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Yom Hashoah program to feature Varian Fry

SOUTHBURY – Rita Frost of Newtown will tell the story of Varian Fry, who saved more than 2,000 lives during the Holocaust – including the lives of Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Fred Stein, Jacques Lipshitz, Andre Breton and Otto Meyerhof – as guest speaker at the Jewish Federation of Western CT Yom Hashoah program on Sunday, April 12, 4 p.m. Frost’s talk will be accompanied on a short film on Fry’s life. The program is free and open to the public.

Frost, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Varian Fry Foundation, has been researching the heroic deeds of Fry for 18 years, along with her colleague, Marion Percy of Stamford, have located 10 people who were rescued by Fry who are now all in their 90’s.

In 1935, Fry, who lived in Ridgefield and Easton, was visiting Berlin as a journalist when he witnessed the brutality of the Nazis. He subsequently wrote an article that, published in the New York Times, telling the world that Hitler was planning to exterminate the Jews. Five years later, while rescuing refugees in Vichy France, he also wrote of the horrid conditions of the concentration camps in France.

A graduate of the Hotchkiss School and Fairfield University, Fry taught Latin and Greek in schools from Ridgefield to Greenwich.

“Connecticut is where he was schooled, lived, worked and died. It’s important that we get to know his story,” says Frost of the man she describes as a “forgotten hero.”

The program, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Walzer Family Jewish Community Campus at 444 Main Street North in Southbury.

For reservations call (203) 267-3177 or email rsvp@jfed.net.

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