Holocaust Survivor Visits Limestone to Share Story of Survival and Triumph

Nesse Godin

On Monday, October 12, Holocaust survivor Nesse Godin will continue Limestone College's "Through the Darkness; Toward the Light" speaker series as she shares her personal story of survival and triumph over evil. Her presentation will begin at 7: 00 p.m. in Fullerton Auditorium.

Godin's appearance at Limestone, which is made possible in part by grant assistance from the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust, is the second event in the speaker series which is centered upon healing the wounds of the Gaffney community after a terrorizing two-week summer reign of brutality by a serial killer

Godin was born in Siauliai, Lithuania, where she lived with her parents and two brothers until the Nazi invasion. She is a survivor of the Siauliai, Lithuania Ghetto, the Stutthof Concentration Camp, four labor camps and a death march. She has dedicated her adult life to teaching and sharing memories of the holocaust. Godin recalled "On June 26, 1941, the Germans occupied our city, just four days after the invasion of the USSR. In the weeks that followed, SS killing units and Lithuanian collaborators shot about 1,000 Jews in the nearby Kuziai forest. In August, we were forced to move into a ghetto, where we lived in constant hunger and fear. There I witnessed many 'selections,' during which men, women, and children were taken to their deaths. My father was among them. In 1944, as the Soviet army approached, the remaining Jews were deported to the Stutthof concentration camp. There I was given the number 54015."

On March 10, 1945, Godin was liberated by Soviet troops. In 1950 after spending five years in the displaced persons camp in Feldafing, Germany, Nesse immigrated to the United States. In 1950 she and her husband Jack, also a survivor, came to the U.S. and settled in the Washington D.C. area.

The recipient of numerous awards for her dedication to sharing her memories of the holocaust, Godin is the president of the Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Friends of Greater Washington and on the Board of Directors and Founding Member of several Holocaust Survivor groups. She also served on the Board of Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and is a board member of the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Community Council and many other organizations.

Dr. James Waller, a widely-recognized scholar in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies, inaugurated the "Through the Darkness; Towards the Light" series to a packed house in mid-September.  His book on perpetrators of genocide, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing, was praised by Publisher's Weekly for "clearly and effectively synthesizing a wide range of studies to develop an original and persuasive model of the process by which people can become evil."

Dr. Donald Kraybill, author of Amish Grace, an account of how the Amish were so quickl to offer forgiveness following the 2006 gruesome murder of five Amish school girls in Pennsylvania, will conclude the series on November 16th.

For more information about Godin's visit to Limestone and about the "Through the Darkness, Towards the Light" series, call the Limestone Chaplain's Office at 488-8274.