Speaker F. Ari Landau shakes hands with Blue Ridge Community College student.

Second-Generation Holocaust Survivor F. Ari Landau Hosted by Blue Ridge Library

Featured photo: Speaker F. Ari Landau shakes hands with Blue Ridge Community College student (Photo by Rich Keen, Marketing and Communications Dept.).

Marketing and Communications Dept.

The Library of Blue Ridge Community College hosted speaker and second-generation Holocaust survivor F. Ari Landau on Friday, January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The crowd of community members and students listened as Landau conveyed his family’s experience of the Holocaust and its echoing effects throughout his life.

Landau repeatedly emphasized the importance of critical thinking and intentional use of language.

“The Holocaust didn’t begin with the building of crematoria. Hitler did not come to power with tanks and guns,” Landau said. “It all began with uttering words with defamation, with language, and propaganda, so the words that you use are devastatingly important.”

Anthony Baltiero, director of library services for Blue Ridge, said the event provided a rare opportunity to hear a first-person account of the Holocaust’s effect on a family’s life.

“It is crucial that Holocaust education is continued through the next generation and that the stories of the survivors and their families be passed on as oral history, as a learning tool and as a warning of what can happen when hatred claims power,” said Baltiero. “We at the library are very excited to offer free events like this to our college and local community.”

Blue Ridge’s library is proud to host a variety of public events throughout the year, including the story of the remarkable Mr. Landau. Visit the library’s page for information about upcoming events.