Hi Friends, Family, and other interested readers!

I am leaving in a week to begin my Fulbright experience in Switzerland.  I will be staying in Lausanne, working with a professor at the University of Lausanne, outside of Geneva.

For those of you who are asking, “What is it exactly that you will be doing?”- here’s the official word.  I will be researching the rescue of Jewish children into Switzerland during the Holocaust.  I am using the archives in Switzerland (and elsewhere) and also conducting in-person interviews with child survivors of the Holocaust.  Basically, I can travel wherever I want to see whatever and whoever I want throughout the year, with the goal of writing an article to be published in an academic journal.  My main focus is on Jewish teenagers and the experiences they had in Switzerland (work camps, Jewish orphanages, etc.)  Sounds like historical research?  Well it is, but the added layer of the interviews allows me to meet some of the most insightful and strong people in the world.

Some exciting successes from the summer so far (in no particular order):

1.  World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust conference in Warsaw, Poland.  Very exciting conference and got to meet some wonderful people.  Also got to attend an official ceremony for the honoring of a few “Righteous Among the Nations” in Poland, which was moving and a unique event.

2. Meeting with a famous rescuer in Paris, who is 100 years old and only speaks French!  I got to speak with him about his “job” organizing convoys of children from France to Switzerland between 1942-1944.  He is in amazing shape, and he just turned 101!  Bonne Anniversaire!

3.  Scheduled a meeting with Mr. Serge Klarsfeld, the infamous trial lawyer against Nazis (aka Nazi hunter…).  Very excited for this!  Guess I have to go to Paris in October…

4.  Meeting my academic advisor in Lausanne next week.

5.  Being in touch with some academic journals who are interested in publication of my work (when I’m done…)

6.  Getting some guidance from mentors with sage wisdom before I leave (Nan, Pat, Rene, Chana…)

7.  Learning about the Jewish history of Budapest and Poland on two separate visits (July and August).  It’s not my field, but it’s definitely interesting and important.

8.  Swiss health insurance!

9.  Dorm life again (!?)

10.  The interviews that have kept me going and going.

Please keep in touch with me while I am gone.  My goal is to update once a week, and not with the boring stuff.  I hope to tell some stories, keeping it short and sweet, to give you a picture of what I’m up to.

I’ve posted a few interesting photos from the summer.

This blog does not represent the official policies of the Fulbright program.  It serves as my independent blog.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 21:30:22

    Yay Sam! So happy to read about this. Can’t wait to follow your adventures! XO


  2. jonas anglister
    Mar 02, 2015 @ 20:27:10

    please may you send me the direction of the institute ascher,im planning to visit Bex-Les-Bain and i was studing there from october till february 1966 thank you


    • Samantha Lakin
      Mar 05, 2015 @ 03:06:29

      Hello Jonas,

      You can take the train in Switzerland and get off at the stop “Bex” (there is no longer Bex-les-bains). When you leave the train station, ask anyone for the EVAM house, or the house with the migrants/immigrants. It remains a house for asylum seekers in Switzerland today. I can also send you the Directrice’s email if you would like. Please email me at samantha.lakin1@gmail.com if you need more information. Thank you. Samantha


  3. jonas anglister
    Mar 06, 2015 @ 17:46:28

    Samantha,thank you for your reply and informations but i’d like to know the adress because i want to find it on google maps to have a vision of the house on the city and like i uinderstood there’s no more Institut Ascher in Bex ,sad


  4. D.K. Milgrim-Heath
    Nov 19, 2017 @ 13:52:19

    Dear Samantha, I was a former student of Ashers 1969-1970.
    I’m a writer all over the internet internationally and with many themes on http://www.google.com
    Please email me privately-I’m not on any media sites too private here but my son’s on Broadway the present Cats revival now (we have different last names) and I’m involved with lots of writing on Variety.com and other sites too.
    Sincerely Yours,D.K. Milgrim-Heath


  5. Ronit Gorelik
    Nov 21, 2017 @ 14:31:18

    Hi – my mother was a refugee schoolgirl at the Institut Ascher during the war. i’m wondering if you know her – Bracha/Berte Teitelbaum? She is now 85.


    • Samantha Lakin
      Nov 21, 2017 @ 20:05:32

      Hi Ronit,
      I know your mother Bertha very well. I have been visiting her in Baltimore for almost five years, and interviewed her for my research. I also knew Malka (your aunt) and interviewed her too before she passed away. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Please email me at samantha.lakin1@gmail.com if you’d like.


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