Holo­caust sur­vivor to speak at Cov­ing­ton First United Methodist

The Covington News - - LOCAL - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

When El­iz­a­beth Un­gar Le­fkovits was 20 years old in June of 1944, she was sep­a­rated from most of her fam­ily, never to see them again. She was forced on a train with 100 peo­ple packed into a cat­tle car for a 10-day jour­ney, hav­ing to feed her 2-year-old nephew the lit­tle food she had brought with them.

Le­fkovits en­dured about a year and a half of de­plorable con­di­tions in the Auschwitz con­cen­tra­tion camp be­fore es­cap­ing with two other women in Jan­uary of 1945. She man­aged to avoid re­turn­ing to the camp, but not with­out peril.

Ac­cord­ing to Le­fkovits’ biog­ra­phy pro­vided by The Brenan Mu­seum, she hid in a pile of straw inside a barn while Ger­man sol­diers thrust their bay­o­nets search­ing for the es­capees.

She would even­tu­ally be cap­tured but was re­leased rather than taken to Ber­gen-Belsen con­cen­tra­tion camp and man­aged to re­turn to Hun­gary after lib­er­a­tion.

Once back in her home town, she dis­cov­ered both her par­ents and her two sis­ters, along with 83 mem­bers of her ex­tended fam­ily, had been mur­dered in con­cen­tra­tion camps.

It’s a jour­ney that tells an ex­tra­or­di­nary story of how her faith kept her alive, and how a lack of hu­man- ity al­tered the world.

Le­fkovits is shar­ing that story at Cov­ing­ton First United Methodist Church Sun­day start­ing at 2 p.m.

Cov­ing­ton FUMC Youth Pas­tor Jen­nifer Mor­gan­thall learned of Le­fkovits and her story at The Bre­man Mu­seum in At­lanta, pre­par­ing her youth group for a trip to Europe in June.

Ev­ery year, a group of FUMC high school ju­nior and se­niors go on an ed­u­ca­tional trip and get to choose what they wish to study. This year’s group wanted to learn more about the Holo­caust and the plight of Europe in the 1940s.

Thir­teen stu­dents are go­ing on this year’s trip to Pom­peii, Rome, Florence, Venice, Mu­nich and Salzburg, Aus­tria to learn about early Chris­tian­ity.

Sun­day’s lec­ture from Le­fkovits serves as a fundraiser for the trip at $5 per ticket. Le­fkovits will speak start­ing at 2 p.m. and will take ques­tions for about 15 min­utes after her pre­sen­ta­tion.

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