Trinity International University welcomes Walter W. Reed, a Holocaust survivor and speaker from the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, for a presentation at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 5. The program will take place in the Waybright Center, located on the Trinity campus at 2065 Half Day Road, in Deerfield.
Walter W. Reed was born Werner Rindsberg in Wuerzburg, Germany, in 1924. On Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass, during a wave of anti-Jewish violence in Germany and Austria in 1938, 14-year-old Walter was jailed with other local Jewish boys and men.
His parents later put him on a Kindertransport to Belgium, where he lived in a boys' home until the Nazis invaded Belgium in 1940. The children escaped to Vichy, France, and lived in a barn and later an abandoned château. Fortunately, with the help of his mother's American siblings, Walter was able to leave France in 1941 and travel to New York to attend high school.
In 1943, Walter became a U.S. citizen, changed his name to Walter Reed, and was drafted into the U.S. Army. In Europe, he served in the 95th Division under General Patton.
After the war, he graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and engaged in pursuits to leave his difficult past behind. However, in 1996, he was interviewed by Spielberg's Shoah Foundation and became involved with other survivors of the Holocaust.
Trinity is fortunate to have Walter Reed visit to tell his unusual story of survival and service. Dr. Steven Fratt, professor and chair of the history department at TIU, organized this evening with Walter Reed as part of an upper-level course he is teaching this semester on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Dr. Fratt directs the Military History emphasis in the history major, and he runs several war game simulations in his classes throughout the year.
Members of the community are invited to join with the students, faculty, and staff of Trinity for what promises to be a very interesting and enlightening evening of dialogue. Walter Reed will present his story, followed by a time for questions and answers. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Trinity International University calendar at events.tiu.edu/calendar/holocaust-survivor-presentation.