Earlier this week we at Chapman University celebrated the news that Dr. François Englert, Distinguished Visiting Professor in Residence and founding member of Chapman’s Institute for Quantum Studies, had received the Nobel Prize in Physics. He is a person who has accomplished the truly extraordinary–and he is also a child survivor of the Holocaust.
I don’t know the specifics of Professor Englert’s childhood, only that he was born to a Belgian Jewish family in Brussels in 1932. He survived the Holocaust in several orphanages and children’s homes where his Jewish identity was concealed. He was liberated by the U.S. Army at Annevoie-Rouillon, Belgium. In 1998, he gave his testimony to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.
His story brings to mind that of another Holocaust survivor and witness, Idele Stapholtz. Idele will be one of the speakers in a special symposium we will hold on November 7 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass