July 25, 2023
6:00 p.m. Program
7:00 p.m. Book Signing
As part of the programming for our Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. exhibition, please join us for a conversation with Auschwitz Survivor Celina Karp Biniaz and author William Friedricks for his new book, Saved by Schindler: The Life of Celina Karp Biniaz (publish date: October 8, 2022). To register for the event and/or to pre-purchase a book, please visit click here.
Celina Karp Biniaz was just eight years old when the Germans invaded her homeland of Poland in 1939. Over the next six years, the child from Krakow endured the Holocaust as the Nazis took away her schooling and civil rights, then herded her and her family into a ghetto. Life grew worse when the ghetto was liquidated, and the family was sent to Plaszów, a slave labor/concentration camp where they lived in constant fear, witnessing unspeakable horrors. Ultimately, Celina and her parents landed on Schindler's list, but before being sent to safety at Schindler's factory, Celina spent several terrifying weeks at Auschwitz where she faced down the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele. When the war ended, she and her family eventually made their way to the United States, where Celina got on with her life. With great strength and resilience, she moved forward and embraced the American dream. She finished her education, got married, had a family, and eventually enjoyed a career in teaching. But she kept her Holocaust experience a secret because the years were too terrible to describe, and she did not believe anyone would understand. That all changed with Steven Spielberg's film Schindler's List, which brought the Holocaust and the story of Oskar Schindler to millions around the world. The movie prompted Celina to confront her painful past and begin speaking publicly about it. As she often explains, “Oskar Schindler gave me my life, but Steven Spielberg gave me my voice.”
This program is part of our programming series for our exhibition, Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away. If you haven’t seen it yet, we recommend arriving early and touring through it (exhibit takes two hours to experience). Tickets to this event do not include admission into the museum or Auschwitz exhibition and must be purchased separately at reaganlibrary.com/Auschwitz. Please note that tickets to the exhibit are quickly selling out. This groundbreaking exhibition, highlighting the atrocities of the Holocaust, brings together more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs from over 20 institutions and museums around the world and has never traveled to the U.S. West Coast...until now. No book, no podcast, nor history lesson can prepare you for the impact and power this extraordinary collection of artifacts holds.