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Charlotte Talks: Remembering Holocaust Survivor Susan Cernyak-Spatz

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Monday, Nov. 25, 2019

Charlotte has lost one of its most powerful voices: Holocaust survivor and retired UNC Charlotte professor Susan Cernyak-Spatz. Listen back to a memorable conversation with Dr. Cernyak-Spatz as she shares her story, and her words of caution.

As a young girl, Susan Cernyak-Spatz was set to lead a normal life. But that life, along with that of millions of other Jews in Nazi Germany, was upended by one of the darkest periods in human history.

Dr. Cernyak-Spatz survived the Holocaust and made it her life's work to make sure it was never forgotten. That mission gained new intensity in recent years as she witnessed a new strain of white nationalism and anti-Semitism emerge.

Her career brought her to Charlotte, where she taught decades of students at UNC Charlotte. She also pioneered studies of the Holocaust through the university's Center for Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Studies.

In 2005, Dr. Cernyak-Spatz wrote "Protective Custody," an intimate account of her childhood and her experience at Auschwitz. This hour, we listen back to a conversation with Dr. Cernyak-Spatz after the publication of that memoir.

A veteran of Charlotte radio news, Chris joined the "Charlotte Talks" staff in January 2016, but has been listening to WFAE since discovering the station as a high schooler.