Turning Hate into Love: A Holocaust Survivor's StoryVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Asia Society History Series
Drinks Reception 6:30pm
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Placed in hiding with various families in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia as a small child, former Berlin resident Werner Reich helped his host family in the resistance movement. Subsequently arrested by the Gestapo, Werner eventually ended up in Auschwitz, and miraculously survived the “tests” of the notorious Josef Mengele on three occasions — of the 6,000 people forced to participate, just 89 survived. He later endured the horrors of a seven-day death march. Eventually moving to the U.S., Werner has dedicated his adult life to teaching students about the dangers of hatred and intolerance, and how to use the tragic lessons of history to build a better world.
Learn more about the incredible story of Werner Reich in this dialogue moderated by Ronnie C. Chan, chairman of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. Mr. Reich’s Hong Kong trip is made possible by the Raymond and Nicette Bera Foundation.
Werner Reich and his family were residents of Berlin, Germany when the Nazis came to power in 1933. His father, an electrical and mechanical engineer lost his job thereafter, prompting the family to move to Zagreb, Yugoslavia. His father died in 1940, and in 1941, the Nazis occupied Yugoslavia. Werner’s mother placed him in hiding with several families. The last family worked for the resistance movement and Werner helped them in this endeavor. In 1943 he was arrested by the Gestapo, assaulted and jailed for seven weeks. He was sent to Theresienstadt and then Auschwitz II where he went through three selections by Dr. Josef Mengele. Werner was one of 89 who survived — most of the other 6,000 perished. Werner was later transferred to Auschwitz I. In January 1945, after a seven-day death march, he ended up in Austria at the Mauthausen concentration camp. After liberation in May 1945, Werner returned to Yugoslavia, and after two years escaped to England where he worked as a laborer and later became a tool and die-maker. In 1955 he married a girl who had been saved by Sir Nicholas Winton. They moved to the U.S. where he eventually became an engineer. He has two sons and four grandchildren.
Ronnie C. Chan is the Chairman of Hong Kong publicly listed Hang Lung Properties Limited. Besides Hong Kong and Shanghai, the company develops, owns and manages world-class commercial complexes in key tier one and tier two Chinese cities. He founded and chairs the China Heritage Fund. Mr. Chan is Chairman of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Chairman Emeritus of Asia Society, and serves or has served on the governing or advisory bodies of several think tanks and universities, including Peterson Institute for International Economics, World Economic Forum, East-West Center, Eisenhower Fellowships, University of Southern California, Indian School of Business, Yale University, Tsinghua University and Fudan University. Mr. Chan is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also Founding Chairman of the Center for Asian Philanthropy and Society. (Moderator)
Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty
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