Hearing directly from Holocaust survivors has always been a core of Holocaust remembrance activities at Northeastern. Initially, several survivors spoke each year, meeting students in the dorms for informal conversations over two days. Later, individual survivors delivered more formal presentations, always leaving ample time for questions and conversation. Intended to educate the next generations on the horrors of genocide, the survivor lectures have always been a major draw for students, faculty and staff, and Bostonians alike. Some survivors have returned several times to share their stories with new generations of Northeastern students.

In 1998, the survivor lecture series was formally named the Philip N. Backstrom, Jr. Annual Holocaust Survivor Lecture Series. Phil Backstrom was a longtime professor of European history who was instrumental in the establishment of the Holocaust Awareness Committee in 1991. The series was named for him because of his continual concern and advocacy for human rights. Backstrom died in October 2015. 

Lectures

Each year below provides access to content where applicable

Rachel Aaronson

Child survivor hidden in Belgium

Watch: 2000, 2002

Hersch Altman

Polish child survivor

Watch: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004

 

Janet Appelfield

Survivor hidden in Poland

Watch: 1993

Samuel Bak

Vilna Ghetto survivor

Watch: 2014

Klara Barker

Auschwitz survivor

Watch: 1993, 1994

Rena Chernoff

Auschwitz survivor

Watch: 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000

Rena Finder

Schindler survivor

Watch: 1997, 1999, 2002, 2010

Raymond Fridmann

Dachau survivor

Watch: 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004

Eva Glasser

Wanderer fleeing throughout Europe

Watch: 1994, 1995, 2000

Peter Glasser

Wanderer fleeing throughout Europe

Watch: 1994, 1995, 2000

Frieda Grayzel

Ghetto and Auschwitz survivor

Watch: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011

Aron Greenfield

Ghetto and concentration camp survivor

Watch: 2017

Rena Greenup

Greece prison survivor

Watch: 1994, 2002

Gerald Holton

Kindertransport Survivor

Watch: 2019

 

Ben Jacobs

Auschwitz survivor

Watch: 1993

 

Erica Katz

Auschwitz survivor

Watch: 1993

Edgar Krasa

Auschwitz and Theresienstadt survivor

Watch: 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005

Anna Levin

Auschwitz survivor

Watch: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999

Stephan Lewy

Kristallnacht survivor, child survivor, and liberator of Buchenwald with the US forces

Watch: 2013

Joseph Matzner

Auschwitz and Dachau survivor

Watch: 1999

Max Michelson

Riga Ghetto survivor

Watch: 1995, 1998, 19992002, 2016

 

Sam Natansohn

Ghetto and labor camp survivor

Watch: 1993, 1998, 1999, 2000

Michael Novice

Warsaw ghetto survivor

Watch: 2002

Ruth Novice

German refugee

Watch: 2002

Anna Ornstein

Ghetto and Auschwitz survivor

2018

Watch

Stephan Ross

Dachau survivor

Watch: 1993

Erika Tauber

Wanderer fleeing throughout Europe

Watch: 1995, 1998, 2000

Stephen Tauber

Wanderer fleeing throughout Europe

Watch: 1995, 1998, 2000

Jack Trompetter

Hidden child survivor

Watch: 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012

Maurice Van Der Pol

Medical doctor specializing in Psychiatry hiding in Amsterdam

Watch: 1997, 2000

Miriam Webb

Kovno Ghetto survivor

Watch: 1994, 1995