CU Boulder’s Program in Jewish Studies and the Singer Chair in Jewish History will welcome Osi Sladek, a Holocaust child survivor from Slovakia who lives in Denver, to give testimony about his and his parent’s suffering and survival in the Holocaust in the Slovak-Hungarian-Polish borderlands.
Oscar (“Osi”) Staub (Sladek) was born in 1935 to an orthodox Jewish family in the town of Prešov (present-day Slovakia). Although he was younger than ten years of age when he was liberated, he remembers the persecutions that intensified at the beginning of the war and gradually being stripped — along with all the other Jewish families in the region — of virtually everything. As in the rest of the country, deportations from Prešov took place in two waves in mid-1942 and late 1944-45. They were coordinated by the Germans, but largely carried out by their Slovakian allies. When the round-ups started, the Staubs (Sladeks) went into hiding, sometimes together, but often separately. In early 1943, his parents had Osi smuggled across the border into Hungary, where he hid with an aunt until the Germans occupied the country of their former ally in March 1944 and began to deport Hungarian Jews in the countryside a few weeks later. Reunited in Slovakia, the family managed to go into hiding in the Tatra Mountains (present-day Slovakia and Poland), where they were liberated by the Red Army in late 1944. After the war, the family changed its name from Staub to Sladek and settled in Israel, where Osi attended high school, served in the IDF, and embarked on a musical career. Eventually, he left Israel and, via South America, came to Los Angeles, where he lived with a cousin and met his future spouse.
The program will take place at UMC, Lecture Hall 235, and start at 2:00 pm on October 17. Public parking is available at the adjacent Euclid parking deck. It is open to the public and there are no tickets required. The program is organized by the Program in Jewish Studies and the Singer Chair in Jewish History and co-sponsored by the Departments of History, German & Slavic Languages and Literatures.