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Daughter of Holocaust survivor to deliver DeGruson Lecture

September 23, 2011 12:00AM

Joyce Hess, whose mother survived the Nazi death camps, will deliver the Eugene DeGruson Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10, in Pittsburg State University's Axe Library. Hess, a member of the Second Generation Speakers Bureau of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, will share her mother's Holocaust memories and give her own perspectives on growing up as a child of a survivor. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Hess' mother, Sonia Borowik Golad, survived more than four years in two labor camps and three concentration camps before returning in 1945 to her hometown of Vilna, Poland, which is now Vilna, Lithuania. Sonia's father, Israel Borowik, was a men's clothing manufacturer before World War II. Her mother, Esther, helped run the business. Of the entire Borowik family, only Sonia and her sister, Vera, survived the war. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration sponsored Sonia's entry into the U.S. in 1947. Sonia met her husband, David Golad, a businessman in Chicago. In 1951 the couple moved to Kansas City.

The mission of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, located in Overland Park, Kan., is to teach the history of the Holocaust and apply its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance, and genocide. Information about the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education can be found at

The presentation will be held on the first floor of the Axe Library, 1605 South Joplin Street, in Pittsburg. A reception, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, will follow the presentation. The Gene DeGruson Memorial Lecture honors the memory of Gene DeGruson, who founded the Special Collections Department at PSU in 1968. A well-known scholar, writer and editor, DeGruson was especially identified as an expert on Kansas and Southeast Kansas history. DeGruson died in 1997. The memorial lecture is set to occur near the time of DeGruson's birthday, which was Oct. 10.

For more information contact Randy Roberts, PSU curator of special collections, 620-235-4883,

©2011 Pittsburg State University