The East Texas Baptist University Political Awareness Society (PAS), in partnership with the Student Government Association (SGA), invited Holocaust Survivor Jack Repp, a representative from the Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education and Tolerance, to speak on campus Tuesday, November 7. He shared stories with the audience about his experiences during the Holocaust and gave his perspective on having faith in God through the most difficult times.

“With faith, you can make it through anything,” Repp shared. “There was a brief time in my life where I doubted if God was helping me, but ultimately I knew that He had not turned His back on me.”

Repp is from Poland, where he was part of the Nazi resistance force, stealing from a munitions factory for this underground organization. He was in various ghettos and concentration camps including Kielce, Auschwitz, and Dachau, and a death march. He was liberated by American soldiers and came to the United States in 1949. Today, his story of bravery and perseverance serves as an inspiration to many.

“Hearing his story really cemented for me how real it was and how much the victims went through,” ETBU Senior and SGA member Lauren Silas commented. “To see him sitting here, vibrant, is really a testament that you can overcome even the worst struggles.”

ETBU’s Political Awareness Society organizes events that are designed to promote cohesion between individuals and communities while bringing attention to important political issues. By creating awareness toward these issues, PAS serves to unite the community, both on and off ETBU’s campus, to stand against political turmoil and social injustice.

“PAS chose to host the event in response to the current divided political climate and with a belief that the event would unite people on both sides of the aisle,” PAS President Andrew Franklin shared. “Regardless of political beliefs, the significance of Jack Repp’s story speaks to all. Our hope is that the event served as a reminder of the collective effort to prevent suffering and as a warning of the dangers of political apathy.”

ETBU Professor of Political Science Israel Nandamudi, with help from several ETBU students, founded the Political Awareness Society in 2003. PAS is a nonpartisan student organization that exists to promote civic responsibility and political awareness on campus and in the surrounding community.

“Based upon my experience on campus, PAS has been instrumental in bringing awareness about some of the burning issues that our country and world faces,” Dr. Nandamudi said. “PAS provides a forum for students to come together to discuss and form an idea about the issues. PAS also tries to bridge the gap between the campus community and local community.”

The Political Awareness Society and Student Government Association will continue to schedule events to create attention for relevant political issues and to foster an informed and collaborative community that is willing and equipped to combat societal division.