Within months, the peaceful village was transformed into a den of fear for the Jewish population. Deportations became commonplace and Piasek soon found himself on a train.
Piasek will be at Halifax Community College next Tuesday to tell his story as the second speaker in the Presidential Lecture series which begins at 11 a.m. at The Griffin Centre.
The details of what he has seen, heard and survived are remarkable.
The horrors he has witnessed would cause many to be perpetually angry and bitter.
However, Piasek is not like the many.
Instead, his experiences have strengthened his resolve to fight hate in the world.
He has been sharing his story for years, captivating audiences of all ages through his personal insights.
“People have to know,” he said. “There are a lot of deniers, people who don’t believe this happened. That’s why I decided to tell my story firsthand, where I was a kid myself. I think I turned out pretty good.”
HCC President Michael Elam said, “Mr. Piasek’s perspective on one of history’s greatest atrocities is important for us all to hear. No matter how old we are, we have to remember that hate does nothing but destroy lives. My hope is that Mr. Piasek’s message will strengthen a movement of unity in our community.”
Piasek’s visit is only one part of the college’s commemoration of the Holocaust.
During the month of April, HCC is hosting multiple exhibits aimed at increasing education about the Holocaust of World War II.
On loan from the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust, the exhibits cover a broad range of topics, from the political cartoons of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, to what life was like after survival of the Holocaust.
Throughout the month, exhibits will be on display in the gallery of The Griffin Centre.
Viewing the exhibits is free, and is part of a month-long Holocaust remembrance activity.