KEY WEST, FL, January 5, 2024— The College of the Florida Keys will open its 2024 VIP Series with “Memoirs of the Holocaust” on Thursday, January 18 at 7 p.m. in the Tennessee Williams Theatre on the Key West Campus. The presentation will be led by descendants of Holocaust survivors, Lucy Barker and her daughter Diana Tapper. In its tenth season, the College’s VIP Series invites the community to learn from the Views, Ideas, and Perspectives of speakers of local, regional, and national prominence. The 2024 season includes presentations that focus on timely topics relevant to Keys’ audiences.
Barker and Tapper will discuss the survival of Barker’s father, Jack Kowal, through eight concentration camps, a story that was documented by Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation. Barker and Tapper’s presentation includes elements of the documentary as well as their experiences traveling to Poland and Germany to retrace Kowal’s journey.
Barker, a 19-year resident of Key West, was born in Zeiltzheim, Germany, in a Displaced Persons’ Camp and emigrated to the United States in 1949 with her parents. Barker grew up in Boston and spent most of her life in that area before retiring to Key West. Inspired by her father’s passion to educate people about the atrocities of the Holocaust, she has given numerous presentations that bring history to life using her father’s stories, photos, and artifacts.
Diana Tapper, a retired insurance professional, currently holds leadership roles on several not-for-profit boards. She is the board chair of The TAMID Group, a nonprofit with 57 college campus chapters and an alumni network focused on connecting the next generation of business leaders to Israel. Additionally, she serves as the Secretary on the Executive Board of the Access Psychology Foundation, which aims to improve access to mental health resources for underserved and racially diverse populations.
CFK’s 2024 VIP Series is sponsored by First Horizon Bank. Tickets for each event are $5 at the door. Admission is free for students at CFK and Monroe County schools. For more information, call CFK at 305-296-9081 or visit the College’s website at CFK.edu/VIP.
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