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Contact: Stephen J. Hudik

Human Rights Institute at Kean University Hosts Holocaust Survivor, Educator and Author

The Human Rights Institute at Kean University will host Holocaust survivor, educator and author Dr. Suzanne Vromen, for two presentations and book signings, Shedding Light on Dark Times, Belgian Nuns and their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis. Vromen will appear on Monday, March 23, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Center for Academic Success, Room 106; and from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the University Center, Room 226. Both venues are located on the universityís campus, at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, N.J.

A professor emeritus at Bard College, Vromen is the author of Hidden Children of the Holocaust, Belgian Nuns and their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis, published by Oxford University Press in May 2008. The book recounts the heroic tale of Belgian nuns who sheltered and cared for Jewish children living in occupied Belgium during World War II.

Vromenís own experience as a Holocaust survivor guided her research. She was living in Belgium in 1940 when the Germans invaded. A year later, she and her family escaped and found refuge in the Belgian Congo. "Recalling her Ďinitial bewilderment at being plunged suddenly into a Catholic milieu,í Vromen was able to connect at the deepest level with the surviving rescuers and former hidden children she interviewed,í" wrote Booklist editor and reviewer Donna Seaman. "These remarkably detailed and profoundly moving conversations are matched by Vromenís fresh and insightful analysis of knotty questions of identity, inheritance, faith and survival."

A longtime professor at Bard, Vromen co-founded the collegeís Women's Studies Program and directed it for eight years. She recently taught as a Fulbright senior specialist at the Buber Institute of the Free University of Brussels. She has also held numerous workshops for high school teachers under the auspices of the Facing History and Ourselves organization.

Vromenís presentation is sponsored by the Human Rights Institute at Kean University, in conjunction with Keanís Jewish Studies & World Affairs Program, Womenís Studies Program, M.A. in Holocaust & Genocide Studies program and the Holocaust Resource Center.

The Human Rights Institute aims to raise awareness of human rights violations worldwide among the general public, teachers and students. Its goals are to combat genocide and to promote conflict resolution through wide-ranging activities, including conferences, seminars, teacher training and curricula development for New Jersey schoolchildren.

For further information regarding the institute or Vromenís appearance, please contact Dr. Hank Kaplowitz, acting executive director of the Human Rights Institute at Kean University, at 908-737-4018.