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Holocaust Speaker Series: Andrew Laszlo Jr.

The Holocaust Speaker Series, hosted every Wednesday at 11 a.m., features Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors sharing stories of life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The series is sponsored by Margaret & Michael Valentine in partnership with the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Center and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. This week’s Speaker Series features Andrew Laszlo Jr.’s story celebrating his father’s survival and life after the Holocaust.

Andrew grew up in a middle-class home in Papa, Hungary. After his family was forcibly relocated to a ghetto, Andrew and his brother were conscripted into labor service. Most of Andrew’s family were murdered in the camps. Andrew was eventually sent to Bergen-Belsen and later Theresienstadt. At the end of the war, Andrew was the only survivor of his family.

Escaping from Russian occupied post-war Hungary, Andrew made it to a displaced persons camp in Ulm, Germany where he filed for immigration to America. He arrived in New York Harbor on the USS Ernie Pyle having turned 21 in transit with $2.36 in his pocket. Rebuilding his life in America, he became a world-famous cinematographer doing films such as Shogun, and Rambo, First Blood. He was nominated for two Emmy awards.

Andrew kept his past a secret for 50 years. On January 17, 1997, on the 50th anniversary of his arrival to America, he sent a leather-bound book detailing his story of survival to his children.  This book, recently republished by his son Andrew Laszlo Jr., is called Footnote to History.

Andrew Laszlo Jr.  grew up in Roslyn, New York. He is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Dartmouth College. Andrew retired after working at Morgan Stanley for 42 years. In his retirement, Andrew travels the country sharing and reflecting on the courageous legacy of his father.

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