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Philip N. Backstrom, Jr. Survivor Lecture Series
January 26, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
A talk with Holocaust survivor, Max Michelson
Max Michelson was born in 1924 into a large and loving Jewish family in Riga, Latvia. By the end of World War II most of his family and friends were dead, murdered during the Nazi occupation of Latvia.
Michelson will describe the circumstances he found himself in when first the Soviets and then the Germans invaded Latvia. One day, Michelson came home to find that his mother had been taken away by the police. The majority of Michelson’s relatives and friends were killed during the liquidation of the ghetto. Michelson managed to survive and as the war’s end approached was sent to Magdeberg, Germany, where he was liberated on April 11, 1945. Max Michelson eventually found his way to New York. He married and became an electrical engineer, settling in the Boston area.
Michelson recounts that, after the destruction of the Large Ghetto in Riga, an old Latvian woman, a stranger, said to him: “Soon they are going to kill you all.” After the fall of Germany, during his first night in a Red Army Hospital, a fellow patient told him, “You will be dead by morning.” Both predictions proved wrong. Max Michelson survived, “by happenstance” he says, but with unthinkable losses.
Lunch will be served.