Aaron Elster survived the Holocaust. He brought his memories and writings to a talk with the Illinois State University community earlier this month in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

A public reading of the names of those who died in the Holocaust also took place.

Elster presented Child Survivor of the Holocaust. Born in 1933 in the small northeastern village of Sokolow Podlaski in Poland, Elster lived in the Sokolow Ghetto with his two sisters, mother, and father until the liquidation of the ghetto in September 1942. He escaped the liquidation and hid in the surrounding forests and farms. Eventually, Elster found refuge in the attic of a Polish family, where he hid for two years until the war’s end.

The coauthor of I Still See Her Haunting Eyes, Elster was educated in Chicago and served in the armed forces in Korea. After retiring from MetLife, he became an active member of the community, serving as cochair of the Speakers Bureau and vice president of the Executive Board at the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois. His presentations create extensive discussions and interactive exploration of the Holocaust and its issues.