Auschwitz survivor explains 'Uncommon Friendship' in Faith Alive talk

Bernat Rosner, left, and Frederic Tubach co-authored An Uncommon Friendship in 2002.

Auschwitz survivor Bernat Rosner, who, at age 12, managed to endure stays in four different concentration camps during World War II, is scheduled to discuss his experiences in the next “Faith Alive” program 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Los Altos Lutheran Church, 460 S. El Monte Ave.

The Hungary native’s story is “an example of the tenacity required when the going gets really tough,” said series organizer Del Beumer.

The culture of his Eastern European Orthodox Jewish family shaped Rosner, who was involved in schoolwork six days a week.

Rosner was the only member of his family who survived after they were taken from their home and transported to concentration camps. He said the education of his culture allowed him to survive against all odds.

At the end of the war, an American soldier, who eventually invited him to go to New York, befriended him. Rosner finished high school, joined the ROTC and graduated from Cornell University.

Rosner served in the U.S. Army 1954 to 1956 and later graduated from Harvard Law School. He served as an attorney for Safeway for 35 years, the last 10 as general counsel.

In his retirement, Rosner co-authored “An Uncommon Friendship” (UC Press, 2002), which tells the story of two young boys trapped on opposite sides of the Holocaust. After arriving in California, Rosner struck up a friendship with co-author Frederic Tubach, the son of a Nazi officer.

Admission to the talk is free, but organizers urge guests to make a reservation by visiting or calling 948-3012. Child care will be provided for children 8 and under.

The speaker series, scheduled the second Wednesday of each month at Los Altos Lutheran Church, invites individuals to share their stories of guidance, perseverance and encouragement following severe trauma or stress.

Kim Golter, the founder, president and CEO of Jeremiah’s Promise, is the next scheduled speaker, Nov. 11. Golter heads a volunteer organization dedicated to helping young women after they turn 18 and are no longer eligible for foster homes. She will discuss the challenges of her work.

The Los Altos Town Crier is the media sponsor of the Faith Alive Lecture Series.



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