Holocaust survivor to speak at Penn State

Apr 20, 2015
07:00 PM to 09:00 PM
115 Kern

David Tuck

Holocaust survivor David Tuck will speak about his experience growing up in Poland when it was invaded by the Nazis, and he was sent to a concentration camp.  Tuck will present on April 20, in 112 Kern Building at 7 p.m. His talk is cosponsored by Penn State's Hillel and Department of Jewish Studies. 

Tuck was born in Poland. His mother passed away six months after his birth, so his Orthodox Jewish grandparents took him in and insisted that he receive both a public and Hebrew education.

His life changed drastically on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. He was 10 years old. By December he was forced to wear an armband and then a yellow Star of David and he had to step off the sidewalk and into the street when German soldiers approached him. Within a few weeks David’s family was deported to the Lodz ghetto where he spoke German well enough that he was able to work in the food ration office providing families with ration cards. Then in the spring of 1941, David was deported to Posen, a labor camp in Poland.

In 1943 the Nazis liquidated the Posen labor camp and sent David to another labor camp to construct an autobahn. Then David was deported, with other skilled workers to Auschwitz where he arrived on August 25, 1943. He worked in a sub-camp of Auschwitz called Eintrachthütte in a factory building anti-aircraft guns. In January 1945, David was deported on a train to Mauthausen in Austria, a brutal 370-mile trip over four days. To survive, he scooped snow from the ground using a tin cup tied to his belt. He was subsequently sent to Güsen II, an underground factory to build German aircraft.

On May 5, 1945 the Americans liberated Güsen II; he weighed 78 pounds. David then spent the next several months recuperating in refugee camps and then immigrated to the United States in 1950.

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