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February 2017
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American Jewish University
The Sigi Ziering Institute
The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles
The Polish Cultural Institute New York

The Auschwitz Volunteer:
Dramatic Staging and Discussion

Thursday, March 9, 2017

AJU Familian Campus
15600 Mulholland Drive
Bel Air, CA 90077

Admission: $8 

The Polish Underground's daring undercover mission at Auschwitz was one of the best-kept secrets of World War II. Polish Army officer Witold Pilecki volunteered for this "mission impossible" to get himself arrested and sent to Auschwitz to smuggle out intelligence and build resistance among the prisoners.

Pilecki's mission report is now available for the first time in English, published by Aquila Polonica Publishing under the title The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery.

Join the American Jewish University for a fascinating multimedia program dramatizing parts of Pilecki's report, featuring actor Marek Probosz with remarks by Aquila Polonica President Terry Tegnazian. The program is introduced by AJU's Professor Michael Berenbaum.

Marek Probosz teaches theater and film acting in the UCLA Department of Theater. A preeminent film, television and stage actor in his native Poland, Probosz has more than 50 starring roles to his credit. Many of his films have competed in key international festivals including Venice (Jerzy Skolimowski's 30 Door Key, 1991), Cannes and Karlovy Vary (Jirí Svoboda's award-winning End of the Lonely Farm Berghof, 1984) and San Sebastian (Frantisek Vlácil's The Shadow of the Ferns, 1984). Probosz's theatrical adaptation of Oscar Wilde's Salome, which he wrote, directed and starred in, was cited by the Czech National Critics Poll as the No. 2 artistic event of 1986, after Sir Richard Attenborough's Oscar-winning film Gandhi (1983) and ahead of Ingmar Bergman's Oscar-winning Fanny and Alexander (1982).

Terry Tegnazian practiced law in Los Angeles for twelve years before leaving to pursue other business and creative endeavors. Terry, who has no Polish background, became interested in the Polish experience of World War II as a result of research for a book she was working on, involving a Polish airman in the Battle of Britain. Terry co-founded Aquila Polonica because she felt it was important that such lost stories be restored to history and the wider world. In 2012, Terry was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland by decision of the President of Poland, in recognition of her outstanding services to the Polish community and promotion of Polish culture abroad. In 2014, she received the Polonia Award from the Polish American Congress of Southern California. In early 2015 the Polish American Historical Association awarded Terry the Amicus Polaniae Award, and the Los Angeles City Council honored her with the 2015 Pioneer Women of the Year Award.

Michael Berenbaum is a writer, lecturer, and teacher consulting in the conceptual development of museums and the development of historical films. He is director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust at the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism) where he is also a Professor of Jewish Studies. In the past he has served as the Weinstein Gold Distinguished Visiting Professor at Chapman University, the Podlich Distinguished Visitor at Claremont-McKenna College, the Ida E. King Distinguished Professor of Holocaust Studies at Richard Stockton College for 1999-2000 and the Strassler Family Distinguished Visiting Professor of Holocaust Studies at Clark University in 2000.