(Buffalo, NY) - WNED-TV will present the broadcast premiere of A Conversation with Gerda Weissmann Klein Mon., Oct. 4 at 10:30 pm. Through this documentary-interview program, former Buffalo resident Gerda Weissmann Klein shares her remarkable life story ― from Holocaust survivor to advocate for tolerance and justice. The program is hosted by WNED Board Chair Emeritus Mary Ann Lauricella, who has known Klein for more than 40 years.
“It was my great honor and pleasure to engage my longtime friend, Gerda Klein, in this conversation in order to share her extraordinary life journey and legacy with WNED viewers,” said Lauricella. In the film, Lauricella describes Klein’s story as “both tragic and joyful” and “a triumph of the human spirit.”
During WW II, Klein was forced to leave her home in Poland and work in Nazi labor camps. She also endured a 350-mile death march. Klein was finally liberated by American forces, among them her future husband, U.S. Army Intelligence officer Kurt Klein.
Today, at age 86, Klein is an internationally known author and speaker. Her first book, All But My Life, published in 1957, is considered a classic of Holocaust literature and is used in classrooms worldwide. In addition, The Gerda and Kurt Klein Foundation supports tolerance education and community service for youth. Another nonprofit organization Klein founded, Citizenship Counts, involves students in school-hosted naturalization ceremonies.
Her work to preserve human dignity has earned her countless awards, including seven Doctorates of Humane Letters. In 2006, the Kleins were honored by the National Conference for Community and Justice in Buffalo. That same year, she addressed the United Nations on the first International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Klein also spoke to students at Columbine High School in Colorado after a gruesome murder-suicide incident in April 1999.
The documentary was produced by WNED-TV with support from The Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies.
WNED’s Outreach and Education Department will develop educational materials, including lesson plans, related to this program. They will be shared, along with DVDs of the program, with area schools and also posted online at thinkbright.org.
Through WNED-TV, ThinkBright and Well TV, Classical 94.5/WNED-FM and WNED-AM 970 The Information Station, the member-supported WNED Buffalo/Toronto provides high quality programming and services that enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate Western New York and Southern Ontario communities. Additional information about WNED can be found at www.wned.org.