Ron, whose surname used to be Rakowsky, grew up about 15 miles outside of Krakow, Poland, where the movie "Schindler's List" takes place. His family lived briefly in the city's Jewish ghetto. He spent several months in Plaszow, the forced-labor camp featured in the film, Schlinder’s List before being shipped to several other camps. Ron says the story of Oskar Schindler is very personal to him and his wife, Bilha. Ron's uncles Isak and Israel Levenstein; a cousin, Murray Pantirer; and an aunt, Lola Fellman, survived the war because they were on Schindler's list and were chosen to work in his factories during the war.
Ron's family managed to walk into the Krakow ghetto for shelter after they fled their village when the Germans rousted and shot most of its Jewish inhabitants. From there they were split up. As depicted in the film "Schindler's List," the Germans liquidated the Krakow ghetto in March 1943. Ron was shipped to the Plaszow forced labor. While there, he caught up with his cousin, Pantirer. Ron was transferred from Plaszow and in 1945 the U.S. Army liberated him from a Nazi death march.
After being liberated, he participated in the organization of the "Bericha," which worked for the escape of survivors from Eastern Europe. He took 600 children who survived the Holocaust to Israel and has since returned to Poland four times in search of relatives.
Pantirer was transferred to Gross-Rosen, a death camp in Germany, and after three days heard Schindler was coming with a list. When his name was called, someone said he was a metal machine worker -- hardly true, because Pantirer was only a boy when the war started.
For more information on the event, call 561-297-2979.
Sunday, January 20 at 4:00pm
Performing Arts, 101
777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431