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Holocaust survivor to share her story

As part of the preinaugural activities, the Austin Peay State University Govs Programming Council will host a talk by Holocaust survivor, Nesse Godin, at 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 11 in Clement Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Each week, thousands of viewers tune in the CBS reality drama, Survivor, and watch as teams of participants struggle to survive various obstacles in their race to a predetermined destination. The situations are contrived, but the excitement among the shows fans is real.
As part of the preinaugural activities, the Austin Peay State University Govs Programming Council will host a talk by Holocaust survivor, Nesse Godin, at 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 11 in Clement Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Each week, thousands of viewers tune in the CBS reality drama, “Survivor,” and watch as teams of participants struggle to “survive” various obstacles in their race to a predetermined destination. The situations are contrived, but the excitement among the show's fans is real.

However, in the 1930s and ‘40s, a real survivorNesse Godinlived through the horrors of the Shauliai, Lituania Ghetto, the Stutthof Concentration Camp, four labor camps and a death march.

Now she is bringing her personal story to APSU. It is an unimaginable tale she believes she must tell in the hope that, never again, will hate and bigotry evolve into a national genocide.

Godin, who has dedicated her adult life to sharing memories of the Holocaust, was born in Shauliani, Lithuania, where she lived with her parents and brothers until the Nazi invasion. In 1950, she and her husband, Jack, also a Holocaust survivor, came to the U.S. and settled near Washington, D.C. They have two daughters, one son and seven grandchildren.

A founding member of several survivor groups, Godin is the president of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Friends of Greater Washington. She serves on several boards, including the Jewish Community Council and United Jewish Appeal Federation. A speaker for The Capitol Children's Museum of Washington, D.C., she works regularly with the U. S. Holocaust Museum.

Godin has received many honors and awards, including the Myrth Wreath Award by Hadassah Council, the Chaim Solomon Freedom Medal by B'nai Brith Argo Lodge and The Women of Valor Award by B'nai Brith Women. In 1990, the Maryland Department of Education and the Maryland Commission on Women chose Godin as an “Unsung Heroine,” and she was honored with an award from the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Security Agency.

In 1996, Godin was recognized by Fort Ritchie and Fort Mead for her dedication to teaching the Holocaust. In 1997, she was honored by Quantico Marine University. In 1998, she was presented the Elie Wiesel Holocaust Remembrance medal for dedication to remembering the victims of the Holocaust and for teaching what hatred can do.

In 2002, Godin was the keynote speaker for many Days of Remembrance, such as the Naval Academy Class of 2002, The American Legion Boys Nation and the Executive Office of the President. In 2003, the West Point Military Academy honored Godin for her work, and in January 2005, she was a guest speaker for the United Nations and the Goddard Space Center.

Godin's life story has been told in numerous publications, such as The Washingtonian Magazine, Scholastic News and The Pentagram. She has appeared on many TV and radio programs and specials, such as “In Memory of Millions” hosted by Walter Cronkite, “Beyond Hate” with Bill Moyers and “Tolerance in America.” Her testimony was part of the 1995 “Liberation” exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

For more information about Godin's talk, please contact Melissa Davis, assistant director for student life and leadership, by telephone at (931) 221-7118 or e-mail davism@apsu.edu. -- Dennie B. Burke