributions to the field of medicine and to science.

R-MC's Cultural Arts & Entertainment Series
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