March 23, 2009

Holocaust Survivor to Tell Her Story at RSU April 27

A survivor's story. Lisl Bogart, survivor of the Holocaust.

Lisl Bogart – who survived four years of detainment in a Nazi concentration camp – will tell her harrowing story during a free public presentation at 1 p.m. Monday, April 27, at Rogers State University.

The lecture is part of a year-long series of events to commemorate the RSU Centennial, and will be held in the Ballroom of the new Centennial Center at the RSU campus in Claremore.

Mrs. Bogart was born in Prague, in what is now the Czech Republic. After the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939, her father lost his business. The young Lisl, along with her brother and parents, were deported in 1942 to the concentration camp known as Terezin in X, Germany.

During this time her parents and brother were sent on a cattle car to Auschwitz, which was the last time Lisl saw them. They were part of the extermination program in Auschwitz. Lisl was liberated by the Russian Army on May 7, 1945 and is the only survivor in her family, losing 43 family members.

She arrived in New York City in 1946, and lived with her uncle's family. There she met Hank Bogart, whom she married and had two daughters and several grandchildren.

The couple moved to the Chicago suburb Northbrook. In the 1970s they became founding members of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation in Skokie. Lisl was a board member as well as an executive board member and formed the Foundation's Speakers bureau. She was also a member of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Chicago Office Speaker's Bureau.

Lisl has been in several of Chicago area schools to tell her story through the years. She has had an annual engagement every year at the Belvidere High School since 1988. Hank and Lisl moved to Florida in 1999 but return to the Chicago annually to speak at area schools.

Since moving to Florida, Lisl is a speaker for the Palm Beach County School District's Holocaust Studies Department and for the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center. In 2003, she received the "Speaker of the Year" award from the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center.

Hosting Mrs. Bogart during her appearance at RSU will be her long-time friend and associate, Paul Whitham of Pryor. Whitham has studied the Holocaust and anti-Semitism extensively and presents his research and papers on the topic at conferences around the world. He coordinated Holocaust studies programs in public schools in Illinois before his retirement. He has written and presented his work titled "Shoah Studies for Junior High and High School Teachers" and "Anti-Semitism in a Church." He received a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Illinois.

RSU Centennial Sponsors include, at the Centenary Level, the City of Claremore, Carl G. and Gladys L. Herrington Distinguished Endowed Lectureship, RSU Foundation; at the College Hill Level, AT&T and LaFarge Cement; at the Hillcat Level, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Cherokee Nation Enterprises (Will Rogers Downs Cherokee Casino), GRDA and Phoenix Coal Sales, Inc.; and at the Corporate Sponsor Level, Unit Corporation, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Bank of Commerce, Bank of Locust Grove, First Pryority Bank, Grand Bank and Lakeside Bank of Salina.

For more information on the lecture, call (918) 343-7773.