Leadership Profile

Auschwitz Survivor Tell his Story at Cedar Crest

The injustices endured by Jewish populations during World War II have been the focus of books, Oscar nominated feature films, museum exhibits, college courses and more. Individuals are able to get a small sense of the terrors experienced during that time, but rarely hear from someone who was there and saw it all. Students in Cedar Crest’s Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) received that rare opportunity.

Solomon Frankel
Solomon Frankel

Solomon Frankel, a survivor of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, visited Cedar Crest in May to speak to ILR’s The War Against the Jews: Part II. Students heard a firsthand account of life as a prisoner of Auschwitz, one of the most notorious concentration camps during the war. Originally from Lodz, Poland, Frankel worked in the camp as a propeller manufacturer while his father, also a prisoner of Auschwitz, worked as an electrician. Their skills would prove to be a lifesaving asset, for those who were not able to provide such services were most often killed. Frankel, now 87, currently resides in Florida.

Frankel came to Cedar Crest at the request of the course’s instructor, Joseph Lubell (Lubellcyzck). His family, also of Jewish decent, was greatly affected by the events of World War II. With personal connections to the Holocaust, Lubell said that his passion for educating others about this period in history is also fueled by those who doubt the actions taken against the Jews and other minority populations during the war. That passion continues to guide Lubell’s teaching, who already has achieved an impressive career as an educator.

The Institute for Learning in Retirement is a non-profit organization that provides educational programs for seniors in the Lehigh Valley. ILR was organized in 1982 by retirees interested in continuing their education on an informal basis. Membership is open to all retired people and to others aged 55 and older.

About the instructor:
Joseph Lubell has a B.A. in social science from California State University at L.A., an M.A. in secondary education from Seton Hall, and NDEA Fellowships in history at SUNY, Brockport. Lubell completed an NDEA Fellowship in history at Michigan State University. He was an adjunct associate professor of history and political science at Suffolk Co. Community College and retired in 1988 from the Farmingdale Public School District. He has presented a Holocaust program for the Middle Atlantic States Social Studies Council and was a presenter for the Judaic Christian Institute, Muhlenberg College 2005-2010.

Joseph Lubell, received the Human Relations Award from the City of Allentown in 2011 for being an outstanding Holocaust instructor at Cedar Crest College and Muhlenberg College. He received honorary commendations from the Senate of the State of Pennsylvania on a legislative proposal by Senator Browne of Lehigh Valley, and an honorary certificate for being a Holocaust instructor from Congressman Dent and Mayor Pawlowski of Allentown.