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We were recently honored to present a program remembering the 75th anniversary of D-Day; our presenter was former Center Director, now retired, Professor Paul Zigo, and our special guest was John Santillo, a veteran of D-Day and the war in Europe. Mr. Santillo was quite a hit with the students. He’s certainly an amazing man, now 97 years of age and as sharp as ever! His knowledge of history is amazing–after all he lived it. We were truly honored to have him visit our college and speak at our program.


 

Tuesday September 24, 2019

Return to Normandy: An Evening with US Army Veteran John Santillo

7:00 to 8:45 pm,  Student Life Center  SLC 106 (Twin Lights I)

John Santillo is a true American  hero, one of only about 500 still-surviving veterans of the historic D-Day invasion.  Born and raised in Newark, he entered the Army in 1942, serving with the 237th Engineer Combat Battalion. He also saw action in North Africa, the Battle of the Bulge and Germany.  He is a recipient of the French Legion of Honour, France’s highest decoration. Last year, his hometown of Brick proclaimed a day in his honor and awarded him a key to the city.   Mr. Santillo will enlighten us with details of his recent return to Normandy for the 75th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day landings in June 2019. World War II Center Advisory Board member, Larry Schwartz, and Brookdale English faculty member, Elana Maloney, will also be sharing videos and experiences from the trip.

 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Children of World War II

 

French child at the Rheims Victory Parade Rheims, France May 1945 An endearing photo of a French child attending the Rheims Victory Parade, this was one of the last photos taken in Europe by U.S. Army Technical Sergeant 5th Grade Al Meserlin, personal wartime photographer to U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.

French child at the Rheims Victory Parade Rheims, France May 1945
An endearing photo of a French child attending the Rheims Victory Parade, this was one of the last photos taken in Europe by U.S. Army Technical Sergeant 5th Grade Al Meserlin, personal wartime photographer to U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.

Pictured above are Haide Marcuse (l) and Mieke Jansma (r); two of our very special guests who were children during World War II. Haide lived in Berlin, and then her family moved to Pritzerbe; Mieke lived in The Hague in occupied Holland during the war.

7:00 to 8:45 pm, Student Life Center SLC 106 (Twin Lights I)

A seldom explored topic in World War II history involves the experiences of young children during the war. What is it like to carry, for the rest of one’s life, early memories of surviving the greatest armed conflict in human history? How do those experiences forever alter one’s life? Join us for a fascinating evening, as special guests who grew up in The United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Germany share their stories.

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April 23, 2020
Student Life Center
Twin Lights I & II
7:00 to 9:00 pm
Hiroshima & Nagasaki 75 Years Later

Special Guest: Dr. Laura Neitzel

August 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With an eye toward preventing future nuclear conflict, we will look back at the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, exploring past significance and the outlook for future generations to be free from nuclear conflict.

Laura Neitzel is the Academic Director for the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University in New York. Neitzel is a historian of modern Japan who is interested in the national and global contexts that shape the ways people envision their futures and articulate their aspirations and disappointments. She is the author of The Life We Longed For: Danchi Housing and the Middle Class Dream in Postwar Japan (MerwinAsia, 2016). She earned a B.A. in Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Massachusetts, an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Washington University, and a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University.

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