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UW-Stevens Point hosts Holocaust author April 29

April 22, 2022
Holocaust author Fern Schumer Chapman
Holocaust author Fern Schumer Chapman will be at UWSP April 29.

A critically acclaimed author will speak at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Friday, April 29.

Fern Schumer Chapman has examined the legacy of the Holocaust, the experiences of child refugees, including her mother’s journey. She will present at 4 p.m. Friday in Room 116 of the College of Professional Studies building. The event is free and open to the public.

Holocaust Remembrance Day is April 28.

Chapman’s mother, Edith Westerfeld, fled Nazi Germany for America in 1938 as an unaccompanied minor. Sixty-five years later, she and her daughter returned to Stockstadt am Rhein, where the Westerfeld family had lived for more than 200 years. They began to understand how Westerfeld’s early life experiences defined their relationship and the war’s lingering grip on Germany.

As thousands of children leave war-torn Ukraine, Chapman’s work has both historical and contemporary relevance.

Chapman’s memoir, “Motherland,” follows the mother-daughter journey to Germany and probes a pain that divides generations and outlives its perpetrators. It is a story of learning to live with the past, of remembering and honoring while looking forward and letting go. It was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Among other books Chapman has written is “Like Finding My Twin,” the story of how 8th graders reunited two Holocaust refugees.

Chapman has presented at hundreds of schools in the nation. She will speak to students in a Holocaust class at SPASH Friday and at the Mt Sinai Congregation in Wausau Sunday.