Holocaust survivor will tell life story in Forest Grove

Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener will speak at noon Thursday, April 5 during a regular meeting of the Forest Grove Lions Club at Tuality Hospital in Forest Grove, 1809 Maple St.

For Wiener, a long-time New York resident, it wasn't until he moved to Oregon that he began talking about his experience after meeting a Holocaust survivor who urged him to join the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center.

"It is not easy for me physically (or) emotionally," Wiener told the Beaverton Valley Times in 2008.

What encourages him to continue speaking about his experiences in a concentration camp are the more than 12,000 letters he's received over the years, mostly from students, some who have told him his words have been life changing.

"Listening to me, she realized how trivial her problems were compared to mine," said Wiener, adding that if he can save a life his talking about the uncomfortable subject is worth it.

Still, he comes across those who know little about the Holocaust, or worse yet, those who deny it ever occurred.

"How dare they say it didn't happen," said Wiener, pointing out that he bears both the physical and emotional scars to prove it did. "This is very painful to me."

By the time the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, Wiener's biological mother had died and the family was living in a town that was half Jewish and half Roman Catholic. The man who would later become Pope John Paul II was a neighbor.

While the family fled, Wiener's father, a shopkeeper, was forced to stay.

Returning later, the family found their apartment looted and their father missing.

Someone told the Wiener family they believed their father was among 38 residents shot by Germans in Wiener's hometown.

By the time the war ended, he would lose 123 members of his extended family.

Club members will gather for lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the talk by Wiener will follow.

- Reporting by Ray Pitz

Neuroscientist will give lecture on sexuality

Neuroscientist Simon LeVay will discuss The Science of Sexual Orientation at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 5 in Pacific University's Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center, located at 2014 Cedar St. in Forest Grove.

LeVay's talk, free and open to the public, is presented by Pacific's Psychology Club and Psi Chi chapter and sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences Student Senate.

His research has been at the center of discussion about what causes a person to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or straight since 1991, when he reported on research uncovering variability in forebrain structure between gay and straight men.

In this lecture, he will provide an update on the science and consider whether scientific knowledge about sexuality is relevant to how sexual minorities are treated by society.

LeVay, Ph.D., was born in England and trained at the universities of Cambridge and Göttingen in Germany.

He has served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

LeVay is the author or co-author of 11 books, including Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why (Oxford, 2011) and the college textbook Human Sexuality (Sinauer, 4th ed., 2012).

He will take part in a booksigning and reception following the discussion.

Pacific University fosters an environment rich in discourse and debate. Dr. LeVay's views do not necessarily reflect those of Pacific University or its community members.

For more information, please call (503) 352-1538.

Dairy princess coronation ahead

Relax with a hearty meal and watch three local girls vie for the title of Dairy princess at the Washington County Dairy Women's 52nd annual coronation banquet.

Megan Sprute, daughter of Russell and Dawn Sprute, a junior at Banks High School, Stefani Evers, daughter of Dale and Candace Evers, also a junior at Banks High School, and Kyla Mazhary-Clark, daughter of Ben and Catherine Mazhary-Clark, a junior at Century High School all hope to be crowned at the event by Cheyanne Heesacker, 2011 Washington County Princess-Ambassador.

The Banquet will be held at Harris Hall in Verboort starting at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, April 21. The buffet dinner will include: ham, breast of chicken, teriyaki meatballs, scalloped potatoes, green beans, tossed salad, dinner rolls and cheesecake for dessert. Tickets are $18 for adults and $8 for children. To order tickets call Kathy at 503-250-4828 by April 16.

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