Local resident Estelle Laughlin, a child survivor of the Holocaust, will share her new memoir, "Transcending Darkness: A Girl's Journey Out of the Holocaust," at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Vernon Area Public Library, 300 Olde Half Day Road, Lincolnshire.
Published 64 years after her liberation from the Nazis, the memoir is a narrative of Estelle's experience with loss and survival in the Warsaw Ghetto and concentration camps, told from the perspective of a young girl.
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Estelle Laughlin was 10 years old and living in the Warsaw Ghetto when Nazi soldiers began deporting and executing Jews. Her father was a leader in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, when German forces, intending to liquidate the ghetto on April 19, 1943, were stunned when faced with an armed uprising from Jewish fighters.
Estelle and her family hid in an underground bunker during the uprising but were eventually captured and deported.
The family was sent to Majdanek concentration camp on the outskirts of Lublin, Poland, where her father was eventually killed. Together with her sister and mother, she endured two years of forced labor at Skarzysko and Czestochowa camps in Poland.
Estelle volunteered for many years at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. She speaks about her experiences during the Holocaust not to reflect on "the curse of darkness of the past," but rather "to illuminate the future."
The memoir is a harrowing tale of destruction and loss, as well as a story of the goodness that still exists in a dark world, survival and renewal.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
This event is free; registration is recommended. Register in person at the Vernon Area Public Library, call (224) 543-1485, or visit calendar.vapld.info.